Pat Simon MW
Became an MW 1966, died 2008
Tribute by Dr Peter Hallgarten written for the Circle of Wine Write Writers
When I joined the Trade almost 50 years ago, Pat was already a very well established senior member of the specialist wine trade. In the mid-50s he brought his family business into that of my family, mainly trading in German, Burgundy and Rhone wines.
Pat concentrated on the finest Bordeaux, through his family connection with the old-established firm of L. Rosenheim in that city. He had special interest in Cyprus wines through his wife Nezih who came from there. The two firms linked very well together, so that Pat took major responsibility for French wines, but with a very active interest in the mainstay of the firm, the very large range of superb German wines.
I always think of Pat as a professor of wine, with encyclopaedic knowledge of vinous subjects from far and wide. His comments were always very well thought out, meticulous in accuracy, but sometimes almost too detailed for anyone not as immersed in the subject as he was.
As a taster he was second to none, avoiding flowery language, sticking to carefully chosen descriptions which completely reflected the style and value of wines. Pat was indeed an excellent and very patient educator. The distillation of 50 years in the wine trade resulted in the book Wine Taster’s Logic published in hardback in 2000 and later in paperback. The book is typical Pat, full of anecdotes and information, ideal for both amateurs and professionals. The very wide range of topics covered, from the philosophy of drinking to general easily understood guidance to help the taster acquire new skills, made wine-drinking experiences more pleasurable. The basic description of a wine through patterns of lines and curves was an interesting concept, which worked in evaluation tastes within a small group. I still use it to this day.
After the sale of the Hallgarten Group in 1971, Pat went into business on his own account as Pat Simon Wines Ltd. He became an importer and wholesaler of wines and a consultant, with a worldwide clientele who appreciated his deep understanding of the product and its value.
As a Master of Wine his expertise was much in demand with written work on two levels, firstly his vinous articles for magazines and journals and secondly his contribution to International Governmental projects. Those for the World Bank and the I.M.F. were important researches in respect of consideration for future funding of viticulture, examining all aspects of production potential quality and local employment. His chapter on Wine still features in the current 24th Food Industry Manual.