I am proud to be the first ethnically Chinese and Mandarin speaking Master of Wine out of 419 individuals in the world. In addition, I have also obtained the SSI Master of Sake (Kikisake-shi) and WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Level 3 Award in sake qualifications.
I was born in Vancouver, Canada, but left at the age of 18 to study fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. I worked in fashion for several years in the US, Canada and the UK. While I was living and working as a designer in London, my love of gastronomy inspired me to take evening WSET courses. My newfound passion for wine compelled me to change careers and as a result, I worked in the UK wine trade for over 12 years in sales, fine wine and buying. For over six years, I used my acute palate, which enabled me to pass the notoriously difficult MW tasting exam on the first attempt, to select wines for Liberty Wines' award-winning portfolio. I was responsible for sourcing wines from France, Spain, South Africa, China and Germany, in addition to many other countries, for importation into the UK and Ireland.
My sense of adventure and wanderlust has brought me to Hong Kong, where I now reside, in order to be closer to the dynamic Asian wine market and to fulfill my dream of living in Asia. I am now splitting my time between Hong Kong and Shanghai heading up Summergate Fine Wines' portfolio and leading their buying and educators team. My team brings producers to mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau and helps them build distribution, in addition to providing training and education (including WSET) for staff and customers.
Throughout the year, I judge for several international wine (and sake) competitions (International Wine Challenge Wine and Sake) and also write a wine lifestyle column for DecanterChina.com. I am active with the MW education program and I take pride in tutoring MW students and hosting master classes for wine enthusiasts.
In my spare time, I am either eating (and drinking) with my husband, chef Cary Docherty, travelling, hiking, swimming and keeping my eye out for undiscovered wines and sake.
My one wish is to demystify wines and sake so there is less intimidation and more enjoyment. Life is too short to not enjoy every minute of it.