Interview With Bonhams Global Head Of Wine And Spirits – Amayès Aouli

20th May 2024

Interview With Bonhams Global Head Of Wine And Spirits - Amayès Aouli

The World of Wine is beautifully showcased every day by passionate people, who help the consumer discover their next favourite bottle, understand the different regions and pair a delicious meal with the right Glass of Bubbly.

In this feature, I speak with a man who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, his name is Amayès Aouli, let’s find out about his life as the Global Head Of Wine And Spirits at Bonhams.

Tell Us A Bit About Yourself And Your Journey Into The Wine Industry

“My journey into the wine industry began when I was a teenager. I started to taste wine with my parents when they entertained. I soon realised the magical nature of wine and how it brought people together, encouraging discussion and an exchange of ideas. After a failed attempt to study Literature, I enrolled in business school and then spent 15 years working in Finance in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Paris. Once back in Paris, I visited vineyards as much as I could, meeting the producers, visiting cellars, and enriching my knowledge and appreciation of wines, and of course, collecting wines too. I went on to study with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and following my time there, I was approached by an auction house to run their Wine operations in Continental Europe. I of course said yes and started in the wine auction business.”

Do You Remember Your First Experience With Sparkling Wine? When It Was And What Kind Of Wine It Was?

“At the family table, Champagne was always synonymous with celebration and happiness. I was very fortunate to grow up with these two elements in high quantities. Hence, there were always a few bottles in the fridge, just in case. As I grew up in Paris, Champagne was the only sparkling wine at the table, and it was only much later that I had the chance to explore other sparkling wines with a focus on Italian Sparkling wines. While on my travels to French vineyards, I was amazed by the quality of sparkling wines from other regions, notably those produced in the Loire Valley with a special affection for Triple Zéro from the late Jacky Blot.”

For Anyone Visiting Bonhams To Enjoy A Glass Of Bubbly, Can You Tell Us A Bit About What Customers Can Expect To Discover On Your Own Wine List?

“Like Vines, Bonhams has deep British roots where Champagne is part of our life, marking special occasions and key moments. We have strong links with houses such as Bollinger and Pol Roger. As a Global Auction House, Sparkling is being poured in every continent with a freedom for each location to choose a sparkling wine that best fits clients’ tastes. Our Finest and Rarest Wines Sales feature many Champagnes too. In April we had an exceptional collection of Dom Pérignon Champagne including some superb Dom Pérignon P2, Dom Pérignon Rosé and Dom Pérignon Oenothèque, spanning vintages from 1959 to 2012. “

How Do You See The Future Of English Sparkling Wine?

“If we take a step back, every wine region has its own dynamic. When that dynamic works and is successful, we see more precise and refined wines being produced, along with an increase in demand and of course, price. All this enables further investment in both the talent and production in those regions and in turn delivers even better wine. I think UK sparkling wines are exactly at this point and their wines have never been as good and constant as they are today. Each vintage is more and more appreciated. On top of this, two tailwinds support the story, the global search for freshness in everything we eat and drink and the effects of global warming, which has created an increasingly warmer climate for British terroirs.”

Where’s The Most Memorable Place You’ve Enjoyed A Glass of Bubbly?

“That’s the hardest question as enjoyment and bubbles are interlinked. One that strongly resonates with me is a very unique moment. It was in Noashima in Japan, an island dedicated to contemporary art. I was invited by a friend who brought with him Krug Grande Réserve, Dom Pérignon P2 and Sir Winston – Pol Roger. We enjoyed these 3 marvellous bottles with our wives, on a terrace in front of a sunset on the Japanese sea, in a place designed by Tadao Andō, in a room filled with paintings by Keith Haring. Simply magical!”

Thank you, Amayès, for sharing your words, knowledge and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Image belongs to Amayès. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission, to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.