The Aussie Somm

“The time which we have at our disposal every day is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it, those that we inspire contract it; and habit fills up what remains.”

Marcel Proust

Q&A With Your Host, Clare Tudor

Where would you like to live?
J’aime la Provence! I’ve lived in 5 countries and traveled extensively. While my Mum considers me a gypsy, I prefer to think of myself as adventurous. Splitting my time between Provence, France and Montecito, California (with some family time in Australia thrown into the mix) is a dream come true.


What do you most value in your friends?
Not having to explain myself. I love being able to be completely honest and feeling safe that I won’t be judged. Well, not judged too much anyway…


What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel. I should own an airline by now. And maybe a couple of hotels.


What is your greatest fear?
Getting lost. And, it’s not just a fear as I have the worst sense of direction! My new best friend is the app Waze and she never gets lost – even in the admittedly confusing French countryside.


Your most marked characteristics?
Well I’m a Gemini, so it’s a life of extremes – independent & disciplined versus social butterfly & life of the party. And regardless of the extreme, I am definitely loyal.


What don’t people get about you?
I’m sarcastic. Although some consider sarcasm the lowest form of humor, I disagree and love watching the questioning and wonder crosses over someone’s face as they wonder, “Is she serious?” I guess I just find it funny when people take themselves so seriously! When I first moved to California, people had a very difficult time understanding me, my accent as well as my humor. I blame my English parents and two older brothers. Dry Monty Python-type humor was a staple in our household and for that I thank them.


If you were on your deathbed, what bottle of wine would you drink?
That’s an easy one – all of them!


What is your motto?
Live a big, fat, fabulous life!


How did you get into the wine industry?
I’ve always had a passion for anything wine – the place it comes from, the people who make it and the stories of how it ended up in the bottle. I became a Sommelier after an inspiring year living in Napa, California. I wanted to teach people about the world of wine. I became a Wine Director in Los Angeles, then I spent a year filming in wine regions of the world for a television show (which didn’t end up being produced, but the experience didn’t suck). I continue teaching wine classes for budding oenophiles and simply love sharing my passion for wine. In addition, I have taken on the role of Wine Host, cruising the picture-perfect rivers of Europe on the luxurious AmaWaterways fleet.


How does an Australian/Californian end up in Provence?
I first visited Provence in 1996 and have been back many times. I discovered the beauty of the Luberon region’s village of Goult after attending a friend’s wedding. I felt an instant connection with the place – a traditional hilltop village, friendly people (with a deep love and appreciation for incredible food and wine) and amazing views over acres of vineyards – what’s not to love?