Nigel Barker is well-known for many things: he was a judge on 17 cycles of America’s Next Top Model, he hosted Oxygen’s The Face, he is a former model and prolific fashion photographer, and he is an author and filmmaker. And now, he’s adding one more awesome title to that impressive list: Nigel Barker has been named Invivo Wines’ “Glambassador” as the fast-growing New Zealand brand launches in the United States.
Barker had his first taste of Invivo Wines’ Pinot Noir on the set of America’s Next Top Model five years ago in New Zealand — and he enjoyed it so much. Later, he became friends with Invivo Wines founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron. They encountered some challenges shipping wines to Barker in the United States due to Customs, but now Invivo Wines are available in the USA at Kroeger stores and other locations through a partnership with nationwide US distributor Seaview Imports.
Nigel Barker was nice enough to take some time out to answer some questions about being a “Glambassador” and more.
What are some of your responsibilities as “Glambassador” of Invivo Wines?
Well as the title suggests, I won’t be just the face of the brand but I am tasked with throwing glamorous parties, tastings and events all around the country.
I have thoroughly enjoyed introducing wines to many people in my life who have previously been intimidated by wine culture, the massive selections, prices and heady history of wine that although impressive can often overshadow the enjoyment for many folk. Invivo has a very different and refreshing approach, bottom line it’s simply delicious wine, whether you can describe what you are drinking or not, for most people you know when you like something regardless of someone else’s elaborate description or point system.
You were first introduced to Invivo Wines’ Pinot Noir on the set of America’s Next Top Model in New Zealand. What was it about the wine that made you love it immediately?
I have always been particularly picky about my wine and love when I am introduced to a hidden treat, which was what it was like first tasting Invivo’s Pinot Noir. From the dense purple hue to the earthy ripe plum/cherry flavors that filled my mouth I was immediately smitten. I also loved the story behind Invivo and how approachable both Tim and Rob are and their ideology of making great wine for everyone.
Which is Invivo blend is your favorite and why?
It really depends on what I am eating, what the season is, what the temperature is etc. The great news is that there is a fab Invivo for every moment. Right now at the Barker house hold we are guzzling down the Sauvignon Blanc by the case. And why you ask, well simply put it’s delicious and easy to drink. But more specifically I love citrusy zesty wines that are dry and crisp and my wife and I are both pescaterians.
What are some of your favorite dishes to pair with wine?
Growing up eating curry you soon learn that it is possible to pair wine with just about anything. I enjoy a great Pinot Noir simply with cheese before dinner or chocolate after dinner, love to pair a spicy Shiraz with Mexican food or chipotle vegetarian sausages and this time of year I always have fun pairing a delicious Rose with my wife and enjoying the summer breeze.
Where are some of your favorite places to have dinner?
My favorite place to have dinner is at home, I spend 7 months of the year on the road so for me there’s nothing better than a home cooked meal. I personally love to cook and my process always starts with me opening a bottle on Invivo setting the stage for the culinary delights to come.