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Tracks magazine (US)
February 2004


WINE LOVER: Tori Amos collects French and Italian red wines, stores them at her home studio and opens at least one bottle every night.

Tori Amos and Her Favorite Red

by Christian L. Wright

Tori Amos lives in Cornwall, England, with her engineer husband, Mark Hawley, and their three-year-old daughter, Natashya, on a three-acre farm. She has renovated a 300-year-old barn into a home studio, with five recording rooms, an average of seven musicians milling around and 80 cases of wine - mostly "Italian reds and French Bordeaux," says Amos.

In the late '80s, she shared a producer with Al Stewart -- "Remember the guy who sang 'Year of the Cat'?" Evidently Stewart is something of a wine scholar. One day he said, "You've never had good wine, have you?"

"I felt naked," says Amos, who hadn't. Opening bottles from his own collection, Stewart began to teach her the nuances of oenology. "I became discerning," she says. "And I started building my own cellar." On tour these days, she travels with a chef and a portable cellar on the bus. Says Amos, whose greatest-hits CD, Tales of a Librarian, comes out this month, "I don't need dancing girls or fast cars."

Instead, she's got a couple of fine merchants -- Premier Cru, in Emeryville, California, and Corney & Barrow, in London -- looking out for her wine interests. Among her favorite bottles is a 1995 Brunello di Montalcino from Fuligni (about $60). But she was recently surprised by Corullon, "A sexy little Spanish wine," from Descendientes de J. Palacios (in the $45 range). "I had my husband open the wine," she says. "He was making duck wraps with lettuce and ginger. We had the heaters on out in the garden. And it was perfect." Amos is thinking about building proper storage for her collection. Until then, she's keeping her Brunello and Corullon in one of the drum rooms.

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