Stacks of oak wine barrels in a Spanish bodega in Jerez Sherry solera system. Ageing barrel hall
Student audience at a class about the UK wine market in Tokyo Japan. Masterclass about the business wine
I worked as a commercial buyer for a total of seven years in both fine wine buying and for an importer/distributor that sells to restaurants, shops and supermarkets. A buyer has a responsibility to many people within the supply chain (the producer, the importer and customers) to buy quality wine that sells. Anyone can buy wine, but the key is to understand how to sell the wine so the producer, the importer and the customer are successful in the market.
My acute palate (and a lot of practice) enabled me to pass the notoriously difficult 36 blind wine Masters of Wine tasting exam on the first attempt. I went on to use my palate professionally as a buyer to select quality wines for importation into the UK and Ireland. In my spare time, I also use my palate to judge wines and sake.
My love of food also led me to Japanese sake. I started drinking, then studying, leading to judging and finally buying sake for importing into the UK through Liberty Wines.
I was invited to judge for the International Wine Challenge Sake in 2015 and have been a judge with them ever since.
In 2016 I studied for and passed my SSI Kikisake-shi (Master of Sake)
I am judging at a few selected competitions. The chosen few that I have time for are: IWC Wine and Sake in London, the inaugural IWC China Shanghai in June 2019 and the enjoyable Beijing Fangshan International Wine & Chinese Cuisine Pairing Competition, with WINE100 because as it marries my two passions: wine and food.
EDUCATION & SPEAKING
I am active within the MW education program. I attended the Adelaide residential seminar last year and also teach a few course days throughout the year. I also run practice 12 wine blind tastings to prepare students for the MW practical tasting exam. Please email me if you would like to attend one in Hong Kong.
I have delivered masterclasses in Mandarin Chinese and English on various topics such as: food and wine matching, blind wine tasting tips, wine buying, the UK wine market and introduction to Japanese sake. If you would like me to host a masterclass or tasting, please send me an email.
I write an ongoing English and Mandarin lifestyle column for DecanterChina.com. The aim is to make wine fun and easier to understand for readers.