Known from TV but by now almost as well known for wine: Astrid Joosten. 'Wine farmers did not understand it at first, a Dutch TV presenter who wanted to import wine from them,' she tells us at her long kitchen table in Amsterdam-Zuid. -TEXT NIEK BEUTE|IMAGE NEK BEUTE + ASTRID JOOSTEN + KARIN LEEUWENHOEK
Niek & Karin visiting Astrid Joosten
The morning before our visit, she had commented on Radio 1 about developments in the global wine sector: 'Heartwarming, I think. I am a wine importer myself, so I hear from our vintners who have a smaller harvest this year, have raised prices or cannot deliver because they don't have enough.' Astrid Joosten, besides being a vinologist, is involved in all links in the chain from vineyard to consumer. Therefore, she is indeed the right person to explain wine issues such as the impact of climate change, crop failures, the container crisis and the shortage of 'dry goods' such as boxes, labels and screw caps. Of course, her 40 years of television experience help here. She once started as a VARA broadcaster and has been presenting the game show 2 for 12. She is also used to standing her ground in her work as a conference day chairman.
800 wine tastings
May marked the 10th anniversary of the webshop of Thérèse Boer, sommelier and owner of De Librije***, and Astrid Joosten. It was star chef Jonnie Boer who encouraged Astrid and his wife to start importing wines themselves. Astrid: 'Thérèse and I had already written two wine books and occasionally gave workshops at De Librije. Invariably, participants asked us for advice on what wine to buy. Afterwards, Jonnie once said: 'You should put together your own range and sell it on the internet. Because people trust your craftsmanship and your taste.' And we really had never thought of that ourselves! So it is actually thanks to Jonnie that Astrid & Thérèse exists. It is now 10 years since their company started. 'We really got over it, because building the website went very quickly, but it's in putting together the range that all the work is. We spent a year tasting 800 wines. Of those, we selected 35.'
Read more about Niek & Karin's visit to Astrid Joosten in Winelife 77. Order this one here!
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