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Forum Administration

Cannavan, Tom - Glasgow, UK
Whilst my first love remains this site,
Tom Cannavan's wine-pages.com, I enjoy a wider wine writing career. I am a member of The Wine Gang and write on a freelance basis for many newspapers and magazines. Publication credits include Decanter, The Independent, The Financial Times, World of Fine Wine and more. I have written one book, The Good Web Guide to Wine, and also contributed to two annual books for many years: the Which? Wine Guide and The Wine Report. I am an international wine judge, having judged or chaired wine competitions in the UK, Australia, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, France, Germany, Italy and Georgia amongst others. In 2008 I won the Louis Roederer Award for my wine writing here, and won Portuguese Wine Journalist of The Year in 2010. I regularly present masterclasses and seminars for the public and wine trade in London and Scotland. I presented a weekly wine slot on Scottish Television for two years and contribute regularly to BBC Radio programmes as 'guest expert'. I have wide-ranging tastes and enjoy all fine wines, especially with good food and good company. My cellar is predominantly Bordeaux, but Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne and Germany are well represented, as are California and Australia. Sweet wines are another passion, but really my tastes in wine are pretty catholic. I suppose the thing I really love about wine is that it is such endlessly fascinating subject, and one that is constantly re-newing itself. In 2004 I also launched beer-pages.com and in 2006 whisky-pages.com joined my small stable of drinks titles. (01/00, update 2014)

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Abercromby, Ray - Peak District, UK
Originally Gleneagles, now based in Glossop, someone got me into white wine about 9 years ago, after I had graduated. It all went mad in 1993 when I was given a Hugh Johnston wine guide, followed by my father insisting red wine was good and pouring a 1971 Ducru Beaucaillou down my neck. I've never looked back! I now conduct wine tastings, did the WSET Higher for a laugh and learned a lot in the process, collect my own wines, and continue to learn as much as I can about the subject. Favourite wines are Aussie shiraz (Jim Barry Armagh, st Halletts, Grange) and recently I've got into Burgundy - of the vegetal variety. Aromas, smoothness, perfume and intensity are the hallmarks of all my favourites. The only wines I do not like are Loire, Germany & Alsace although there are exceptions in each region. Why an I here? To meet like-minded people! (10/00)

Adams, Charles - Durham, UK
Although I have been drinking wine for sometime, I only became serious sometime in 1998. I am slowly working my way around the world with a preference for smooth mature reds with a pungent farmyard nose. My favorite regions (largely based on quality to price ratio) are Spain (especially Rioja and Ribera del Duero), the Languedoc, and for special occasions, the wines of the Pope's new castle. Despite these preference, probably nearly half the wine I consume is from the New World, mostly Australia. I have a modest cellar which will start to reach its peak in about 10 years. Before then I am looking forward to learning more about Italian wine, Portugal (table wine and Port), sweet wines, white Burgundy, and finally Bordeaux! (01/00)

Adkin, Nick - London, UK
My interest in wine picked up around 7/8 years ago, and centred on classic Spanish wines. Since then I have become more a fan of Aussie wine. I am currently working in the Department of Health - having previously worked with Chris Smith (fellow Forumer) in another central Govt Department. Current favourite areas are: Australia, Western Australia especially; Southern Italy; Spain; and NZ. I attend the Central London Wine Society - being allowed to inflict my chioces on the audience once a year. Currently (autumn 2000) exploring: Central Otago Pinot Noirs; Portuguese Reds; 98 NZ reds; and Galician Whites. One day I'll uncover properly what France has to offer - but the sheer range is daunting, I am tiptoeing into the Rhone at present. If I had to rescue only one bottle of wine from my mainly Australian cellar it would be an early 1990s Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon. (09/00)

Ajax, Steve - France and Wales
A sports broadcaster, specializing in Horse Racing, Rugby and Cricket, now retired. First discovered wine on a working trip to South Africa in early 1990’s. The penny really dropped on a trip to St Emilion in the mid 90’s, my first ever Chateau tasting was at Moulin St Georges but the eureka moment came when I tasted the 1982 Clos de Sarpe in a restaurant, it’s been all downhill since then. I went into semi-retirement in 2001 and my wife and I have been fortunate to have spent a lot of time in Vouvray and Corbieres enhancing our appreciation of wine. We live in Wales but tend to spend about 4 months a year in France and try to get over to South Africa for a couple of months every winter. St Emilion and Pessac Leognan would probably be my personal favourites but I am slowly developing an appreciation for Burgundy. (11/07)

Alabaster, Nick - Essex, UK
I've been seriously into wine since around 1995 (read 'wine anorak' - 'wine geek' being the US form!), with a casual interest running back to my student days. Now I store wines at home and professionally, enjoy taking part at various tastings in and around London as well as the 'off-lines' that the Internet has instigated. I've found a great group of friends participating in boards such as this and these friendships remain one of the greatest rewards of my wine interest.

It was meeting my now wife and an exploration of high-end Oz wines from the late '80s which really struck home how much there is to wine. Sadly, although Oz still makes up to 25% of the wines I cellar, I'm very much carrying the banner for those against some current New World trends - Oz included, which seem to push high oaking - high alcohol - high acid wines. These wines garner much praise in the press but I just can't face drinking them at home - they simply aren't as impressive to me as the wines made just a few years ago - or such good value. Hence my interests now head towards just about every region in France, especially the Rhone, with a dabbling in Spanish and Italian although I remain interested in emerging regions, particularly the current efforts from Argentina. I find US wines - especially Californian - overpriced in the UK which might explain why we seem to have such a poor choice here - perhaps the retailers agree. (01/00)

Allinson, Peter - Cambridge, UK
I am a Butler at a Cambridge College of over 25yrs standing, but my interest in wine started much earlier, when in the Navy. We always managed to end up in a winery or brewery where ever we were in the world, so I had a good grounding which has helped me in my job. I have tried the new world wines but still believe that fine French wine is in a class of its own. (03/02)

Amstad, Ian - London
My interest was kindled by drinking a Geoff Merrill Cabernet Sauvignon in 1988, but my palate soon tired of oakier Aussie wines, and my focus switched to Burgundy, Bordeaux and Italy. While keen to experiment I started accumulating many of the top wines opportunistically and now have a large collection. I am horrified by what has happened to wine prices lately and in the last 2-3 years have been a net seller of surplus stock. While I always enjoy drinking the most celebrated wines, and have been fortunate enough to drink most of them, I also enjoy discovering value for money/hidden gems and sharing with others, particularly other enthusiasts who can educate me. (06/07)

Anderson, Paul - Midlothian, UK
My interest in wine started in the early '80s when Oddbins were doing a special promotion on Spanish wine, mainly Rioja. I decided to take the plunge and bought a mixed case for £24. It was the variation of flavours that made me realise how different wines can be, even from the same region. I am mainly an Old World wine drinker and most of that is concentrated in France. My 'cellar' (cupboard under the stairs for medium to long term, garage for current drinking and various cellars from en primeur purchases) consists mainly of Burgundy followed by Bordeaux, Champagne & Rhone. I also have a few bottles of Loire and Alsace. I have been spending my holidays for the last 10 years in Burgundy, where I have got to know a few producers. Also, as the children have developed an interest in Disneyland, visits there have met with little resistance from me as we rent a gite near Epernay which allows me a couple of days tasting. I buy most of my wine in France (250 - 300 bottles/year). The rest of my purchases are from independant merchants, the Wine Society and auction. I have found it is very easy to get into the habit of buying more than you can drink (and stay healthy). One of the most exciting things about wine is actually meeting the people who make it, spending a few hours with them in their cellars, tasting new and old vintages and generally building up a friendship with them. When we then open a bottle back home it's not just a wine we’re drinking but memories of a particular person, place, jokes, debates and friendships. All in all a great hobby !! (03/00)

Antunes, Luis - Lisboa, Portugal
I am 32 years old, and have been serious about wine since 1996, although I have been drinking wine for all my adult life. I drink, I taste, I try to learn, I blind-taste with friends, I keep notes with grades, I collect for the future (because some wines I only can afford on release), I even made an experiment at investing. I prefer powerful, full-bodied, mature red wines. I also quite enjoy Port (the pride of the Portuguese), and try as much as I can afford to learn more about it. I also keep a fairly open mind about any wine, since there's so much to taste and learn. I always complain about Portugal's little availability of non-Portuguese wines, which rather limits our horizons. When I travel, I try to bring home what I can. So I keep about 500 bottles of wine both at home and in a (poorly) adapted cellar. Of which circa 120 are vintage Port, bought on release. Recently the birth of my son (Sebastião, born in May 1, 1998) made me look into the futures trade, so I bought a few cases of Red 1998 Bordeaux I hope to share with him. For this reason, I am always looking out for long lived 1998 wines. At this moment I am awaiting the 1998 vintage Port news. I am a public university (Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa) assistant lecturer, currently preparing my PhD in Artificial Intelligence (Multi-Agent Systems). Waiting for a Lisbon off-line tasting! (02/00)

Arkley, Vivienne - London, UK
Being most disturbed to note the unfavourable chick-to-guy ratio of the Who's Who, I thought I had better try and rectify the balance. It is largely with my passion and desire for wine that I come to be included, however. A 25 year old marketing and PR bod, I spend all my spare cash (and more) on wine. I'm currently attending an appreciation class and have a fair few quaffing years of experience. I have to admit to being something of a (good quality) Bordeaux slave (particularly the huge Pomerol and classy St. Emilion) but have a lot of time for rich Aussie and Chilean reds. More power to other new growers as they add to the zest by providing diversity. Wine is best enjoyed with others - particularly in generous quantities! Happy imbibing to all! (03/00)

Armstrong, Paul - Colchester, UK
My interest in wine developed from lubrication towards more serious vinuous exploration in the late 80's following exposure to a couple of mature clarets (Pessac-Leognans). Just in time to buy a few 88/89/90 Bordeaux en primeurs, an exercise never repeated since with the skyrocketing prices. Whilst I'll try wines from anywhere, my interests remain mainly francophilic, influenced largely I suspect by my frequent summer holidays there, and the consequent opportunities to explore the various wine regions. Strangely, I find that having a mental image of the places behind the regional names on the labels improves my enjoyment! And more practically, I enjoy buying from the domaines and avoiding all that nasty import duty :-). At home I fight a valiant battle to stop my wine collection growing beyond its current 500 bottle level. But temptation is always too close at hand, with half a dozen excellent merchants within 10 miles or so from home, bolstered further in Dec 99 by a new Oddbins Ultimate Winestore 3 miles away in Colchester. Oh dear! (01/00)

Aresvik, Rune - Norway, but currently Netherlands
My first experiences with wine were either home made, or, equally nasty but considerably more expensive, the cheapest wines of the Norwegian State Wine Monopoly. Serious interest in wine started while I was doing my MBA in France. Eating in a very nice restaurant in the Loire, the sommelier suggested a 1/2 bottle of Puligny-Montrachet. While it seemed very expensive, we went along. The wine arrived in a wine bucket, was ice cold, and we were not impressed until we took it out of the bucket. After a while the smell and taste became incredible and we were hooked. The next weekend break was spent in the Bourgogne, where we bought a case of Paul Pernot's 1987 1er Cru Les Folatieres. Eleven years later I have the privilege to have a real cellar (rare in The Netherlands) which currently contains over 400 bottles. My collection covers a very broad range, but Riesling and Zinfandel are definitely over-represented. My natural instinct (but often betrayed) is also to be a member of the ABC (Anything but Cabernet Sauvignon/Chardonnay) club. (01/01)

Arvela, Pentti - Turku, Finland
I am a retired biochemist who has been interested in wine or 50 years. I took my sommelier degree on in year 2000 and after that I also made the WSET level 3 advanced course in 2002. I am a member in the L´Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs, Munskänkarna Finland, Slow Food and various more private wine clubs. Hope to have nice discussions with you. (05/04)

Atkinson, Regan - Dorset, UK
I'm 27, and I'm currently living in Bournemouth. I've always enjoyed my wines and real ales since my mid-teens, but it's only been the last couple of years that I've managed to buy more wine, more expensive, and more in terms of quantity! I had always stuck to certain types, but getting "mixed mystery cases" from the Times Wine Club helped me become more brave! I'm still relatively new to the massive world and variety of wines, but we have so far visited a few wine regions (Cochem/Mosel, Chablis, and Bordeaux), and enjoyed the wines on offer there! I'm definitely a "Bordeaux man", although I do really like reds and whites from Italy and Spain. Those three areas of the world are the wines you'd find in our house most! I run (when I get time) www.whichpub.co.uk - but it's been neglected for a while due to lack of time! I'm trying to incorporate a new section (www.drinksreview.co.uk) into it as well for people to submit their own drinks and review them, but again, I have no time to put any effort in! (07/03)

Auchterlonie, Caspar - London, UK
I am a wine buyer for the Restaurant Le Pont de la Tour at Tower Bridge and assistant manager of the attached Wine Merchant. I also do consultancy for other restaurants notably China House, Picadilly, No1 Blossom Street and Scotts of Mayfair. I am also a wine journalist and regularly contribute to WINE and Wine and Spirit international and contribute to madaboutwine.com. I also do numerous tastings and lectures and some marketing consultancy for the trade. I have been in the wine trade since my University days (for whom I continue to conduct tastings) and have resigned myself to being involved with wine professionally for the rest of my days. C'est la vie. (02/01)

Audisio, Alejandro - Buenos Aires, Argentina
I'm a 37 ex-finance guy turned Wine Merchant & Foodstuffs Trader. I have a 50% interest in a Buenos Aires based Wine Merchant House, after having been one of its first customers. I keep telling myself the reason for having bought half the place was because I got tired of paying retail price to fill my cellar... I started to get serious about wine some 14 years ago; when as a young banker knowing your wines was the thing to do. I went on to work & live in 5 countries where as my interest developed into a real passion I embarked on a personal crusade to make Argentine wines better known to wine aficionados in every city I lived. Argentina is still a greatly unknown and misunderstood wine country, and aside from my now business interest I try to help people tackle their doubts & fears when confronted by a wine from Mendoza, Salta, or Patagonia. My (personal) cellar is Argentine dominated, but I have a thing for Austrian Dessert Wines, Champagne, and California Cabernet based blends. Aside from the wine business, I have an interest in a Foodstuffs Trading venture active in food ingredients & flavoring focusing on the markets of the ASEAN countries (08/06)

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Bailey, Toby - Edinburgh, UK
I have been interested in wine for nearly 25 years, seriously for perhaps half that time. I love almost all the "classic" styles from France, Germany and Italy particularly. I am not so keen on New World wine, or Old World wine made to taste like New World by using excessive new oak with varieties like Pinot Noir and Syrah which don't take it very gracefully. My brother Richard and I have been keeping tasting notes on the web for over 4 years now, and the 2500+ resulting notes can be found at
finewinediary.com, now with search facility. I am also interested in good food (although I think matching food to wine is an over-rated pastime), and support myself by being a Reader in Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh. (04/00)

Barrow, Andrew - Oxfordshire, UK
I have been in the trade for a few good years now and currently about to complete the WSET Dipolma exam. Wine tastes are wide and varied, I don`t think there is any region in the world that I would refuse a wine from. I have been running www.andys-scribblings.co.uk since July 2000. Its a free weekly email newsletter offering wine recommendations, news and other info. There are bits in there about ale, malts and cocktails too. I also write for and advise several wine sites on the web. My two interests wine and computing combined - bliss. (05/01)

Bates, David - Bristol, UK
My interest in wine went from occasional to serious when I moved out to Davis California for a job as a research scientist at the Unviersity there. Being only 45 minutes from one of the worlds great wine regions meant we tasted inordinate amounts of wines from over a hundred wineries (reviewed on my home page). On returning to England 4 years ago my wife, Lucy, and I went to wine tasting classes in Leicester where we were introduced to European wines and became serious wine tasters. We moved to Bristol at the beginning of 1999 and set up our own wine tasting group (if you're interested, email me) to learn as much as possible. Favourite wines are Grand Cru Red Burgundy, Californian Chardonnay and Zin. (07/00)

Bell, Greg - New Zealand
After reading the mini bio's of a few others in the UK Wine Forums who's who, I didn't feel so intimidated by the whole thing. I have not been involved in wine for very long, in fact only about a year, but since then have started working for Montana Wines here in New Zealand. I am finding out what a wonderful experience wine can be, and it is great to be selling a product I can have such a passion for. One of the key reasons for looking up this forum is to soak up as much info as I can from people who would have a vast knowledge of the subject. Looking forward to sharing thoughts and ideas, and possibly a New Zealand perspective on things (11/00)

Bennett, David - Nottingham, UK
David is a 35 year old Optometrist, ie. He examines and prescribes spectacles, contact lenses as well as searching for eye diseases such as glaucoma (phew.. all in a days work). He is an unashamed Franco-wino-phile. His cellar borders on the 1000 bottles, which is far too many for his or his lovely wife Lucy's liver. Favouite grapes are the Riesling and the ubuiquitously seductive Pinot Noir. David is not a collector of trophy wines, believing that the truth is in the bottle, not in auction prices. However he has drunk a few of the well-known Bordeaux and decided that perhaps there maybe something in it! However his abiding passion is for the racy Riesling and sensual Pinot. He is an Alsace enthusiast, preferring to seek out small growers rather than big houses. David's addiction to wine started about 10 years ago tasting Chablis after a holiday skiing. Kimmeridgian vibes have coursed through his thoughts and feelings ever since. He finds it difficult to name his greatest bottle, as all bottles are great when combined with good company, food, and conversation. Being a forgetful type, he collects labels which will eventually decorate his cellar.....much embarrassment is caused in fine restaurants by this obsession, but his request is usually greeted with enthusiam by the somellier! David does have a vote for the best restaurant: L'esperance in Vezeley-sous-Pere in Burgundy. Sublime cooking in fabulous surroundings, superb staff and an outstanding Sommelier (no wonder it has a 2 ** rating). (01/00)

Benny, Paul - Cheshire, UK
Rhone, Loire, Yapp... for those who remember Robin Yapp's succinct summary of his business, although in my case it is (partly) based on favourite holiday destinations. On the same rationale, Alsace and Burgundy have also been added to the family favourites. But we do also make forays into the rest of the world, including just starting to discover the weird and wonderful world of German wine. Married - my wife has an unerring ability when tasing blind to prefer the most expensive in a group; two young daughters; work as accountant, currently in chemical industry (09/02)

Berlinghof, Markus - Weggis, Switzerland
My first intense "taste with wine" was after my 3 year-hotel-trainee in 2002 when I worked on a cruise line as bar & wine steward. Than in 2004 I succesfully got my Sommelier Diploma in Austria. Since there it`s more than a job and rather like the greatest passion that I have. In june 2005 I started working in Switzerland; Park Hotel Weggis (www.phw.ch), which in my opinion is one of the most exciting places to work with wine in Europe. Please look on the side for our wine-list. Now I`m preparing for the Advanced MS Exams and `looking forward for some interesting discussions on` board. (03/07)

Bernardo, Alex - California USA
I'm a partner in a wine shop based in Millbrae, California USA, a few miles south of San Francisco. We opened for business in 1998. Before that I've been working as a consultant for IDC, a high-tech market research company in Silicon Valley. I've been an avid wine consumer for the past 20 years. I've been collecting all sorts of wine for almost that length of time. Lately, I'm drinking more than collecting, sort of enjoying the fruits of my investments. I enjoy drinking practically any type of wine. But my heart is in white Burgundy and Port. In the last few years, though, my eyes have been opened to the wonders of Loire whites, especially Savennieres, Coteaux du Layon, and Touraine Sauvignon. These are some of the most complex and enjoyable wines in my opinion. And they don't hurt the pocketbook as much as white Burgundy and vintage Ports! Being from California, I also like to point out that I'm an avid fan and drinker of many California wines. Cabs from Napa, Pinot Noir from Russian River, and Sauvignon Blancs from Napa are some of my favorites. Lastly, my personal bias. I appreciate and understand wine best with food and especially with good company. I don't really believe in wine tasting, whether blind or otherwise, although in my profession I have to do a lot of wine tastings. But I always try to picture what I'm tasting with food so I could evaluate it better. (08/00)

Bevan, Benjamin - London, UK
I am an opera singer and I run a wine company in my spare time. When I am on contract I run yumyumwine.com from my lap-top in whichever strange city I find myself. I went straight into the wine trade after leaving school, working for Peter Dominic, Eldridge Pope and then Harveys of Bristol. I then helped set up Les Caves de Roscoff in Brittany. In 1993 I won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music to study singing. After a short stint at Glyndebourne I sang roles for English Touring Opera and in 2000 made my international debut at Lausanne Opera in Switzerland. I started yumyumwine.com in 2000. I am a hopeless oenophile and have wine collections in London and in Dorset. (02/02)

Blunsden, Andrew - Southampton, UK
I am a middle aged wine drinker living on the South coast of England. My love of wine has grown over the past thirty years helped by a wife with a better palate and the enthusiastic recommendations of friends, and wine merchants. I like lots of different wines and like to discover new ones. Favourite grapes are probably Pinot Noir for reds and Sauvignon Blanc for whites. Favourite wine areas are USA, Burgundy, New Zealand, Australia and Italy. Work in the IT industry. (07/13)

Blyton, Steve - Cambridgeshire, UK
An enthusiast, WSET Certificate, and at the moment self studying for advanced. My "desert island" wine would be Gewurtztraminer - happily marooned for a few weeks! Semi retired, former Community Education Manager. (05/01)

Bonner, Stephen R - Vancouver and London
Born, raised, and educated in the U.K. but a resident of Vancouver, Canada most of my life. Worked as a manager for Oddbins in the early 80's followed by the managing and wine buying for two of Vancouver's first private wine shops (Divino Quayside Wine Cellar and the Dundarave Wine Cellar). Currently the general manager and sommelier of the Waazubee cafe and editor of a British Columbia on-line trade publication ABV Alcohol by Volume. I have worked as a wine importer, educator, and restaurant consultant. I also organise wine and events in both Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, and Europe. (11/07)

Boulard, Francis - Reims, France
I am 46 years, speaking english not very well (please, sorry), starting wine enthusiast for few years, wine-maker and wine-grower since 1973 in a sparkling region in France, working in our family house with my brother and sister. Which wines do I prefer? All wine, when it is good: red, white, rosé, ... from all the regions, from France and abroad. www.champagne-boulard.fr (02/00)

Boyle, Steve - Essex, UK
Originally Glasgow, born, and Donegal, grew up, but been working and living in London since 1989, hence the current abode. Was an occasional wine drinker for a while, becoming more serious about ten years ago. Have a small, but continually depleting 'cellar'', made up of some mid range red Bordeaux, Sauternes, Nth Rhone, and a mix of Australian odments - Cullen, Parker Estate, Wendouree. I have two wonderful kids under 3 who have stopped me adding to the 'cellar' over the past few years, but I' m determined not to be denied... Other passions apart from family and wine - Arsenal and Celtic. Cheers to all. (05/05)

Brimblecombe, David - West Sussex, UK
I've had a serious interest in wine for about 20 years. A Chartered Loss Adjuster by profession, I decided to sit some WSET exams in the early 1990\'s just for fun. In 1999 I set up Wines Select, a business that specialises in supplying wine and champagne gifts to corporate customers. I later established a retail wine shop, The Guildford Wine Company in Surrey with Ben Watkins and later sold my share of the business to him. In 2010 I bought Champers Limited from Henry Speer and now run this alongside Wines Select. (10/12)

Brogden, Darren - UK
I've always enjoyed a drink or 2 but it wasn't until about 6 or 7 years ago that I was introduced to some fine Bordeaux wines by a friend in Hong Kong. It was a revelatory moment and I decided I really ought to explore this further. There followed WSET courses from intermediate through to the Diploma. Through the same friend and various contacts in South Africa I also decided to set up a company importing small boutique wines from South Africa after failing to find a wine I had tasted down there when I returned to the UK. This business remains my passion but I also fly 747s in order to fund this obsession. (09/12)

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Carley Jim - Chesterfield, UK
I became intrested in real ales around 4-5 years ago. I enjoy a good strong dark full bodied ale. I often visit the Batemans brewery in Wainfleet (lincs), where I am a member of the beer club. I also enjoy visiting my local pubs in Chesterfield. I also follow rugby union through Nottingham rufc, where my oldest son plays in their Academy. I've have been a Home-Help in Derbyshire for the past 5 years looking after people of various ages often taking them out on outings to the local countryside and several breweries in the area!! (01/05)

Chown, Chris - North Wales, UK - a.k.a. "Fawlty"
I am a chef and restaurateur (with rooms) in North Wales, at Plas Bodegroes in Pwllheli I was born in 1957, and am therefore expecting to share Mark Hawkins' 57 1st growths 50th party with minimal contribution for my own part. I am in the normally happy (and frequently horizontal) situation of having wine as an occupational hazard. I am proud of our winelist, which has won many awards including a GFG bottle symbol for 10 consecutive years. We have a particularly strong selection of halves (72 at the last count) which I believe to be useful for restaurant guests to experiment. I have learnt the little I know about wine through tasting samples for our list. I have done occasional tastings and have held wine and food evenings here. Sometimes I am fortunate enough to be offered a glass by a generous guest, the best of which remains Petrus 64. I also love Alsace, Provencale Rosé, Dujac's wines and old white Burgundy in general. And Guinness. Other hobbies include classical music, especially Mozart K466, SAAB cars, design, Welsh Rugby (I refuse to believe they can be beaten except by cheating, or maybe a better team), walking, photography, and fireworks, which I let off on any conceivable occasion. (06/00)

Clapperton, Neil - Angus, UK
A slow burn from the late 80's, starting with a love of sweet wines and the Rhone, now matured into a passion for the old world generally, especially France but also Italy, Austria and Germany. Still feel like a newbie and learning all the time. Amazingly just starting to discover Burgundy! And always amazed by the proliferation of wine areas and the huge range of grape varieties and styles on the planet (04/04)

Carlisle, - Tim Oxfordshire, UK
I'm 32 years old and currently work for a Christian charity, doing all sorts of administrative things, which sadly means that funds for buying wine are not exactly plentiful, however I manage, and it just means I need to be more canny when buying to look for value where value is. My great wine revelation came from an Uncle serving an '84 and and '88 Labagorce Zede at a lunch (where I was driving!) and seeing there was more to wine than I had thought - however I reckoned that price would be too much of an issue. 10 years later, I get married and honeymoon near Chateauneuf du Pape, and drink loads of Cote de Ventoux which is so much better than what I was drinking at home (Rosemount and Wolf Blass mainly!)and so much cheaper - my interest is again aroused! A £2.99 bottle of Montgras Merlot is also sadly to blame - up to this point it was either Australian or French and as I thought it (at the time) pretty good I decided to experiment with wines from all over the place. An Austrian Blaufrankisch another one that stands out. Slowly my tastes have refined, my favourite wines are those of Bordeaux - particularly right bank (in all honesty I've not drunk enough really decent left bank to know!) Rhone, and a new found love for the wines of St. Chinian from a recent holiday there. (10/06)

Carter, Damien - London, UK
I am 41 and although I am British by heritage (my father hails from Harrogate) I have lived here just over a year. I grew up in Toronto, Canada and had a five year diversion in New York City on my way to London. I am a former stockbroker, and now a full-time Dad. I can't remember a time that I did not drink wine, although it has only truly become an obsession in the last few years. Part of the fun for me is researching great wines for good value, be they £5 or £50 a bottle. (05/07)

Clark, Cameron - Rotterdam, Holland
First got intested in wine in 1987, when I celebrated finishing University by buying a complete cook in the oven meal from Freezeway in Stirling, and splashing out on the latest vintage of Montana Sauvignon Blanc. Spent 20 minutes that evening with my nose stuck in the bottle, not believing that such smells were possible (didn't actually taste as great when I got round to drinking it). Collecting started with one of Food and Drinks tv wine tastings, and originaly it was wine boxes, followed soon by German wines - used to be able to get a lot of BA and TBA wines from the 76 and 83 vintages at reasonable prices then. Current favourite for collecting is Shiraz, mainly Australian but also Nothern Rhone. NAPA Cabernet is a new toy, and I'm thinking of moving into the New Wave Spanish wines. Drink wise its white all the way. Seems to be a lot more diverse styles and grapes (Viognier, Chasselas, Fendant, Gruner Vlentler, Canadian Ice wine, Hunter Valley Semillon, Mosel Reisling etc). Currently in the process of trying to find a house with a big cellar in order to hold my 400 bottle collection, and allow for considerable expansion. (05/00)

Cochard, Mark - Philadelphia, USA
I am a pre-construction and conceptual estimator for a Philadelphia construction firm. My interest in wine began in the early 80's after college. I had a copy of Alexis Lichine's Wines and Vineyards of France. I bought a bottle of wine for my brother while on holiday. It was a Puligny-Montrachet, just a village wine. When I got home I opened up the book to see what I had bought.The book explained what it was and immediately decided to open it and forget my brother. I have been hooked ever since. I enjoy most wines of the world. I do not like over the top wines in oak or in fruit components. I dislike the American Oak when not used judiciously. Pinot Noir is my favorite grape enjoying them from CA, NZ, OR and Burgundy and of course PA. Also love Loire whites and reds, Rieslings from Germany and Alsace along with Tuscany and Piedmont are also favorites. I have the Higher Certificate with Distinction From the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. I am a Certified Wine Educator From the Society of Wine Educators(US based). I received the Banfi Vintners Scholarship Award for 2000 From SWE in conjunction with passing the CWE exam. I plan to start the WSET Diploma in January. I have worked at Chaddsford Winery (35,000 cases annually) outside Philadelphia since 1992 part time on the weekend retail staff. I teach classes for the general public, the winery retail staff and sections of the Higher Certificate. I generally lurk but have posted before. I enjoy the UK perspective to balance the US one. (08/01)

Collins, Bryan - Glasgow, UK
Originally from London, I'm now based indefinitely in sunny Glasgow (surely the best food and wine city in the UK, especially if you factor value into the equation). My wine interests are pretty broad but my cellar is heaviest in red Bordeaux and Burgundy, northern and southern Rhones, 'classic' fortifieds (I've got a particular soft spot for all types of Madeira) and non-Muscat based stickies. Unlike many of other contributors to the Forum I am strictly amateur; for my day job I'm a consulting actuary. And yes, I've heard all the jokes. (08/00)

Cookie - Nottingham, UK
I am 58 years old. I love wines with individual personality and character. I am very keen on Cotes du Rhones. I'm more into reds than whites though I keep a fair collection of Chablis and interesting Southern France whites. I read the Advocate, Decanter, Wine and Wine Spectator. I have just discovered the Wine Pages and find it very interesting. Well done! I've got into a new habit of looking you up daily. (02/00)

Crabb, Thom - London, UK
A Philosophy graduate farmer's son, with an interest in everything but a talent for none, I decided to start a wine business. We deliver fine, rare and interesting wines and spirits across the UK. I don't make much money, but I don't need a cellar and I have lots of friends. My formal training is modest (I am doing the Diploma this year), but my passion for wine keeps me learning. (02/01)

Crann, Melvyn - Bradford, UK
I live in Bradford and work in Leeds. I've been actively interested in wine for about 18 years (i.e. reading, involved in tasting groups, courses, although I've got round to visiting producers only in the last few years). Alas, as with most subjects, I find that the more I study the fewer the certainties. (09/00)

Crossley, David - Brighton, UK
I'm a wine obsessive (but otherwise quite a nice bloke) who, rather too swiftly approaching 50, has been enjoying wine for about 25 years. It all started with a bottle of Cantemerle 1978, proceeds of a Grand National sweepstake, a book by George Rainbird and a visit to Bordeaux/St. Emilion (where I met, by chance, Pascale Delbeck). Early highlights also came via the Rhone, especially Chave and Vernay, and Meursault (the wine drunk in the place followed by a post-prandial walk up the slope has become a key comfort). Trained as a barrister, I've mainly been a corporate type but, following a couple of years travelling circa 1990, I spent 2 years in the wine trade (which bagged me a WSET Diploma and were the best two working years of my life). Had to earn a bit more when the kids came along so now work as a sort of academic lawyer (I help put together postgrad progs in EU, Competition and International Copyright Law). My particular wine passions are Burgundy, Languedoc-Roussillon, Alsace and Italy. I have a weakness for seeking obscure wines (Entraygues, Irouleguy, Aosta, that sort of thing). I'm drinking fewer New World wines these days and trying to drink better Champagne. Wine for me is the food and the place too - we visit wine country at some point on virtually every holiday. But for me, the best thing about wine is the pleasure in sharing it. (05/07)

Cullen, Enda - Armagh, Northern Ireland
My first experience of wine was as an altar boy, I believe it was Sanatogen. During a school holiday I worked in Birmingham and bought a half bottle of Mundys (South African?). It took me two months of furtive drinking to finish it! I spent seven years in California and often took visiting friends to the Wine Country for wine tasting followed by Budweiser. As you can see a fairly unsophisticated introduction to wine. Approximately 10 years ago I was introduced to Wolf Blass Yellow Label and my taste buds took off. I now enjoy the safer New World reds and have a 1997 bottle of Armagh, to be opened this Xmas. I collect wines without any real knowledge and have Marquis D'Alesme-Beker 1995, Batailley 1995, Haut-Bages Liberal 1994, D'Issan 1985 and a few others in my utility room. The best or most significant wine I have every enjoyed was Muga Prada Enea Grand Reserva Rioja 1989. I welcome suggestions/recommendations from anyone, as I’m a complete philistine. When I retire from teaching I would love to import wines. (11/02)

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Davies, Mike - Surrey, UK
I am 41, work in the IT industry, am married with two small children (another due in October!) and have been serious about wine since about 1990. The cellar in our house (well Victorian Coalhole would probably be a more accurate description!) has around 4-500 bottles of Bordeaux, Champagne, other French regions, plus some US, Chile and OZ.... but OK, its mostly Bordeaux!! We have a small holiday cottage in the Dordogne about 40 minutes drive from Saint Emilion, from where we are "researching" the outlying wine areas of Saint Emilion + Satellites, Bergerac and once that new A89 motorway to Bordeaux is finished, the Medoc will be within about an hour. I am also the webmaster for WhatWhereWine.com. (06/00)

Davidsen, Leif - Southampton, UK
While I remember drinking wine from an early age with meals, it would be predominantly French, as thats what was available to drink then, sometimes being replaced with my father's home-made blakberry or gooseberry wine. In the early 90s I first branched out and started to learn about other wines, mainly Australian. My first experience was of a 'Vanishing Point' chardonnay from Oddbins, and then I was hooked. Spent 5 years doing regular wine tastings to acquire a palate. Now have a range of mostly new world wines for aging, drinking and enjoying. Favourites would be Shiraz, Zinfandel, and good pinot. I try to host regular themed wine-tasting parties. I know I have a long way to go in honing my palate, and I should get back in the habit of taking notes. But for now wine is to be enjoyed. (04/05)

Dee, Chris - Warrington, UK
An early developer - I started tasting wine as a 14 year old after buying Michael Broadbent's Pocket Guide to Wine Tasting in one of my sadder adolescent moments (as a life long York City FC supporter I needed all the entertainment and alcohol I could get - even at that age!). I was then lucky enough to find a local wine merchant's daughter as a girlfriend! I bored her to tears by reciting the 1855 classification of Bordeaux! This was the start to a career in the wine trade that includes a stint at Addison Vintners (now Handford Wines) in London, A chain in Leeds of my own called Vin ExtraOrdinaire and finally the Wine Buyer at Booths Supermarkets. I am now the Marketing & IT Director of Booths and miss my daily tastings and getting to take the decent samples home for tea! I've had a lifelong fondness for the wines from Languedoc - in particular Pic St-Loup. I adore obscure Italian varietals such as Ruche and wines from the South, especially Salento. Priorato in Spain sends me to heaven and back. I tolerate the new world but only just. When your hobby becomes your career it can sometimes destroy the passion and enthusiasm you start off with. Certainly there have been times when I wish I would not slurp when at the dinner table but I think wine is just one of those things that its impossible to remove the enjoyment from. (02/00)

Dellar, Paul - Colchester, UK
Developed from having a passing interest in wine to becoming a more serious collector/taster/drinker about 5 or 6 years ago. Since then have built up a collection of around 700 wines - a lot of red burgundy and bordeaux - but also Riesling (from just about anywhere), Chablis, Rhone and a spattering of Aus, SA, NZ (mainly Pinot in the latter's case) and other stuff. A lot of this is holed up at home along with my long- suffering wife ("it smells of grapes and alcohol") and 2 children. I am currently studying for my WSET Diploma in my spare time! (02/05)

Devlin, David - Aberdeen, UK
I am a 36 year old white collar worker in the oil industry. My interest in wine exceeds my knowledge at present, but I have a small circle of wine loving friends and slowly but surely I am gaining an education. Tom's Wine Pages is a constant source of inspiration and even at "wine of the week" level I'm amazed at just how much there is to learn about wine in terms of style and quality. Like many others on the forum I'm sure, I am now spending far more on wine than I would ever have dreamed possible a few years ago! Favourites: Australia, Bordeaux, Alsace and a weakness for good fizz. (02/00)

domenico, mariano - Italy
I am part of a 6 people company, that owns an italian wine and food on-line shop (www.gastarea.com). The focus of our store is on Piedmont wines: barolo, barbaresco, of cours but also all the other of the richest wine region in italy (some tuscan man may not subscribe this statement) :-) (03/03)

Douglas, Karen - Epsom, UK
I am a 42 year old lecturer, married with two children of 18 and 10. I teach wine courses, WSET Certificate and Higher and Catering and Hospitality Courses with responsibility for the Colleges training restaurant. I am also a trained Chef with a specialism in patisserie. I am qualified to Diploma level for which I gained Honours and the Alsace Scholarship. I hope to start my MW in January having taken a year out of study to improve my French, but realise I have not talent for languages. My favourite wine regions are Spain, Southern Rhone, my all time great wine was a Ridge Zinfandel from late 80's of which I found a case in the College cellars which had been delivered by mistake for some Zin Blush, It showed me the true potential of Zinfandel to age. I am football mad, and follow two teams, West Bromwich Albion my home team and Manchester United for the GLORY and knowing I can see them most weeks on the box. (06/00)

Dowling, Paul, Ireland but live in North Hampshire
My name is Paul and I live in Hampshire. I first got into wine when I worked in the catering trade many years ago but am glad to be out of it. I enjoy mainly red wines from Bordeaux, Rhone, Australia and anywhere else which makes wine in fact. As I am new to the Vinxchange I would like to meet/exchange/share wine experiences with any other members who live in the North Hampshire/Hampshire area. Like many of you I tend to buy more wine then I can drink. (03/07).

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Edwardes, Warren - London, UK
I set up Wine for Spice to provide a range of naturally semi-sparkling wines to accompany curries and spicy food. After all, if you don't drink warm flat beer with your curry, why drink warm flat wine with it? For me other than good quality, cool and sparkling be it beer, water or wine, are my requirements of a drink to go with a curry or spicy food - and no oak or tannin. see
wineforspice.com. My first taste of wine was a 10 year old altar boy at a Catholic Boarding School in Rajasthan, India in 1963 taking a sneaky swig when Father Bonaventure wasn't looking. memories came flooding back when I first tasted Vin Santo and Vin Doux Naturel decades later. I am a banking innovation consultant and former investment banker developing my taste for wine as a city dealer and as a corporate treasurer and have often been part of winning teams in wine tasting competitions. What was missing for me was a good selection of wines specifically created, and not just marketed, to be drunk with curries and spicy food. Many of the wines that are marketed as "curry wines" seemed to me as without any real character to them and merely bland and inoffensive "wine lake" surplus produce. (05/04)

Egge, Jan-Tore - Norway
I'm another thirty-something. Originally from Oslo, I now live in the cosy little town of Lillehammer, site of the 1994 Olympics, as its inhabitants are keen to point out. For a living, I sit at home and translate computer programs and manuals, EU directives and books (including a couple of wine books). My interest in wine began when I entered university in the mid-80s and read in the papers that 1982 was a terrific vintage in Bordeaux. I figured that if people could bother to write books about wine, it couldn't all be as bad as the stuff I tasted in my school years. So I started buying petits châteaux in half bottles which I drunk -- too young -- with my Saturday pork chops. I believe I've progressed a little bit since then. One of the benefits of having a paid job is that you can afford to buy slightly better wines than most students can. (My most lasting wine impression from a year in England doing an MA degree is drinking Lambrusco mixed with all kinds of nasty stuff in an initiation rite for a student society.) Anyway, things started to take off in the mid-90s, when I joined wine clubs and started going to organized tastings and reading wine magazines regularly. And one of the greatest pleasures these days is visits by wine producers. For instance, Gunter Künstler is coming to Oslo next week. Still, Oslo is 180 km away, which means there is quite a bit of travelling involved. I am a member of four wine clubs (including chairman of one and secretary of another), and all their tastings are in the Oslo area. I also like to visit wine-producing areas, but they're at least a couple of days' drive from here, so we don't do it as often as we'd like to. In fact, we haven't been to France since 2000, when our then 1 1/2-year old son got to see a few cellars in Burgundy and Alsace. Favourite wines? I'm afraid I'm turning more and more into an Old World OSCB, particularly since I haven't been outside Europe for a few years. France, France, France, Italy and Germany... (09/02)

Engelman, Kevin - USA
Aside from one year in the Piemonte as a teenager, I've spent my entire life in Cambridge (the one on the left side of the drink). I've been in the trade as a buyer since I was twenty years-old -- some twenty years ago. My personal oenological passions are Piemontese and Tuscan, which pretty well applies to my feeling about food as well. (03/00)

Eriksson, Joakim - Lund, Sweden
23 years of age. Beginning to build up my own cellar focusing on french quality wines. Like to travel to the wine districts (only been to Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux so far). I`m studying at the moment (law-school) and due to lack of income (well, not totally, but a very small) can`t buy as much wine as I would like. (02/01)

Evans, Steve - London, UK
I started getting into wine in the early '80s, when I realised it was pretty much the perfect hobby. It had all the best qualities of, say, stamp collecting (no, really!): obscure examples to track down, lots of insider knowledge to acquire, and new examples continuously being produced. Plus it was a lot more social, not nearly so anorak-y, it tasted nice, and (this was the clincher) I got to get drunk doing it. :-) Sadly, I no longer have a twenty-year-old's liver, and getting drunk is now something to avoid rather than a primary goal in life. I'm still hooked on wine though, especially now I'm more interested in good food. At twenty, food was just the fuel required to go parties, get drunk, and pursue women (almost always unsuccessfully, for some reason). Besides, my cooking was *horrible*. I'll drink just about anything, but my current faves are Riesling (surely the world's most under-appreciated grape variety), Pinot Noir (the world's most disappointing grape variety, but magical when you find a good one), and lesser-known reds from places that haven't succumbed to the tide of by-the-numbers Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz. (01/00)

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Fairclough, Rupert - Milton Keynes, UK
Started working for Oddbins at the tender age of 19 in the pre-Seagram days of the early '80's - drank a huge amount of wine and fell in love with all of it. Current passions are good Madiran and good Bergerac but I'm always partial to a decent German, old sweet Loire, right bank clarets, good Chablis, fresh young rose, most things from Margaret River and properly made Zinfandels. Then there's Austria - try some if you haven't, they're so good. Best ever wine: 1928 Marc Bredif Vouvray drunk 'sur place'. Biggest ever disappointment: 1970 Latour which just didn't taste of much. Happy drinking to you all. (04/04)

Farnham, Arthur - Cleveland, UK
Arrived in Britain in December from South Africa. With a keen interest in wine I have brought wine from two producers in South Africa. The aim is to distribute these wines throughout the UK. I am amazed at the absence of good quality South African wines available here. Maybe in my own way I can change this. Looking forward to the wine discussions on this board. (03/01)

Farris, Stephen - Canada
Though I have British connections - I passed my first year of life in Edinburgh and later three happy years at Cambridge - I am thoroughly Canadian. That is an advantage for ice hockey players but not, perhaps, for wine drinkers. I have always enjoyed wine but the interest escalated in the early 90's when I began visiting wineries in the Niagara region south of Toronto. Then an unwary relative gave me Oz Clarke's The Essential Wine Book and, well, I'm now probably as addicted to learning about wine as to drinking it. My finances dictate that I chiefly drink wines from lesser known regions or less fashionable producers. Whether from choice or pecuniary necessity, I enjoy finding more obscure wines and learning about their origins. At the least encouragement and sometimes with none whatsoever, I whip out an atlas and insist on showing guests or longsuffering family where the wine of the day comes from. I do, nevertheless, have a few more classic bottles stuffed away in the cellar and, if pressed, I must admit my preferences lie with them. In the end I fear I am nothing more than the contemporary version of a middle class Victorian, bushy whiskers, ample waistcoat and all, calling for my hock or claret. (12/00)

Fawthrop, Duncan - Nottingham, UK
I'm a 40-year-old accountant whose interest in wine has mushroomed since, 18 months ago, buying a house with a good, spacious cellar. I immediately put lots of racking in, and have spent a while experimenting with different styles of wine. I'm now firmly hooked on old world reds, and reckon on about 60% of the rack being French, 15% each for Italian and Spanish wines, with bits and bobs of Portuguese, Greek and new world. I'm also a big fan of Belgian beer (Poperinge Hommelbier, La Moneuse and Westvleteren are faves), so I don't find it hard to justify my fairly frequent trips across the channel to stock up. I have a very understanding (resigned?) partner, and 2 kids who would call me much ruder names if they didn't enjoy their weekend breaks so much. (03/01)

Featherstone, Adam - London, UK
I am mid-30's and love food and wine. As my career developed my drinking expanded from real ale's into wine. The tipping point was visiting the Cape at the end of the millenium...who could fail to fall in love with wine in that setting, with that food and gorgeous outdoor weather. Now I drink most wines with particular favourites being France, Port, SA, NZ, stickies. I am currently trying to pursuade my other half that I need to build a cellar for my 2 year old...you never know it might work :) (06/06)

Febles, Pedro - Florida, USA
I began my wine appreciation from my living in Madrid, Spain for 2 years in 1970-72. While there, I was able to travel to the regions of Valdespena, Ribera del Duero and of course, Rioja. The world have not known these wines yet, but I am happy to say I was there first. Later, I moved to Florida, USA and eventually back to Europe where I met and married a French girl from Seine et Marne (77) near the Champagne region. In my many trips to France thereafter I have visited all the great wine regions of France from 1990 on; while continuing to visit my old Spanish bodegas. I do not considered myself a wine collector even though I have a small collection. Mainly I love to drink them. Of course my main areas are France and Spain in that order but I have tasted wines from Italy, California and Washington, Chile, Argentina and Australia. Thank you Tom, for the opportunity to converse with other wine lovers of planet Earth. (07/00)

Fincham, Daron - Telford, UK
I'm 40 next birthday, originally from Cambridge. I only became seriously interested in wine in 1995, being properly introduced by my best man Tim, an Australian enthusiast. Hence my 'cellar' (literally under the stairs: 240 bottles at an average price of £10 in the range £4 - £34) comprises 25% Shiraz. However a dear friend, Nick, revealed to me "the glory that is claret" and so a further quarter of my stock is Bordeaux. Nick also ignited my passion for Chateau Musar which accounts for 1 bottle in every 10 that I squirrel away. With tastes like these I inevitably fell in love with the Rhône, again 10% of my hoard. The remaining 30% is 'miscellaneous', from pinot noir to Port. I find Barolo and Burgundy (both of which I love) the most difficult to achieve an acceptable quality to price ratio. Shiraz lovers usually love red Rioja and I'm no exception - it's the vanilla. I'm a summer Loire red drinker, but rate the sweet white Coteaux du Layon more highly. California is a black box - I haven't a clue, nor the wallet! I have become a great fan of Chilean cabernet sauvignon, Argentinian malbec and South African 'Bordeaux blends'. As to whites - my favourite is Riesling from Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. I love Tokay-pinot gris and the mighty gewurztraminer from Alsace and 'New World' sauvignons, but chardonnay is love/hate with me. I'm not a great fan of fizz, unless its sparkling shiraz! I simply crave botrytis wines from any grape variety. I have a strange fascination with Romanian pinot noir (It's the volatile acidity thing: farmyardy smells wrapped up in a silk purse made from a pigs ear.) Which brings me to the annual pig roast and wine tasting at Chateau Fincham:
www.wlv.ac.uk. (01/00)

Finn, Peter J - Puisserguier, France
I am 48 from Belfast originally but settled here in the best wine growing area of France and probably the best growing are in the Languedoc, noted for their very fine reds and rosés. I have several hectares which I manage for the COOP of Puisserguier and over the years had spent some time trying to promote wine from this area. My attempts to push wine from here to Ireland and England has now borne fruit over the last 15 years and those who were in the vanguard many long years ago are now common on the shelves of your supermarkets. I have noted a complacency in the products from the individual growers: that their products are and will remain standard. I run wine tastings and have offered many visitors a taste of the very fine delights that exist in the wines and the vins doux naturels of this area which are becoming very very fashionable. I have launched several projects of this nature in Wine and Decanter and feel that despite my involvement I have a solid approach to the wines from here and France particularly. I am interested in growing grapes and wine without recourse to some of the more favoured pesticides and herbicides which are sufficient to make mad cow disease look gentle in comparision. I am more interested of late in the sociological aspects of wine and its culture - notably in the shaping of our current religions. The "false friend" as wine is often portrayed does have a part to play in social interaction and the solidarity of those who have cirumvented the snobbery has a real foundation. (03/00)

Flavin, Shay - Connecticut, USA (Originally London)
I'm 46 married with two sons. Have had an interest in wine since being the delivery boy for a chain of wine merchants as a teenager and I still have not lost that early-developed love for the wines of Germany. Current loves are anything from the Rhone, California Pinot's and having just returned from two weeks in Northern Italy, Barolo, Barbera's, Barbaresco's, Valpolicella's and Amarones (not to neglect those lovely Muscat d'Asti's). (09/00)

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Garrett, Ian - Bradford, UK
Currently the co-ordinator of Bieres Sans Frontieres, the International bar at GBBF, a position I have held for 4 years. During this time I have been able to expand the range of beers available and introduce many new beers to the British public. I have organised many tutored tastings at GBBF, featuring Michael Jackson, Tim Webb, Fred Eckhardt, Lorezo d'Above and others. I assisted in research and provided advice for the DK book 'Drinks' by Vincent Gasnier. (06/06)

Gibson, Jonny - Sussex, UK
I got the wine bug whilst working in the marketing dept at IDV (now Diageo) looking after Smirnoff and Croft Port in the late 80s. They put you through the trade exams and I kept going until a passed my WSET Diploma. I ran a design agency in the 90s with loads of well known drinks brands as clients before deciding I'd had enough of big business and trains and it was time to move out of London and head for the country. I'd always loved tracking down new wines on my travels abroad for friends and family, and set up Wine Discoveries in 2003 on the back of their positive feedback. The spare room and barn has turned into a warehouse with a dedicated team and rave reviews in the wine press for our 'great wines from small producers'. Life's too short for boring wines. Look out Jonny Boden - here we come!
www.winediscoveries.co.uk. (10/06)

Goldberg, Simon - The Wirral, UK
I was born in Westminster in 1955, and moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1961, and South Africa in 1967. I discovered wine at university in Johannesburg in about 1975 and have been an enthusiastic taster ever since. I returned to England in 1998 and am living in Lincolnshire, where I am a Lecturer in Computing at Boston College. Over the past 30 years I have been a member of a multitude of wine clubs and societies, and have done courses through the Cape Wine Academy and the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). I'm afraid I am not as active in wine tasting circles as I used to be. I think this is a result of having finally moved into a career that I enjoy (teaching), as well as living in such a remote location that I can hardly ever get to wine tastings. But my passion for wine remains undiminished, and I am a notorious wine tourist. I have visited wineries in England, Champagne, Chablis, the northern Rhone, Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, the Finger Lakes, Michigan, Oregon, California, as well as most South African wine regions. I enjoy wine of just about every type and price range. My favourites are probably claret, dessert wines, and full bodied red wines with exotic flavours such as Zinfandel and Pinotage. I also love discovering unusual wines. (05/00)

Goode, Jamie - London, UK
I'm a thirty-something wine writer from Twickenham, West London. As well as publishing a successful consumer wine website, wineanorak.com, my writing credits include Decanter, Wine Magazine and Harpers Wine and Spirit Weekly. I also pen a weekly wine column for The Western Mail, the national daily newspaper of Wales. But aside from all this, I'm just another wine nut who buys too much wine... Favourite regions include Portugal, the Languedoc and the Northern Rhone, but I'm pretty catholic in my tastes. Other mini-obsessions include guitars, golf and Manchester City. (01/00, updated 03/03)

Gravell, Dan - London, UK
I am a newcomer to wine having built up an enthusiasm over the last year or so. I am beginning to become more and more serious, slowly building up a cellar where I can afford it. I was introduced to wine at a fairly early age by my parents, initially joining in on the Sunday lunch bottle diluted with tonic water (!) from about five years old before being allowed to drink full glasses from when I hit double figures. My parents' passion was Rioja, so that was my first reference point exploring wine. My initial passions since those days and becoming a more serious enthusiast have been Burgundy and Bordeaux having toured those areas and sampled many (although not enough) of the wines. However, being very much a novice I could not claim any wine to be my favourite, as I have so much to learn and so much to explore. I am looking to investigate more New World regions, particularly Australia and where budget allows the US, as well as broadening to Italy in the Old World. I'm looking forward to furthering my education on this web site. (01/05)

Gowda, Nayan - London, UK
My first memorable wine experience was at a Bernie Inn (!) for a friend's eighteenth birthday. My friend's father suggested a 1982 Cru Bourgeouis (unfortunately both Chateau and Commune long since forgotten) to wash down our steaks. I vaguely remember the flavour of dark fruits and the smell of cedar, but the texture still remains firmly in my mind. It was the closest I would ever be to drinking velvet. That set me on my quest to repeat the experience, which although I have had many excellent bottles since, has as yet evaded me. Still searching though - and enjoying (nearly) every glass along the way. (02/01)

Guntermann, Rainer - Essen, Germany
Lawyer working in Essen - Germany; getting into wine in ancient times when going to school/university in the mid of the 70s. Preferred regions Moselle & Rhine, Loire, Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Douro (Port). Since the beginning of the 90s adding Piedmont and at the turn of the millenium Graubünden & Wallis from Switzerland to my favourite wine regions. Other interests are cooking, golfing and our roses. Found this community when searching for my British friends after they left the Squires/Parker board. (07/12)

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Hambleton, Chris - UK
I am a wino through and through - I have been 'in the wine trade' from the monday after I left university. No gap years, just nine and a half years of immersing myself in what my friends view as one long gap year. A start at Majestic, hard work but immense fun where I learnt a hell of a lot about work ethic, customer service, my physical limits and how to lose 2 stone in 2 months. Year one of diploma at Majestic and thence to Sainsburys and year 2 (old style diploma completed at 23 which I suppose I'm proud of, although I daresay plenty of forumites did it before then) where I met plenty of interesting people on the buying and supplier side and JS missed a huge opportunity in not capitalising on the people they had recruited from accross the UK wine sector - some of my contemporaries remain the most talented and honest wine retailers I have come accross. Onwards to Hayward Brothers wines to learn on sales and buying and an invaluable en primeur buying trip. I have been lucky enough to visit all sorts of wine regions through promotions, buying trips, busmans holidays and in recent years as host of wine tours. Throughout all of these jobs I was asked to present portfolios or host dinners/ wine tastings for all of my employers and after someone asked how much they owed me for doing one such dinner it dawned on me that this might actually be a good plan. With baby number one on the way most people would be looking for a promotion but I decided to be 'stay at home dad' and launch my business, Champagne Tuesdays, providing wine tasting events to corporate and private clients. I'm happy to say that my daughter (and my business!) is now 4, and still keeping the bills paid (the business not the daugther!). I am also a WSET Advanced level tutor, which I enjoy enormously and I was commisioned for my first book a year and a half ago which will finally be published in September in the US, it's called The Wine Planner. Not my concept, but all my writing. These days I work with people with great presentation skills, great wine knowledge and who are my friends, plus I get to see my 2 kids grow up first hand and I get to drink great wines while working. I love all sorts of vino, from Champagne to vintage madeira, a breadth of likes at a relatively young age that I owe to Marek Wilhemowski and Jon Jackson at Majestic. Wine pages is an excellent resource and the forum a refreshingly open and straightforward, well, forum. Tom, the Romans would be proud. (07/08)

Hamilton, Will - Berwickshire, UK
I am a 40 year old farmer from the Scottish Borders farming arable, beef and sheep. I've been fascinated by wine for nearly 15 years now although in the last 5 years it has become an obsession. Like many other contributors my ability to spend hard-earned cash on my hobby does not meet with overwhelming approval from my wife. I enjoy wine at all price levels from all parts of the World. I usually have a particular area of interest at any one time (currently the Rhone/South of France). Burgundy from Chablis to Beaujolais is a frequently occurring theme and I have a huge soft spot for the wines of New Zealand. (TNs for Kiwi wines will be unashamedly biased). I started a cellar about 4 years ago using commercial storage for long-term/in bond and a cabinet at home for medium-term. Red Burgundy accounts for a fair proportion but I have quite a cross section of Old World wines and a smattering of New World. I have taken both the Higher and Diploma WSET courses winning special awards at both levels (05/00)

Havers, Paul - UK
It all started with the first bottle (doesn't it always. Then the interest went further and further, to such an extent that it became a hobby and a bit of a passion. Then one day my Programming career came to an end and it was a golden opportunity to do what I wanted to do but kept uming and arring about it. I decided to take the plunge and open my own Wine Merchants and am still running it today. (01/05)

Hawkins, Mark - E Sussex, UK
I am 42 and gained an interest in wine in my teenage years through my father who kept a very good cellar. My interest really took off at University in the mid 70's at which time I started amassing a serious wine collection. I have a cellar of around 2,000 wines, principally : Bordeaux - red and sweet, Burgundy - red and white, Alsace - mostly VTs and SGNs, Champagne, Cote Rotie, Italian reds from Piedmont, Tuscany and Veneto, some Australian shiraz and Californian zins and oddballs and Port. I have a large collection of wines from 1957, my birth year. I am a keen cook and enjoy theming wine and food tastings. Wines that currently excite me are Greek reds, Californian italian varietals and NZ pinot noirs. Living where I do enables me to get over to France very easily and I have established some close personal friendships with growers in Champagne, Chablis, Alsace, Cote D'Or and Loire Valley. When I'm not drinking wine I'm either reading about it or asleep. (06/00)

Hersh, Roy - Washington, USA
Roy has worked in the food and wine industry for over 25 years and currently is the Executive Vice President of Table Bay International, an importer & marketer of South African wine and related products. He is a member of the Sommelier Society of Washington, DC, and the Enological Society of Seattle. In his free time, he travels extensively throughout the wine-growing regions of North America, Europe and Africa. Roy has been involved in consulting projects for restaurants, country clubs and various wine-related ventures. A couple of years ago, he won the Bacchus Award as "Restaurateur of the Year" from an Oregon wine group when he was directing the purchasing and beverage programs for a chain of Italian restaurants on the West coast. Roy has also served as a professional wine judge since 1999 for the New World International Wine Competition in California, and was a judge on the panel of the Oregon State Fair Professional Wine Competition in June 2002. Considered one of the leading Port wine authorities and writers in the United States, Roy is a passionate student of wines from around the world. He has taught classes and written many articles on wine, most of which were specifically related to Port and Madeira. He maintains an unassuming collection of vintage Ports and an extensive library which is dedicated exclusively to tomes on Porto and Madeira. Once a year, Hersh hosts a renowned Port tasting near his home, in the Seattle area. Port-related E-mails can be directed to Roy at
PortoLover@aol.com. (11/02)

Hesford, Jonathan - Barnsley, UK
I was a (slightly obsessive) wine consumer until Sept 11 2001 turned our lives upside down. We decided to change our lifestyle and become winemakers. I took a WSET course followed by a postgraduate diploma in viticulture and oenology at Lincoln University in New Zealand where my obsession helped me top the class. After graduating I was the assistant winemaker at Neudorf Vineyards before moving back to Europe and buying our own small vineyard and winery in the Roussillon. My aim is to make the best wines in the region, combining my experience of the world's wines, New World techniques and the local wisdom and terroir. As a former consumer I'm particularly averse to any falsity in the wine business. I believe that great wine stems from integrity. (05/07)

Hess, Wolfgang - Sweden
I am an Official Sherry Educator - passionate about all Sherry and Manzanilla wines, especially matching with them with food. I lead Sherry Seminars and tastings for wine aficionados and professionals, especially in the field of gastronomy. I also organises Sherry Appreciation courses and run a blog in Sweden about Sherry. I am also the Founder of the "World Sherry Day™", which was held the first time ever on the 26th of May 2013, the 80th anniversary of the article 34 of the Wine Statute that gave the legal status, the Denomination of Origin Jerez-Xérès-Sherry I am involved in production, projects, sales and marketing in the wine, beer and whisky industries. As a Master of Whisky and a Master of Malt, I organize and lead lectures, tastings and group travels to the distilleries of Europe. I started my career as a trained chef and then gained a diploma as a state-certified Hotel & Catering Manager at the highly renowned Hospitality Management School in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. I have many years of experience in the gastronomy and wholesale to the industry. My expertise is also valued at fairs, where lectures and tastings are held in English, Swedish and German with an entertaining twist. (02/13)

Hetherington, Kevin - UK
I have been interested in wine for about 20 years. When I was growing up the only wine we drank at home was Hock, Mateus Rose, Lambrusco and the occasional bottle of Mouton Cadet. I discoved Oddbins in Glasgow in 1985 and educated myself by buying a different bottle each week. I graduated on to independent merchants, En Primeur, and buying at auction later. My favourite wines are Cote Rotie, mature Bordeaux (especially Pauillac)and Corton Charlemagne. Oldest wine drunk: 1928 Rausan Segla; Greatest ever bottle: 1962 Lynch Bages (wine society bottling); greatest bargain: 1976 Conn Creek Napa Cab Sauv (£11). (10/06)

Higgins, Paul - Belfast, UK
Frustrated wine nut i.e. always searching for that sublime wine at a bargain of course. (12/0)

Hill, Sharon - Lyon France ( or Swindon UK )
Although I'm young ( 20 ) my earliest memories for wine date back to when I used to sneakily sip from my parents wine when they weren't looking. I'm originally from the London area and I moved to Lyon ( France ) 3 years ago to continue my career as a professional ice dancer. Things happened and I stopped skating and now I work for WorldMarechal ( www.worldmarechal.com ). I don't know all that much about wine ( I just know I love it ) and I'm learning all the time. Our sommelier Yannick Joseph helps me in my choices, but I really do know what I like! Anyway, I love working in the wine and fine food industry, and I really do feel like I've found a dream job! (11/00)

Hills, Trevor - Surrey, UK
I've been a reasonably serious wine drinker for about 15 years and I have recently completed my home cellar, a long held ambition. I've enjoyed travelling to many wine growing areas, especially in France and California. My favourite wines are from Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace, Rhone and Provence, and Zinfandels figure somewhere too. I live in Surrey and work in Central London. Always up for a tasting when I'm not looking after my two young children. Also, I've organized wine and golf tours to France for groups of friends and would be happy to get involved with fellow wine lovers who see this as an ideal combination for couples who don't both love wine and golf, but just one of those, and heaven if you're into both. (06/00)

Hilyer, Patrick - Normandy, France
I'm a restaurateur in Gavray, Normandy, currently researching a book on French oenotourism called "French Vineyards". Apart from my professional wine interests I chair a local wine circle and organize tastings and events. (2008)

Holland, John - Warwickshire, UK
I have Champagne tastes (Bollinger Grand Année 1990, Pol Roger 1990, Mailly Gand Crû Blanc de Noirs) and beer money (Banks's Mild, Marston's Pedigree, Fuller's London Pride). It is great to meet up with fellow sufferers on the Web for mutual support, who have also chosen the path of temperance. (10/00)

Holland, Neil - London, UK
I'm a 30 something wine-lover from London. Have loved large chunky southern Rhone style reds for ages and am trying to educate myself to the joys of Bordeaux an area that has previously baffled me. The purchase of a wine storage cabinet a couple of years ago allowed me to begin to buy some wines to lay down, unit now full and need to move the everyday drinkers back out to a wine rack. Have notice my tastes change over the last couple of years towards more elegant claret style wines rather than fruit bombs although I still need a big hit - was not over impressed with Leoville-Barton 1986 at recent tasting - lovely delicate wine just too lightweight for my tastes. The thing I love about wine is that no matter how much you have learned there is always stacks more to find out. (10/05)

Holt, Chris - Cambridge, UK
I'm a 34 year old wine enthusiast who first got into wine seriously with a bottle of Montrose's Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon about seven years ago (still not able to find it anywhere! ). Since then I've been exploring mainly reds from the New World but am starting to dabble in the old. I love Tom's "Cheapies" page. (01/00)

Holt, Gavin - Eastbourne, now in Lincoln UK
A sherry enthusiast with 10 years marketing & buying experience. Holder of WSET Diploma and HND Wine Studies from Plumpton College. Currently working at Steep Hill Wines, Lincoln. (03/05)

Hope, Laura - Bristol, UK
My interest in wine stemmed from a year spent in Chile where I did research for my undergraduate dissertation on the modernisation of the Chilean wine industry. After graduating I started working for Majestic Wine and I'm still there nearly 2 years later. Despite the long hours and hard work I love working in the wine industry, albeit in the retail sector. The company has already sponsored me through the WSET Higher certificate, for which I was awarded an A with distinction, and is currently paying for me to study for the Diploma. My first love will always be Chilean wine, but like most people my age I also go for the great Aussie Shiraz, New Zealand Sauvignon and good South African Pinotage. In my wine rack presently however I have a few nice bottles of Bordeaux and some champagne. My favourite white at present has to be a good Condrieu and red is a toss up between Chateau de Beaucastel 2000, Yalumba Octavius and Montes Folly. I'd really like to get into wine writing more seriously after the success of my dissertation so if anyone has any tips...Cheers! (04/04)

Hopwood, Joel - Bristol, UK
I am the wine buyer/manager for a small chain of shops in Bristol. We are primarily Italian wine specialists, but we also have a pretty good range of Southern French wines which we ship ourselves. I've only been in this business properly for a few months, but I've been interested in wine for about 3 years now (I'm 23). Main loves: Sangiovese, Champagne. Main hates: Young, stalky, green Bordeaux. Greatest ever bottle: Brunello Riserva 1988 Vigna del Fiore, Fatt. dei Barbi, on Christmas day 1999. Biggest disappointment: 1970 Leoville-las-Cases (01/00)

Horton, George - England, UK
Likes: Musigny, Vigna Cicala, Lafite, Piesporter Goldtropfchen and Clos ste Hune. Dislikes: Sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and oak (02/01)

Houghton, Gill - Originally Southport, UK. Now Cividale del Friuli, Italy
I'm ever nearing the big 40 and have been in the wine business for the last 10 years when a year in Italy to learn the language became a habit and I entered through the back door into one of the most well-known estates from the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of Italy - Marco Felluga. I left Felluga in July of this year and am now responsible for P.R. for the Colli Orientali del Friuli Producer's Association. Great fan of wines from this area which I feel are little known and understood. (12/01)

Howard, Jane - Northampton, UK
Married with two small children, I love wine and everything to do with wine. I hold monthly wine-tastings for friends in my village which are very popular and great fun. I have completed the WSET Basic and Higher Certificates and would love to go on to do the Diploma one day. My favourite wines are from Burgundy, especially Mercurey and Rully but I also have a great passion for Vouvray. (04/00)

Howard, Paul - West Yorkshire, UK
I've been into wine for around 20 years following a holiday in Beaujolais. I visit wine areas as much as I can and can't imagine a holiday without vineyards around. Burgundy is my passion and where I hope to end my days and I go to buy there at least once a year. I also visit Champagne regularly. Other French visits include Loire, Rhone, Alsace, Bordeaux, Languedoc, and Cognac. I've also been fortunate to visit parts of Spain, Italy Greece, California, New York State and Canada. My tastes are fairly Catholic but Burgundy is King. Some of my favourites include Chandon de Briailles, Rapet, Javillier, Leflaive and Guillemot-Michel. I also love California e.g. Bonny Doon and Ridge. I believe in the potential superiority of Biodynamic wines and hope to see this environmentally-friendly philosophy gain ground in the UK and around the world. I am also a member of the “Slow Food” movement. As a part-time wine educator I run courses and tastings for groups in West Yorkshire and would like to see more wine events take place in the North of England as opposed to just in London. Likes: what's in the glass, individuality, good wine writing. Dislikes: Industrial/chemical wines. (09/04)

Hughes, Rob - East Sussex, UK
In a nutshell I'd class myself as a late-developing burgundy - large, round and fruity, with the briefest hints of compost heap and wet earth. A hedonistic and self-deprecating wine-groover, I've been drinking heavily now for some considerable time - my first champagne was at the age of 4 - there's been no let up since then really. It's only recently, with the onset of an improving bank balance - marginally positive rather than overtly negative - that I've been able to take it all a bit more seriously. My father grew up with the classic flavours and smells of european wine - his father had worked in a small Midlands wine merchants for a long time - and managed to transmit all those tastes and predispositions to me. With strong German family connections, I spent most of my early life quaffing good rieslings from the moselle and rhein which, back then, were quite a bit more affordable than they are now. I don't think we could afford beer back then but somehow, we always managed to find bargains - Dad once came home grinning having scored a bottle of 1961 or 62 Yquem for £3 in Sainsbury's! Things have moved on since then and, apart from strong interests in the unusual values to be found in regional france, I have developed strong leanings towards some well aged and characterful Australians. I'm always up for some serious tasting, and often the more unusual the subject the better. For instance, I was recently at a tasting of Australian Wines run by Mr Benson and was privileged to experience a 1928 Para tawny port there - fantastic, absolutely fantasic - green tinged it was all acetone, and chocolate, toffee, dates and figs. Unforgetable. I've a small cellar that keeps itself naturally cool and humid and contains a moderate stock of fine and everyday wines. (02/01)

Hunt, Jeremy - London, UK
I am in my mid-thirties, married with three young daughters. I have been interested in wine for some time and have accumulated quite a number of bottles. My favourite wine types are Champagne, Rhône, claret, Sauternes, Burgundy and Italian. I am not good at writing tasting notes on the wines I taste, which is a pity as I have attended many superb tastings. I am attempting to address this, along with my inability to translate my tasting experiences into words, so that I can post some TNs on this forum! (04/00)

Hyam, Aaron - London, UK
I've enjoyed wine for many a year now, but have only relatively recently become more serious about the subject, through reading and pulling more corks. It's the smells and tastes which show up on the radar but remain tantalistingly out of reach and indescribable that matter for me; the wines that you can still "taste" several days later in the back of your mind (recently a 1970 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva and a Domaine A Fume Blanc), and even the ones that you don't think you particularly like at the time but that stay with you, nagging you to try them again because there was a certain something that was new, or different (recently a Gagliole Bianco 2001 - I don't think I'll get over this one until I have another bottle!). (07/07)

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I'Anson, Tom - Gloucestershire, UK
I grew up here in the Cotswolds, but whilst studying Architecture in Edinburgh, I was lucky enough to work for Justerini & Brooks. This was my introduction to wine. ever since then, nearly 15 years ago, i have keep in touch with a number of tasting groups. It was family reasons that brought me south again and with the move south, I made the decision to get out of my career in property and start a small independent wine merchants. I love it. I enjoy the people, the tastings, the business and mostly I love the wines. (06/13)

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Jamison, Georgy - London/France/Oz
Growing up in France I've always appreciated a good wine and very much enjoyed many. My Fiance has always taken an active interest in wine but neither of us have every really done much about it. Our recent holiday to the Haut Medoc to go surfing was a rain wash out so we went round the chateaux of the region to fill our days! and that's it were hooked. (08/05)

Jenkins, David - Chester, UK
I am 36 years old and work in the telecoms industry. I have been drinking wine for 10 years+, but only in the last 2-3 years have I really taken any great interest and only in the last 12 months actively. I hope to broaden my knowledege with regards to all aspects of wine and have recently purchased books on the subject. I have no great preferences with regards to wine at present, it really depends on the weather and the mood myself and my wife are in. I have various friends and relations who have a great interest in wine and I suppose they have spurred me on. (03/00)

Jenkins, David - London, UK
Needed to get round to this, having lurked/occasionally posted for a few months now. I've always been into wine, through family and a brief stint as a wine waiter when a student. My interest went up a notch on a visit to Burgundy in 1998 when I ended up buying so much wine that the rear axle of my car nearly broke. Realised about six months ago that I had a lot of wine lying around, but didn't really know when best to drink it so stepped up my research and hence found this site. Main interests are (boringly) red Burgundy and Bordeaux - I'd like to branch out into Italians, Australians and Rhone but I figure it will take me at least 10 years to really get to grips with Burgundy, unless I strike it rich and can just drink La Tache every day and not worry about anything else. (11/03)

Jenkins, Julia - St Albans, UK
I have been involved in the wine trade in the UK for over 20 years and now run my own independent wine merchant company in St Albans, Herts. The company is an innovative one offering distinctive quality wines from around the world that are not widely available on the high street. We do many tastings throughout the year with guest winemakers and I also travel as extensively as possible tasting as I go! Next on the list is South Africa. (02/04)

Jenkins, Mick - Johannesburg, South Africa
I'm a pom living in Johannesburg. We moved here from London in April 1998, supposedly for a period of three years, but we've now been here for five plus, and are in no particular hurry to return. I started buying a bit of wine to build up a cellar before we left the UK, but have only really become serious about it since moving to South Africa. Initially, this was driven by SA wine and trips to the Cape Winelands. However, a dinner in 2000 at which we drank a few 1990 Bordeaux reminded me what I had been missing, and since then I've tried to buy and taste more foreign wines, while still drinking plenty from SA. An air-conditioned room in our house serves as a cellar - currently about 2/3rds South African and the rest a mixture of Bordeaux, Rhone, Champagne, Italian, and whatever else from overseas can be bought locally, or lugged back from trips to the UK. I'm a member of a couple of tasting groups and have also done some courses with the Cape Wine Academy (which I believe are recognised by WSET). (07/03)

Jenkins, Neil - Liverpool, UK (now resident in Germany)
I am a 35-year-old scouser and have been interested in wine for something like ten years after reading a magazine article by that most inspiring of people, Jancis Robinson. However, it's only over the last four years or so that I've become truly hooked and keen to learn more. I had the privilege to live and work in Madrid from where I was able to get to know the wonderful wines of Spain and to tour some of the surrounding wine areas, such as La Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Now I live in Frankfurt, from where I can access some of Germany's finest winemaking regions. I am in the process of (slowly!) studying for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust's Higher Certificate by remote study and have recently re-ignited my winemaking activities (one of the sad aspects about being in the contractor world is that you never live anywhere long enough to grow vines!!). I am a relatively new reader of Tom's Wine Pages, but now I know that I need look no further for my web-based wine info! My own
embryonic site with its loose ends is easily put to shame by the Wine Pages and the new UK Wine Forum. Congratulations to you all!! (01/00)

Jerrim, David - Leamington Spa, UK
I'm 27 and am a fan of blockbuster Oz wines. My wife claims her biggest mistakes were buying Oz Clarkes Wine Guide a couple of years ago and Clarke and Spurrier's Fine Wine Guide last year. I'm looking forward to collecting more than I drink as I now have a garage to store some wines in. My racks (such as they are) currently contain offerings from Grant Burge, Yalumba and Jim Barry, which I have so far resisted the urge to drink. I'm hoping to gain a good appreciation (collection) of French wines with help from this forum, although my wife tells me I should stick to Tom's "Cheapies" section :-) (01/00)

Johnson, Paul - London, UK
I'm a journalist working for the BBC. Relatively new to wine and studying, and getting anxious about doing, the WSET Advanced. Having been to the Loire, Bordeaux, and South Africa I tend to focus in on wines from these areas although with offlines and more tastings I'm not ruling anything out. (10/01)

Johnston, Evelyn - Glasgow, Scotland
I am a Lab Technician working at Strathclyde University. Previously I have worked at both Stirling and Glasgow University. Like a fine wine, I am still in the process of maturing in the wine tasting world. I still need many many years of cellaring to become more than just an enthusiastic drinker. My passion for wine was ignited by attending 3 wine appreciation classes given by David Morgan. At the end of the year I had gained a little knowledge (a dangerous thing) and a liking for red wine. In 2002 I attended the WSET intermediate certificate which was a birthday present from an understanding husband (payback for all the waterfalls I am dragged to look at). I hope to continue learning by, work permitting, enrolling in the advanced certificate. I participated in Superbowl 2002 (roll on 2003) and was swept away by the wines and the knowledge of the attendees. I enjoy most new world wines especially Californian Zinfandel and New Zealand Pinot Noir. I now drink more red than white so maybe in a few years time I can learn to appreciate French wines. (07/03)

Jones, Paul - London, UK
My interest in wine took off four years ago with a wedding gift of a case of white Burgundy. A confirmed Francophile (although sadly not Francophone) my purchasing tends to lean towards the French stuff, although with two young children I have yet to taste any of the real greats. My big achievement of the last two years was understanding the AC/domaine/vineyard situation in Burgundy - but that took nearly all of a two week holiday.... Best wine drunk in 99: Villa Flora DOC Lugana 1998 (from Waitrose - budget too). Pet Hate: Huge Aussie reds - I'll stick to Port thanks! (01/00)

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