Hospitality is in Alison Bouteloup’s DNA. By the time she was 12 she was out picking chanterelles or washing dishes at the family business, the Rasaay Hotel. Having studied French, and been a chalet girl, au pair and manager in Oddbins she gravitated towards the wine industry and spent two years working in France.

Alison has the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s level four diploma and hopes one day, when she is not quite so madly busy, to spit and swallow her way to becoming a Master of Wine. She chooses the Barley Bree list and will happily talk grape varieties and vintages until the bottle is empty.


First ever food memory: Home-made crowdie

Favourite wine shop: Oddbins

Favourite comfort food: My mum’s mince and tatties

What wines did you have at your wedding: New Zealand sparkling, Pouilly Fumé, Southern French Grenache/Syrah

Restaurant you would most like to eat at: French Laundry, Napa Valley, California

What do you have for breakfast: Porridge in winter, otherwise black coffee and toast (made with Fabrice’s homemade bread if possible) with honey

Career high: Barley Bree

Most influential mentor: Laurie Webster at Oddbins – he turned my interest in wine into a passion

Favourite holiday destination: Raasay

Guilty pleasure: The Sunday Times with a croissant on Sunday mornings