Hamish Anderson

2019 profile 

Head sommelier and wine buyer Tate

Hamish Anderson has worked for Tate for so long, he’s become part of the fabric of the place. This year marks his 20th anniversary at the gallery group. Having been the Tate’s long-time head sommelier and wine buyer, last year Anderson was promoted to the role of chief executive of Tate Catering for the group’s four sites: Tate Britain; Tate Modern; Tate Liverpool; and Tate St. Ives, in Cornwall.

A bottle of 1982 Les Forts de Latour set Anderson on his wine path. Having found his passion, his first few sommelier shifts at Terence Conran’s Bibendum in Chelsea didn’t go swimmingly. “During one of my first shifts I opened a bottle of Champagne and the cork slipped from my grasp, hit the ceiling and landed on a nearby table. There was silence, followed by clapping. The mark on the ceiling was there for the rest of my employment, so I was never allowed to forget it,” he says. Undeterred, Anderson cracked on, spurred on by the guidance of Matthew Jukes, whom he still counts as a good friend.

Joining the Tate group in 1998, Anderson has consistently championed high-quality wines at affordable prices at Tate Britain’s Rex Whistler restaurant, which opened in 1927 as the Tate Gallery refreshment room, and features a Whistler mural depicting a royal party travelling the world in search of exotic food.

To get his hands on Bordeaux that isn’t eye-wateringly expensive, Anderson makes regular trips to the region and buys the wines en primeur, as he does with the Burgundies on his list. Unusually for London, Rex Whistler is only open for lunch, so half bottles of the likes of English fizz Nyetimber, Lebanese star Château Musar and dreamy California Cabernet blend Ridge Monte Bello do a roaring trade.

Anderson also lists his vintage Champagnes at close to retail price, and allows guests to bring their own wine for £15 corkage, so long as they buy an additional bottle from the list. As well as wine, Anderson is a keen champion of craft beers, particularly those brewed locally.

In his spare time, Anderson writes a weekly wine column for the Saturday Telegraph magazine and features for Telegraph Men. His book, Great Wine for Everyday Life, has sold more than 15,000 copies. Topping his wine bucket list is 1976 Grange, though he’d also love to try some pre-communist era Tokaji. The self-confessed Pinot Noir nut has served many a colourful character in his time, including acclaimed Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk.

Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

Domaine Clarence Dillon to publish cookbook based on Paris restaurant

Domaine Clarence Dillon, the owner of Château Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion, is to publish a cookbook from its two-Michelin starred Paris restaurant Le Clarence based on the cuisine of chef Christophe Pelé.

UK government's wine red tape backtrack to cost industry millions

The UK government is reportedly considering backtracking on an agreement concerning costly paperwork on wine imports and exports to and from the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which could cost the industry millions.

UK government to bring back duty-free alcohol under no-deal Brexit

Duty-free purchasing on alcohol and cigarettes will return in the UK if it leaves the European Union without a deal next month, chancellor Sajid Javid has said.

Pernod Ricard launches tea-infused wine range

A glass of wine and a cup of tea are two of life’s great pleasures, and now they have been combined in a quirky new wine range launched by Pernod Ricard.

The Good Food Guide unveils the UK's top 50 restaurants

The Good Food Guide, published by Waitrose & Partners, has released its list of the top 50 restaurants in the UK, with 11 new restaurants in the line up compared to seven in the previous year. 

Most Recent Stories

Domaine Clarence Dillon to publish cookbook based on Paris restaurant

Domaine Clarence Dillon, the owner of Château Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion, is to publish a cookbook from its two-Michelin starred Paris restaurant Le Clarence based on the cuisine of chef Christophe Pelé.

UK government's wine red tape backtrack to cost industry millions

The UK government is reportedly considering backtracking on an agreement concerning costly paperwork on wine imports and exports to and from the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which could cost the industry millions.

UK government to bring back duty-free alcohol under no-deal Brexit

Duty-free purchasing on alcohol and cigarettes will return in the UK if it leaves the European Union without a deal next month, chancellor Sajid Javid has said.

Pernod Ricard launches tea-infused wine range

A glass of wine and a cup of tea are two of life’s great pleasures, and now they have been combined in a quirky new wine range launched by Pernod Ricard.

The Good Food Guide unveils the UK's top 50 restaurants

The Good Food Guide, published by Waitrose & Partners, has released its list of the top 50 restaurants in the UK, with 11 new restaurants in the line up compared to seven in the previous year.