Айгарс Нордс в жюри Riga Wine & Champagne

Most people know you as the “father” of the Lattelecom marathon, but at the same time you own a PR agency, you organize Riga Wine & Champagne events, in general, you are a busy person …

– Yes, there is a PR agency, and this agency has a subsidiary that organizes events. The marathon is the largest project, but there are a number of clients for whom we run various events. In addition, there are also parallel projects that we are developing ourselves, such as a marathon and Riga Wine & Champagne. These are projects that are interesting to me personally. But at the same time, these projects have a kind of impact on culture.

Why exactly wine? In other interviews you mentioned that you used to be very correct: “no” to alcohol. What was the first bottle of wine? Or what was so exciting?

– Now it is difficult to say what exactly caused this. The memoirs of sommeliers or people close to wine often describe the situation – a person drank some wine, the heavens opened, and everything became clear, from that moment they all fell in love with wine … But Western people talking about this have a powerful cultural heritage … You can’t just grab a 1947 Cheval Blanc one day and hope that everything will be clear. This does not happen! Their parents drank wine, talked about wine constantly, and they grew up with wine. We did not have this, we simply do not have all this. If you drink a bottle of exquisite wine, but you lack the knowledge of this, you simply will not understand it. My case – the first wine was terrible, we all drank that. In my student years, I actually did not drink, but in my last year, during the last rafting on boats … In my opinion, it was “Monastyrskaya hut” in a liter bottle, from which everyone used to drink. I tried. Together with Dutch cheese. In theory, any wine enthusiast who is open to new experiences and is interested in wine, who gets a little familiar with this world, will find many inspiring things. After all, every fine wine has a wonderful story. It is addictive.


Айгарс Нордс в Шампани

Wine is your hobby, but you graduated from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program. You are the first in Latvia to receive the 4th level diploma of this program. These are not ordinary seminars, but serious work and serious study. You also entered Masters of wine.

– I’ve already quit Masters of wine. It was a logical step. I wanted to get a broader perspective on all of this, and I think the WSET has helped a lot. It put everything on the shelves. Do you need it? Do not know. For example, I have friends who are only interested in Bordo. I am interested in wine in a broader context, and therefore I began to study. Since I had studied abroad before, the idea of ​​going back to study in London seemed exciting to me. And in London, while I was studying there, you could taste all these wines. We could not boast of such a level of development – we did not have the opportunity to taste old, ripe wines, wines of different varieties simply did not exist here. For me it was the feeling of a pioneer.

Let’s go back to the Bubble Parade. How did this idea come about?

– I do not even know. The Bubble Parade has no prototype in the world. Peter Liem created La Fête du Champagne only a year after he attended the opening of our Bubble Parade. Such festivals are not organized, so the idea came up to organize something like that. Why not dedicate the festival to a specific drink like champagne? I really like champagne. Then I realized that it is important for the festival to concentrate on one specific thing, otherwise, developing everything together, you suddenly start to drown in the amount of different wines. Now people are okay with the fact that at 10 am you can come to the session and enjoy champagne.

Is champagne your favorite wine?

– What you drink at a particular moment is your favorite. But champagne is what I got carried away with.


Баннер с премьеры фильма A Year in Champagne в Риге

It is logical to ask a question about the Latvian premiere of the film “A Year in Champagne” in the framework of the Riga Wine & Champagne event. How did you do it? The premiere of the film in Latvia was also its world premiere. We were the first to see this film.

– Yes it is. The official premiere of the film took place later. It just happened – everything coincided with the festival perfectly. I already knew in advance that this film would be. I look – the premiere is scheduled for the same days. Then I just wrote to the producers and they said yes, why not? Of course, we were not able to finance this ourselves, and then the Noble Wine company came to our aid. Thanks!

There is a video on the Internet from a seminar where you talk about the fact that you have two closets at home. One is for full bottles of wine, and the other is for empty ones. Do you collect them?

– I definitely don’t throw away the special, old wine bottles. They are stored like old photographs that I sometimes look at. Each bottle is associated with an event, a company with which he spent every moment of his life. I think memories are important. There are not very many similar bottles. Some even have a description of what makes it special. And that’s an incredibly good topic of conversation. Old bottles have a peculiar charm. As for collecting wine, I believe that wine should be drunk, not collected. But I collect something – something special, very rare, or a wine that I would love to watch aging. I keep this kind of wine in the cellar.

The most special bottle of wine in your wine cellar? Maybe the oldest one? With a special story?

– It is difficult to name one special wine. I approach my cellar, rather, as a matter of developing my own taste. After all, some of the wines that I bought a few years ago and which are stored in my cellar seemed incredibly good to me before! This summer I discovered one such wine – La Spinetta. There is Barbera d’Asti – beautiful wine, everything is in order. Then it seemed to me the height of elegance and stood in the cellar for about five years. After opening the bottle, the wine seemed very vulgar, with a high alcohol content, and I thought, “How could I like something like that then?” An excellent producer and excellent wine, but you yourself understand that you are developing; you understand how your view and perception of wine have changed in five years. Also, the cellar contains various things that I brought from my travels; there are bottles with autographs of winemakers, brought in the form of souvenirs from different trips. Wine of special years, old wines … There is a lot of Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux. France and some of the New World that I’ve always liked – Australia and South Africa.


Айгарс Нордс работает на виноградниках франции

Have you ever experienced something interesting or unusual during your trips and meetings with winemakers? Maybe you remember some curiosity?

– It used to be. I remember in South Africa, during our trip to visit Fryer’s Cove, a wine producer in northern South Africa, a river overflowed its banks, and we could not get there. So the winemaker sailed for us on a boat, and then also gave the keys to his house so that we could stay there. There have been cases when winemakers have shown amazing confidence. There were many interesting things in Australia. Harvesting at Margaux was a big adventure. I went there in 2010 – it is a pity that this year was so outstanding, because it means that I cannot afford to buy this wine.

Another question is Burger Club. You are one of the members of this club, and on social networks you are quite active in spreading photos of the wines that you taste during your club meetings. And these wines, to put it mildly, are always great! What is Burger Club?

– This is a group of like-minded people who get together and prepare wines with great scrupulousness, but the main thing here is pleasure. It is clear that there are topics and wines that we enjoy and formal conversations dedicated to a particular wine region, but the main goal of the club is to get high from the wine. Therefore, this is a burger club, because, being in a club, we try to free ourselves from the tedium associated with wine, from all this fuss over the years, hectares … Yes, this is part of the wine that you should know, but these technical details are often (which I don’t like) become the main topic of conversation. But wine is not about that.