Spend 5 minutes with Sam Timberg

In a recent article on Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Sam Timberg Managing Director of Meridian Prime (Overhex Wines‘ agents in the US) was named as one of the 40 under 40 tastemakers. We caught up with Sam and asked him a few questions about his life in wine.

Why South African wine, what drew you to this country’s offering?

I first visited the stunning South African wine country in 2005 while my brother lived in South Africa as an international correspondent for the Washington Post newspaper. We drank wines all over the Cape and it’s been love ever since. Oh – and I could afford the wines on a college kids budget!

sam timberg south african wine
Photo by Scott McDermott

What are some of the biggest myths about the South African wine industry?

I think too many people think that South Africa is about Pinotage and nothing more. Sure, Pinotage is a part of the puzzle, but there is such a diverse offering that it’s a region that rewards a deep dive into lots of styles and regions. Also, I think that when people refer to South Africa as a “great value region” they generally mean $10 or less (cheap and cheerful as us American’s say), but South African presents value at every price point from $10 to $100!

What is the one wine accessory you can’t live without?

It’s not exactly a wine accessory, but it is essential for me to get through my days selling wine – a double sided Sharpie Pen! I use the fine point for everything from taking notes on my palm to writing quick letters to thank customers for their time and you would be shocked how frequently I use the marker side from marking cases to writing names on cups at parties!

What is your favourite wine quote?

Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts. – Ernest Hemingway – Death in the Afternoon

My favourite wine is …, because …

My favorite wine is the Klein Constantia Vin de Constance because you can learn the history of the world in one bottle. Oh, and it’s insanely delicious.

If I were to win the lottery, I’ll buy a bottle of …

I would buy a bottle of the End of History one of the world’s rarest (and at $20,000 most expensive beers) because who doesn’t want a beer that comes in a squirrel dressed in a tuxedo.

The best thing to do in South Africa is …

Braai with friends or hike down to Dias Beach at Cape Point.

When in South Africa make sure you visit …

Cape Point – one of my favorite places on earth!

The best wine to pair with marshmallows is …

A nice chardonnay – like the Survivor Wild Yeast Chardonnay!

When I’m not drinking wine, I …

I’m drinking craft beer, brewing craft beer, riding my bike, or playing ice hockey.

The best wine to pair with marshmallows is … a nice chardonnay – like the Survivor Wild Yeast Chardonnay!

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