Wine is at the heart of Hotel du Vin. We pride ourselves both on the broad range of wines that we offer our guests, and the expertise of our sommeliers.

Richard Coulson is one such Sommelier, you can usually find him at Hotel du Vin Exeter, where he expertly advises customers on taste, palette, flavour and pairings to make sure they enjoy an exceptional meal.

Richard recently sat down with Vine Lives to talk all things wine. Here are our favourite top five takeaways:

  • It is really useful to know your tastes and have an idea of what wine style you like, whether that be region, flavour or grape variety – all can help the sommelier pick the perfect wine for your palette
  • The French wine producers highlight the importance of the ‘terroir’ of the climate and soil where a particular wine is produced – if you are looking for white wine from Burgundy region, that will most definitely be crisp Chardonnay, if red – a light bodied Pinot Noir.
  • If you’re after value-for-money wine – choose a region that is less known, such as Languedoc – a relatively undiscovered wine will be cheaper but won’t compromise on quality
  • A Sommelier’s skill is not to sell the customer the most expensive bottle of wine, but to find a wine that suits the diner’s individual palette
  • Making diners happy is what Sommelier Richard most loves about his job – the thrill of finding that ideal bottle that the customer will truly enjoy


For more tips check out the full interview here.