My love of wine really took hold during my long career in the inflight entertainment industry when I was very fortunate to visit all corners of the globe. It was over the course of many a client dinner in places as far removed as Auckland, Durban, Toronto and Los Angeles that I started to drink ‘local’ wines – this gave me my first real interest in the world of wine, and over the years this interest has, like the unscratchable itch, refused to go away and instead became something of a passion.
Funding my way through the industry WSET exams I finally made the decision to return to college 20 years after my first University experience to study Wine Business and undertake (and pass with merit!) the tricky WSET Diploma exams, becoming an IWSC Associate Judge in the process. I have since worked in the trade for one of the most successful and well-regarded wine merchants in London.
If I’m honest I have always found wine to be quite a divisive subject, often one between the haves and have nots – it’s the snobbery element that I find particularly galling – but in reality wine is about personal taste, who am I to chide someone who enjoys a glass of Liebfraumilch any more than be impressed by the drinker who only drinks Bordeaux First Growths?
I also still remember the times when I ventured into a wine store (regardless of how welcoming or knowledgeable the staff were) and was frozen with anxiety when faced with walls of bottles with unpronounceable names (Txakoli) or unknown regions (Okanagan Valley? – It’s in Canada by the way!), let alone understand what terms on the bottle such as lees-stirred or malolactic fermentation meant – and herein lies the reason for setting up The Wine Demystifier.
It’s to educate, inform and hopefully entertain.
Blogging seemed a great way to get the message out and these blogs are a little bit different – they won’t be offering academic exposes of wine trends, or detailed essays on topics of the moment, more the purpose is to try to demystify wine, to provide snippets of (hopefully) useful information: provide overviews of grape varieties and regions, explain key terminologies often found on the back label or uttered by your more wine-educated friends, offer reviews of wines tasted (and enjoyed) and most of all to encourage experimentation.
As my wine education grew I found myself increasingly being asked by friends for recommendations for bottles to buy, to suggest food and wine matches for dinner events, and to host wine tasting evenings. It was an easy decision therefore to widen my brief from purely writing about wine to actively pursuing wine education albeit informally. Hence the introduction of Wine Tasting Events (see Wine Events for more details).
Coming soon is the Wine Demystifier ‘Wine Club‘, offering a regular selection of hand-picked wines in a mixed six case. There is no joining fee and no commitment to buy each cycle, what you will get is an opportunity to buy great wines at highly competitive prices. More on this to follow shortly.
There is an ever growing world of wine out there and so much to try and enjoy but even if you don’t enjoy a particular bottle, don’t automatically assume you ‘don’t like’ that particular variety, have an open mind and try and try again. Please have a good browse through the website and if reading my blog or joining the wine club can encourage you to expand your wine horizons and find your ‘new favourites’ then it will have achieved its’ purpose…..cheers!