People often ask me what got me into wine. The simple answer is, “drinking.” While on holiday in France when I was growing up, my family and I would enjoy a bottle of local wine with our meal – the perfect way to immerse oneself in the culture of a region. But in general my wine consumption was casual, interested in wine but not really thinking about it too deeply.
My interest started to deepen on a trip to Washington State; while visiting various tasting rooms, I found myself frustrated that my working knowledge of wine wasn't enough to explain why I liked certain wines and not others.
I returned to Manchester in the UK, determined to educate myself fully about wine. My sister and I took an eight-week course on wines from around the world, which led to both of us taking the more formal WSET courses. A simple enthusiasm became a career when I started working at a wine shop in Manchester, where I met my wife who’s from California.
Originally from the UK, I now live in the heart of wine country in Sonoma County. I've taken all the WSET courses and I'm a Certified WSET Educator, regularly teaching for Grape Experience in San Francisco. When I began the WSET Diploma, I started a blog to document my studies which has since mutated into an independent website with a regular educational podcast for wine students. I'm currently an MW candidate, achieving the highest score in North America in the Stage One exam.
Wine is all about experiences - the when, the how, the where, and who with. Wine has taken me around the world, helped me meet my wife, and introduced me to so many people and stories. I hope this wine club opens up unexpected adventures for you.
D.H. Lawrence once wrote, “He was having a good time, as young fellows will in a place like Blackpool.” And it is that kind of place. Blackpool is a famous seaside town in north-west England which tourists from across the UK and Ireland have visited since Victorian times. It's a town all about entertainment and being entertained: three long piers, the Pleasure Beach with its rollercoaster rides, the long Promenade, amusement arcades, and the legendary Blackpool Tower with its historic ballroom. Blackpool is all about the moment, just like wine.
The world-famous Blackpool Tower.
a few of my favorite things
wines: sherry, Beaujolais, Rhône (esp. Mourvèdre & Carignan)
book: Ulysses by James Joyce
album: Station to Station by David Bowie
TV series: Babylon Berlin