Pairing Wine with the Cast of Downton Abbey: The Staff.

Ok! The long-awaited second part to my: Pairing Wine with the Cast of Downton Abbey series!

Once again, just so we’re all on the same page, if you haven’t seen Downton Abbey, this is all going to make absolutely ZERO sense to you! Then again, if you haven’t seen Downton Abbey, this is a perfect reason to do so! I would like to point-out that there are a few “spoilers” lurking within this article…so read at your risk!

The one thing to know about this post is that I didn’t pair a wine with every Downton character – mainly because there’s so bloody many of them – but also because there’s quite a few drab ones in the bunch.

What follows is my own take on pairing wine with the staff of the hit TV show: Downtown Abbey. Enjoy!

Charles "Charlie" CarsonCharles “Charlie” Carson

Role: Butler.

Memorable Quote: “I do not wish to take a tour of your revolting world!”

Bio: Contrary to popular belief, Mr. Carson doesn’t actually own Downton Abbey, he just works there. The Butler at Downton, Charlie Carson is in charge of the male staff and takes care of the dining room and the all-important wine cellar.

Mr. Carson spends most of his weekends polishing the silverware and pretending he’s not gay. (That’s right, I’m calling it!!!)

If he were a wine he would be:

Right Bank Bordeaux

Why?: Old, bold and smelling vaguely like mold, Right Bank Bordeaux shares the distinction of being “a Bordeaux” with the more well-known and more aggressive Left Bank, but happens to be quite soft at heart, if you just let it open up a little.



Elsie HughesElsie Hughes

Role: Head Housekeeper

Memorable Quote: Mr. Carson: “Keeping up standards is the only way we can show the Germans we will not be beaten in the end!”
Mrs. Hughes: “Well, give me some warning the next time we’re expecting Germans at Downton and I’ll see what I can do!”

Bio: The ever-so watchful and attentive housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes is in-charge of the female staff at Downton. She isn’t married and probably never will be, since her standards are so high.

If she were a wine she would be: Grand Cru Beaujolais

Why?: Grand Cru Beaujolais is the best-of-the-best – at least, as far as Beaujolais goes – managing to strike a perfect balance between being more serious than its peers, whilst also staying fairly fruity and youthful.



John BatesJohn Bates

Role: Lord Grantham’s valet (whatever that means…)

Memorable Quote: “Funny, our job. The way we live with all this pirate’s horde within our reach but none of it’s ours.”

Bio: The hardworking wartime friend of Lord Grantham, Mr. Bates is the dark horse of the bunch.

His military experience, combined with his having served time in prison over the death of his ex-wife, Bates is not someone you want to cross.

If he were a wine he would be: Mendocino Pinot Noir

Why?: Incredibly complex, but in my opinion “released” too early. A couple more years locked away should supple it up a bit!



Sarah O’BrienSarah O’Brien

Role: Lady Cora’s maid.

Memorable Quote: Thomas: (talking about Matthew Crawley, heir to the estate) “Are we to treat him as the heir?”
O’Brien: “Are we heck as like! A doctor’s son from Manchester!?!? He’ll be lucky if he gets a civil word out of me!”

Bio: Without a doubt my absolute favorite character on Downton Abbey, and not just because she starred in Rita, Sue and Bob Too in her younger years.

Ms. O’Brian has an ever-so malicious and spiteful side to her; but for some reason, confides in Thomas to plot against Mr. Bates. If Downton Abbey were a game of Clue/Cluedo, it would be: Ms O’Brien, in Lady Cora’s bathroom, with a bar of soap…

If she were a wine she would be: Amontillado Sherry

Why?: Intense, should only be handled in small doses and one sip will have people wondering why they even gave it the time of day! Both will leave you with a bitterness you can taste for quite some time.



Thomas BarrowThomas Barrow

Role: First footman

Memorable Quote: “I’m not foul Mr. Carson. I’m not the same as you, but I’m not foul.”

Bio: Dirty-scheming Mr. Barrow! Where do I even start with this guy…?

First he tried to get rid of Mr. Bates, so he could become Lord Grantham’s valet. Then he deliberately almost got his hand shot-off on the front-lines of the war, so he could return home. Upon returning to Downton, his shenanigans continued, successfully managing to piss-off everyone in the Downton house. Coming out of the closet is the only redeeming thing this guy has done!

If he were a wine he would be: Australian Rose

Why?: Australia doesn’t make many roses, but when they do….they aren’t all that good! Fruit-forward, fairly obnoxious and the only reason you bought the bottle was probably because it had a good-looking label. I’m sure there’s a place for Australian roses, but it’s not in my house…



Daisy Robinson (Mason)Daisy Robinson (Mason)

Role: Kitchen maid.

Memorable Quote: Daisy “You’ve still kept me here with a dishonest representation.”
Mrs. Patmore: “Oh dear, have you swallowed a dictionary?”

Bio: Dumber than a box of rocks, but oh-so adorable, Daisy manages to annoy Head Cook Mrs. Patmore purely by the sound of her breathing.

Naivety lies at the center of Daisy’s personality, which is perfectly illustrated by her crush on Thomas in season one.

If she were a wine she would be: Grocery Store Moscato

Why?: Young, fun, bubbly and a little-bit stupid. It’s hard to complain about grocery store Moscato. Everyone should just take it at face value. It’s just happy to be here!




Beryl PatmoreBeryl Patmore

Role: Head Cook.

Memorable Quote: “Daisy, what’s happened to you? I said you could go for a drink of water, not a trip up the Nile!”

Bio: Mrs. Patmore is the ever-lovable cook at Downton. Needless to say, like most of the Downton characters, she has had her fair share of drama! In season one she contracted cataracts and then later her nephew is shot on the battlefield for cowardice.
Things have settled down a little now for Mrs. Patmore…which means her character is probably going to be killed off in the next season…

If she were a wine she would be: Napa Valley Chardonnay

Why?: Big, voluptuous and with plenty upfront; both wine and Cook make no apologies for themselves, offering a policy of “take me or leave me!”

1 Comment

  • April 30, 2013


    like most of the Downton characters, she has had her fair share of
    drama! In season one she contracted cataracts and then later her nephew
    is shot on the battlefield for cowardice.

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