Nick Rhodes, 45, formed legendary pop group Duran Duran in 1978 with bassist John Taylor, a fellow Birmingham, England, native. After recruiting singer Simon le Bon, guitarist Andy Taylor and drummer Roger taylor, the band enjoyed worldwide success in 1982 following the release of their second album, Rio.With the November release of their 13th studio album, Red Carpet Massacre, the four-member band (Andy Taylor left in 2006) is touring the world again - with a wine cellar in tow. The group's members have always made wine a part of their time on the road, whether it's ordered at a restaurant after a show or pulled from the band's traveliing collection. Rhodes was interviewed by Cigar Aficionado senior editor Shandana Durrani.
Wine Spectator: How did you develop an interest in wine?
Nick Rhodes: When I was a teenager, I started to drink wine with meals, as is fairly commonplace in Europe. I found the whole routine of sitting down for a meal and having a few glasses of wine to be a very favourable combination. When [Duran Duran] started to travel more, I really began to develop a taste for different varietals. I was particularly keen, when we were outside of France and Italy, to see what wines were like in different countries.
WS: What are your favorite wines?
NR: I'm one of these people who can jump from one thing to another because I like different things for different moods. I suppose my favorute wines are the super Tuscans, which I discovered some 15 years ago, particularly Sassicaia, Ornellaia and [those from] Antinori. I like the whole Chianti region. I think a really good, simple Chianti Classico is usually a safe bet if you're travelling. I also liek a lot of Bordeaux.
WS: Who chooses the wine when you go out to dinner?
NR: I do. Simon is perfectly happy for me to choose. But to be honest, I'd be perfectly happy for him to choose. He has wonderful taste in wine.
WS: When you are on tour, you travel with a wine cellar. Can you tell me about it?
NR: The first time we did it was on our last big world tour. We had a flight case specially created to keep all the wines fairly still and secure with foam around them. It stored about 100 bottles, maybe 120. It was a real luxury. When you are away from home a lot, it is nice to have a few of those comforts.
WS: Do you celebrate with wine after a show?
NR: Yes, especially if I am having food. I'm a vegetarian, so there's none of this "Steak with a nice heavy red" business for me. Actually, tofu and Gevrey-Chambertin is a very interesting combination. There is something about the collision of flavours there. I try to stick with Italian when I'm eating pasta - that's when the super Tuscans come in.