Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew, co-founders of cult food and wine magazine and restaurant wine bar Noble Rot have revealed to Eater London that they will launch a new wine import company — called Keeling Andrew & Co. — in October. They plan to supply the “UK’s most exciting bars, restaurants and independent wine merchants.”
The company will launch in October 2017 and work directly with big-name domaines, such as Jean-Marc Roulot in Burgundy and Ulysse Collin in Champagne, as well as up-and-coming, fledgling producers like Eleni and Edouard Vocoret in Chablis, Champagne Michel Gonet and Bordeaux’s Domaine de Galouchey. The duo plan to import from Italy and America — and “anywhere where there’s a good wine” — in the future. “But we’re Francophiles at the end of the day and France is on our doorstep, so it was an obvious place to start,” Keeling told Eater London.
“To have Roulot — one of the top, very sought-after producers in Burgundy — is like working with Radiohead,” he added. (Keeling, who formerly worked at Universal Music, is credited with discovering the band Coldplay.) They want to supply wines not just to the most cutting-edge new restaurants in town, but also to the classics — and, critically, to ensure the supply of wines with bottle age and to ensure wines are being drunk, not just kept in cellars or private collections.
Keeling said that “the two have always had a plan to import wine” — since they both independently read Kermit Lynch’s Adventures on the wine route. “Lynch’s book was a massive sourced of inspiration and one of the things we bonded over. It’s always been a dream of ours.”
Keeling Andrew & Co. say they will also specialise in mature stocks of fine wines obtained from private cellars across Europe; they also plan to start consulting for restaurateurs who want to “improve their wine programs.”
Keeling said in a statement: “Importing wines has been a long time dream of ours, so to launch Keeling Andrew & Co. with extraordinary winemakers such as Jean-Marc Roulot and Olivier Collin is incredibly exciting. We only want to work with producers whose wines that we have a passion for drinking, as well as searching out rare mature stocks of wines from the world’s leading estates.”
Andrew added: “We feel privileged to know so many talented winemakers that it seemed like the logical next step for us to help get their wines onto the UK’s most exciting wine lists. It’s a golden time for the British food scene, and we will connect the best vignerons and restaurants.”
The news comes amid a number of London restaurants announcing their foray into the world of wine. Earlier this week Spanish restaurant brand Barrafina announced that they would start selling their own-label off-trade wines in Sainsbury’s supermarket next month. Last week, Eater London reported on four London restaurateurs who have started working with an Italian winemaker — and St. John have been working with producers on their own-brand wines in Minervois, which are sold across their restaurant portfolio, including at their latest project at The Bridge Theatre.
Noble Rot restaurant and wine bar opened in November 2015 and has won ‘Wine List Of The Year’ at the National Restaurant Awards for the past two years. Andrew is a qualified Master of Wine.