A detailed précis of my career can be downloaded here.
This is the short (prose) version:
I was born in Worcestershire on FA Cup Final day 1974 (Liverpool 3–0 Newcastle United). A lousy vintage.
In 1996 I graduated from the University of Warwick (sent to Coventry…) with an Honours degree in English and European Literature. In need of a job, I became a van driver for the distinguished Cotswold (and London) wine merchant Haynes Hanson & Clark. I spent five years there, working with the distinguished wine scholar Anthony Hanson MW, and completing all the WSET exams up to Diploma level. One week after 9/11, I left the Cotswolds to work the vintage in Friuli, north-east Italy. I did a six-month stint there as a cellar rat before spending another six months backpacking around the wine (and beer) regions of Europe.
I returned to the UK for a year or so to earn money to fund more travels. On a whim I entered the 2003 Young Wine Writer of the Year competition. I won. No other gongs have come my way, alas.
That September I worked the harvest in Provence before setting off on a six-month Southern Hemisphere trip to the wine regions and cricket grounds of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I also spent a month in Japan to escape vineyards for a while.
After returning to the UK I was recruited into The World of Fine Wine as its Tastings Editor and Staff Writer. After five years there, working with Hugh Johnson and Andrew Jefford among others, I was made redundant in 2009 “to achieve costs”. So it goes.
Since then I have worked as an independent wine consultant. My services include brokering wine and organising wine events on behalf of private and trade clients.
I live in London. I like eating, drinking, cricket (MCC and Surrey CCC member but Warwickshire supporter), football (Aston Villa), rugby, Radio 4, Captain Beefheart, Jacques Brel, Nick Drake, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, dogs, pubs, trains and my friends.
Favourite wine? It depends on my mood, the company, the food, the weather… But generally it’s the next one.