People often ask me what got me into wine. The simple answer is, "Drinking." While on holiday in France, 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 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.
So I returned to Manchester in the UK, where I was then living, 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.
I now live in the Napa Valley, surrounded by vines. I've taken all the WSET courses and am a Certified WSET Educator. I teach about wine, I talk about wine, I write about wine, and, best of all, I drink wine from all around the world.
To paraphrase C. L. R. James, What do they know of wine who only wine know? Wine is an introduction to culture, history, science, geography, language, and people: in every bottle there is a story. That's what this blog is about, as I continue to discover something new about wine every day.
Not just wine though: we're living in a golden age for beer and spirits. Wine is the main focus of this blog, but I also write about any drink that excites me.
This blog is designed for WSET students preparing for exams as well as for wine enthusiasts who want to know more about the bottle they're drinking. If you live in or are visiting the Bay Area, feel free to contact me for a private tasting to further your appreciation of wine.
Most of all, I hope this blog helps you enjoy wine - and other drinks - even more than you already do!
I have been published in Harper's Wine and Spirits; The Buyer; and jancisrobinson.com. I am currently working on Wine & Words, a book about writers and the wines they drank, as well as an app, French Wine Pronunciation Guide.