A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

PART Two K - Z

Click Here for Part One A - J

K
K, Danny - Nottingham - UK
I am 58 years old. I love wines with individual personality and character. I am very keen on Côtes du Rhônes. 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)

Kaman, Howard - Toronto, Canada
My interest sprang from promotional work I did for the California Wine Institute in 1993, and grew as I worked my way around several areas of the business, including retail sales (for a Niagara winery), restaurant/hotel sales for an importer and most recently as an assistant winemaker for another winery in Niagara. From January 1998 to February 2001 I lived in London, England, soaking up everything the culture there has to offer and loving it. I spent the autumn of 2000 in the Languedoc, working as a stagiaire at Mas de Daumas Gassac, during the infamous "Battle for Aniane" that pitted Robert Mondavi against those in the region wanting to protect the Arbousass forest. A first-hand education into the geopolitical/ecological debates that seem to abound in this fantastic industry! My appreciation of wine runs deep and the range I enjoy, equally so. However, I have a particular fondness for the unusual and previously uncovered... to get an idea of the sort of thing I like you really must read The Wild Bunch by Patrick Matthews; it pretty much sums up my philosophy towards things. (03/02)

Kay, Mike - Leeds, UK
I'm a twenty-something geologist currently based in Leeds, but I have moved around the UK quite a bit. I was first introduced to wine by my Uncle and Cousin many years ago, and have never looked back, developing a great passion for all things vinous. I am currently trying to break into the cut-throat world of wine writing, and have had a number of small reviews and articles published, particularly relaing to Terroir. I have also run a sreies of related tastings, which are always fun to do. My favourite wines tend to be from Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Italy, though my budget seldom allows me to endulge! (07/02, updated 05/03)

Kilbey, Alex, Coventry UK
Only two years late writing this. I'm a forty-something software trainer from Coventry and I've been collecting wine for about ten years or so now. Mostly, it is mid-range Bordeaux but a few specials hanging around. More recently I have been forced into Port by some Dutch friends. I can also be found on Wine Spectator, VinoCellar, For the Love of Port, WinoDepot and occasionally Squires fora under the name of KillerB. (03/07)

King, Kathleen - Edinburgh, UK
I made the mistake of marrying a South African about 15 years ago, and my love of wine has gone uphill since then. A wonderful yearly publication (John Platter's guide) on South African wine now rules our visits to supermarkets, Oddbins etc. After a few years in the hinterland of being constitutionally able to only drink whites, I'm now rediscovering the delights of new world red wine. Nothing to beat a South African Pinotage; drink it now or leave it till next week. We are also recent converts to the emerging South American market (Chilean - white, Argentinian - red). If you're in Edinburgh visit Peter Green's wine merchants on Warrender Park Road - knowledge, humour and carpets. P.S. why does everyone want to reveal their age/vintage here? (03/01)

King, Nathan - London/Kent, UK
Y.O.B: 1975 - A whippersnapper both in terms of years and in wine experience. I've only recently begun to take an interest in the world of wine but have set about the task with gusto as beer was making me too fat. I frequently scour various wine sites looking for bargains and recommendations My tastes are still developing but I have a preference for the Rhone, Bordeaux, Big Red Oz's, Riesling, Italian classics and Rioja. I was developing a cellar in my flat but sadly I've moved to a cellarless house so enviously read about those who have managed to stockpile over the years in optimum. As the years pass and my wages hopefully increase I aim to join the elite club who can knock back a ten year old bottle of claret of an evening and think nothing of it, sadly I think I'll be sitting there cluting a glass of Chasse du Pape and bemoaning my lot in life. Also, have a tendancy to ask annoying questions that provoke vitriol, though not necessarily at me. I thank you. (08/03)

Kissack, Chris - Liverpool, UK
I have been passionate about wine for over ten years. Over this time I have developed wide ranging tastes, although my favourite regions remain the Rhone Valley, Alsace and Bordeaux. I also have a penchant for Bandol, Sauternes and the sweet wines of the Loire. I have tried to express my passion for wines, whether fine or not-so-fine, at my website,
www.thewinedoctor.com (01/00, updated 08/01)

Knight, Steve - Australia
I am in the industry, and have been for over 20 years. I work as a consultant in retail, and that pays the mortgage. My two real passions are teaching and learning. I teach Wine Studies at University, but never know enough to satisfy my need to know about wine and the curly questions I get from enthusiastic young students. I have an abiding disgust with wine snobs (better known as WW'S) and love shooting them down and exposing them for what they are. I live in awe of those who know more about wine than me and are willing to share their knowledge in down to earth terms. It always strike me as funny that I have never met a wine maker who I would term a WW, but have met many hangers on in the industry who over qualify for the title. Cheers, Steve (11/03)

Kutarski, Paul - Wirral, UK
I'm a Francophile developing an increasing interest in wine and am attempting to build up a cellar. As a keen amateur I just hope that my pocket and liver survive. (02/00)

L

Lau, Steve - Calgary, Canada / Hong Kong
My fascination with wine dated back to my childhood when I read about the Chinese tradition of burying wine underground when a girl is born to the family and that the wine would become excellent by the time the daughter is married off. I was so tempted to try my hands on this (maturing of the wine) that I was always on the lookout for the opportunity. Unfortunately, my father was a "puritan" and it took quite a while before I had my first break. One day, quite unexpectedly, my father brought home a bottle of Scotch. In the Chinese language, the word wine is a generic term and we don't distinguish between wine and spirits. To me, that Scotch was a "wine" that I had been longing for. Not knowing that spirits won't improve once bottled, I "stole" some of the Scotch, put it into a small plastic bottle and buried it in our garden with the hope that when I grow up, that "wine" would become excellent. That particular incident was almost forty years ago. As I grew up and my family having moved a number of times, that plastic bottle can no longer be retrieved. However, my fascination with wine has not died and I have become a wine drinker since my university days. Four years ago, having retired at the "tender age" of 48, I suddenly found myself with a lot of spare time and my childhood fascination about wine that had been smouldering all these years had suddenly become a fire. I started to study wine seriously and have since passed both the WSET Certificate (with credit) and Higher Certificate (with distinction). I am currently self-studying with the intention to sit for the WSET Diplom examinations in the coming couple of years. The more I studied about wine, the more I have found wine to be such a fascinating subject and there is so much to learn. I have found this forum to be an excellent source of information, especially about Champagne. For this I must express my sincere thanks to both Tom C and Tom S. In addition to studying about wine, I have also started collecting wine. I now have twenty some cases of mostly second and first growth Bordeaux from good years in storage with a reputable wine merchant in the U.K. I also have about forty cases of wine, mainly Champagne, Northern Rhone Ermitage, Australian Shiraz and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, in storage in the basement of my home in Calgary. I look forward to learning from and sharing my enjoyment of wine with other Forum members. (12/01)

Leak, Bernard - Deepest Mercia, UK
I am the bespectacled Golux-like creature hiding in the corner. Exposed to burgundy at a fatally young age (about 28?) by a "friend", I have been reduced to programming computers in an attempt to feed my addiction. I need to find more people to divide bottles with, or I shall never get through all the wines I want to. I'm not even a heavy drinker... (01/00)

Lines, Al - Herts, UK
Having started out with an interest in beer, this extended to wine. Whilst being entertained at corporate events, I wanted to learn more on what I was drinking and why I liked some wines compared to others. This started me off on a long road of study, which is not complete yet! Accordingly I attend/give a number of tastings for pleasure to experiment further on my tastes and what works for me. Slainte! (01/05)

Lyons, Michael - Grenoble, France
I was born in Belfast just over (ouch) 40 years ago. I moved to France in 1991 and started getting really interested in wine in 1993. My cave is almost 100% french and my preference goes to Burgundy, Northern Rhone and the Loire (well I have quite a lot of Bordeaux but I hate to admit it). I now live in Grenoble where I meet regularly with a group of other "anoraks" - everyone brings a bottle and something to eat, and we taste all the wine blind. I have been known to affirm that Givry is Gigondas, so that gives a good idea of my tasting ability. (11/00)

M
MacLauchlan, John - Belgium
As an expatriate Scot of long standing (left Scotland in 1962), I am in what one might call the more aged band (being 61 last birthday). The compensation has been that I have had the pleasure of enjoying more bottles than those younger members of the group (their turn will come!). We currently live in the Belgian Ardennes, close to the French border, and we have been here for 20 years. Prior to Belgium, we spent 10 years in Darmstadt, Germany (very close to the Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Nahe, Bergstrasse etc.) and before that 6 years in The Netherlands (not known for its vineyards), 2 years each in Australia (Adelaide with the Barossa Valley close by) and England (no vineyards at that time). I am Head of the European Space Agency's satellite control station in Redu, Belgium. I am very fortunate to have a wife who also enjoys wine which has enabled me to build up a cellar of some 2000 bottles (she claims we only bought our house here because of the wine cellar in the basement!). Although my earlier interests were mainly Italian wines, due to being in Italy frequently in earlier years, this gradually changed to French wines and they now form the largest part of the cellar by far - these are primarily Bordeaux as it was the easier area to learn but there is now an much expanded Burgundy section (helped by more and more frequent visits as we are only 480 Km from Beaune!). The Loire and Rhone are also well represented. Although we enjoy a bottle (or more!) on a daily basis, we find we are always continuing to learn. Personally, I have never been any good at dissecting a wine into all the multitudes of different smells and tastes that one sees in some tasting notes. Nevertheless, it is interesting to read them (although I gave a cheer when someone recently described a wine as being "fruity - taste of grapes"!). I have been looking in on the Forum for a while now and I am impressed by the expertise which seems to abound. Happily though, there are also others who are more like me, enjoying wine and absorbing something new each day (knowledge as well as wine). (07/02)

McLaughlin, Josephine - Originally Scotland, now London, UK
I am 24 and work in the technical/quality assurance department of a wine importer based in London. I have been interested in wine for about 4 years after discovering the wine section in my local book shop and then spending 2 months working for a Mosel winemaker and vinegrower during a University vacation. I am currently studying for the second year of the WSET Diploma which is a wonderful opportunity to indulge myself reading more wine books. I am also extremely excited about an impending visit to Jerez. So far I haven't discovered a wine region which I don't like and even my list of favourite wines is too long. The region I am fondest of is probably Germany because I have friends there and can visit often and see vineyards (also because I love Riesling and German wines are so unappreciated). If I had to choose one wine it would probably be a very mature Champagne or a top Burgundy... but then again it depends on my mood! I am very keen to meet up for tastings in the London area if anyone is interested. (02/00)

Mansfield, Joseph - Cumbria, UK
I am 20 year old physics student at Loughborough University, currently undertaking a year's study in Germany. Though I have always found wine an interesting subject, I have only paid it serious attention for the past two or three years, for obvious reasons. Being in Germany allows me to explore thoroughly the fantastic native wines, of which I have always been fond, at a relatively low cost. Due to my current status as a student I am unable to really open my shoulders and try everything I would like, so my principle areas of interest are really centered on regional France, South America and southern Italy. (01/00)

March, Trevor - Henley-on-Thames, UK
Like many wine lovers I can trace my serious interest back to one special bottle - in my case a 1989 Ch. La Croix Pomerol opened in 1996. Before that my interest was confined to following tips from newspapers, from Gilly and Oz and through holidays at The Nobody Inn. This meant I mostly bought Australian and indeed deliberately avoided French after some disastrous experiences with Muscadet and Mouton .... Cadet. That bottle of La Croix totally changed my outlook and introduced me to a whole new series of smells and tastes. Initially I tried to repeat the experience from high street chains, but now I know the wines I bought were (a) probably inferior to La Croix and (b) far too young. Then a chance visit to Berry Bros & Rudd opened up the world of specialist merchants. Since then both my wife and I have developed a real passion for fine wines and for preparing meals to accompany them. Our first case of wine was '83 Lynch-Bages, quickly followed by other clarets including a few bottles of '89 la Croix - it stills drinks very well. We have also extended our interest to most of the French classic regions plus some less fashionable ones and many parts of Italy and Spain. The New World still gets a look in, but we steer clear of the one-dimensional or over-oaked. We are still learning and enthusiastic and try to make each wine something of an "experience". That doesn't mean classed growths and established names all the time, since we also enjoy the original and indeed offbeat. We would rather have one decent Bandol or Colares than two routine Aussie Shiraz. Last September I passed the WSET Higher Certificate and soon will be starting the Diploma. My ambition is to work in the wine trade although at present I work in IT. Hopefully that bottle of La Croix will lead to more than I could ever have imagined at the time! (01/01)

Margach, Russ - Oregon, USA
Hello, I am brand new to the UK Forum as of May 2000. I enjoy an international point of view in many things (wine, current events, etc.) since the US can be so slanted with what we see and hear. For instance, the debates here about Old World v. New World suggest the perspective of US consumers may be more one of brash (really?) chauvinism rather than common sense. Or maybe not. Regardless, I find wines of interest and merit from the entire world. I hope I can contribute some interesting perspectives and poignant questions from time to time. Ciao mailto:rmarga@juno.com (05/00)

Marshall, Gary - York, UK
I'm a 36 year old stockbroker/Pub B&B owner from York. During the day i work in Leeds but I return to my pub, the Blacksmiths Inn at Westow in the evening. I'm principally interested in Burgundy but drink plenty of italian wines at the moment and spend as much time as possible each year drinking and eating my way around France and Italy. I've done the WSET courses to advanced level with micheal Hjort of Melton's in York and am keen to learn more! (08/06)

Martin, Neal - London, UK
Never drank wine until I was 25 but after a year in Japan, ended up as the fine-wine buyer for one of the biggest importers in Japan. Hence crammed in WSET certs, diplomas etc. and sometimes contribute as a taster for Wine magazine. Run my own tasting group with friends and have been fortunate to taste more fine wines than a 30 yr old deserves. But someone has to do it. My speciality is Bordeaux and Old World wines in general. (08/01)

May, Peter - St. Albans, UK
I started drinking wine in the early '70's. My first great love was claret. I went on an organised wine tasting holiday to Bordeaux, visiting Chateaux, both grand and basic. In those days there was not such a great public interest in wine and we were warmly welcomed by everyone. The following year we went to Burgundy. Most of the people on the tour went down with food poisoning - whether or not that infuenced me I do not know, but I have never been very keen on red Burgundy! I attended evening classes and gained the Wine and Spirit Education Trust's Higher Certificate (with honours). In the late seventies I visited California several times, whilst their wines were still relatively unknown to the outside world. I remember sommeliers in restaurants would advise me against 'domestic' and recommend French wines. I fell in love with Zinfandel, and drank that when I could. Back in the UK people didn't believe that good wine was made in America, but I hunted out supplies and still have some mid-70's Heitz and Mondavi reds. I became concerned with the standardisation of wine: the worldwide spread of a few 'noble' varietals replacing local vareties. I am a keen believer in diversity and that interest led me to running a web site featuring the labels of unusual wines -
http://www.geocities.com/winelabels. I visited South Africa recently and was very impressed with the wines and location. Globalisation was forcing out the indigenous Pinotage, so I helped form The Pinotage Club and now maintain their web-site. In the last months of 1999 I finally started to enjoy sweet wines, and I am now going to explore this new (for me) facet of wine. peter@pinotage.org. (01/00)

McQuillan, Sarah - Auckland, NZ (originally N.Ire)
Well... I have recently discovered this wonderful site and I must say it is a welcome change from the US domination of wine sites, (not that I have anything against North America, its just practically impossible to get any of their wines in NZ, lucky we have plenty of our own :-), except all the cloudy bay which never gets to our shelves!). I have been very interested in drinking wine for a long time but have only discovered it properly within the last few years. Being a student means that my budget is shall we say, insignificant, happily though I worked in a wine shop for a few years for a company who distributed some of NZ's and the worlds finest wineries, so I tried everything I could get my lips round! In terms of favourites, I am understandably fond of my adopted home's fine examples of s.blanc, riesling, and pinot noir but I am willing to try almost anything, even Aussie wines!. Haven't made a post as yet but I can assure you I am soaking up everything and when the opportunity presents itself I will let rip... (04/01)

Mearns, Patrick - UK , Bombay & Other Parts
Recalling drinking, what I was advised as "excellent wine" at eleven years of age, and now, many years later I thank this parent, who gave me such an empathic introduction to wine, and a little later, to other alcoholic treasures. So many years of essential, and at times critical pleasure. Most fortunate, has been a career spread over many parts of the world, and in most of these places, the enjoyment of some wonderfully natural, indiginous wines - perhaps the finest, from the proprietor of a two-room pansion, on a small island in the Adriatic, on a bitter winter night. many years ago. As good as any wine I have tasted. Or was it ? The Eau de Vie, offered by the patron of his temporary distillery, on the side of the road, to me and the Gendarm who had just arrested me for speeding ? Superb ! (I was freed on account that I was too young to drive. . . . and his agreement that the Eau de Vie, was tres tres bon !) My affinity with wine, foggy at times, is perhaps its endless punctuation of a jolly life . . people, places, food . . and now, with some wonderful guidance, and help from this site, reading and listening, I am attempting to lay out all this recollection, and assemble something more coherent. With special thanks to those who impart their great knowledge, graciously and with sincerity. (07/08)

Mellor, Matthew - Cambridge, UK
Age: 31, married, one son and one daughter. Wine interest began in 98 when I bought Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Guide, because I'd begun to work with him and wanted to know what the fuss was. Have acquired encyclopaedic knowledge, but lamentably little tasting experience. Doing all I can to rectify this! Favourites: A good red Bordeaux (as long as someone else is paying), fine Sauternes, good California Zinfandel, German Rieslings, more refined South American stuff, good Beaujolais, red Burgundy, southern white burgundy (for sentimental reasons). Dislikes: most Muscats, white Rhones (with occasional exceptions), wine snobbery, too many wine journalists. Other interests: French language and culture, walking, football, cricket, obscure American garage bands.

Millar, Hugh - Ayrshire, now Amersham UK
I spent 20+ years abroad mainly in South America & SE Asia. I have been enjoying wine semi-seriously since roughly 1990 and have a "cellar" of about 250 bottles. Main preferences are Aussie reds (though less so than 5 years ago), Portugal, Argentina, Italy and, increasingly, France. In fact, just about everywhere except California, which is all down to QPR. Have been visiting the Forum for a couple of months and found it (and several of the linked sites) extremely interesting and great fun. (01/01)

Miller, Ken - Edinburgh, UK
I've drunk wine of one description or other since teenage years without really taking more than an interest in the grapes and price, though due to a family influence have always enjoyed German Rieslings. It was thanks to my wife that I really began taking it more seriously. For the last few years I've become much more enquiring and studious, and as a result have gained a huge amount of enjoyment from the tasting and contemplation of great wines. I've taken my WSET advanced, and wonder about doing a little more study in the future. My preferences are European, mainly French (Burgundy, Claret and Alsace are favourites) and German wines with a developing interest in Italy and Spain. I love Tokaji too. For me the pleasure in wine is as much the evocation of places visited and imagined as the wine itself. We're lucky enough to spend a few weeks every year in the South West of France, where we enjoy great food, the wines of Madiran and Gascogny along with a few glasses of Armagnac. The opportunity for the odd side-trip up to Bordeaux isn't bad either! I work in the Scotch Whisky industry, and am proud of our national drink, which stands up as one of the world's finest! Married to Justine, and newly a father to Cosmo, in my mid-thirties. (10/03)

Miller, Peter - Portishead, UK
My love affair with wine began about three years ago, but in the past year it has started to get more serious! I am still something of a novice as far as experience and range of tasting is concerned but I'm always trying to learn and experience more. I hope to be able to learn more through these pages and to have a 'voice' for those of us who are new to this amazing and delicious world. My particular interests and tastes are for Red Bordeaux and Burgundy (both red and white). I also like to match wines to particular foods ans dishes. If you read the Visitor's Tips you may find a cheap bottle nominated by me, and something to eat with it. I'm looking forward to exchanging news and views with other wine lovers and tasting more and more and more.... (12/00)

Moore, Ashley - West Yorkshire, UK
My interest in wine began in 1996 after I started playing around with a copy of Oz Clarke's Microsoft Wine Guide. As it was, I disliked the feeling of walking down the wine aisle at Sainbury's not knowing what was good, ordinary and rubbish. Within a few months of beginning my education I was buying a mixed case from Majestic with confidence. Following the writings of Clarke, Robinson and Johnson, I have taken myself on a virtual tour of the world's wine regions and enjoy almost every style of wine. I do though have a soft spot for Riesling (especially from Germany) and sweet wines. (03/00)

More, David - Sydney, Australia
Australian on the wrong side of 50. Led astray by wine loving brother who used to bring home Grange as a quaffing wine in the early 70's - when he was working in agriculture and travelling all over the place. He wound up making port for Taylors in Portugal for 4-5 years in the 80's. When he went overseas to train and work, Grange, etc. got too expensive, work intervened and I drank almost no wine for 20 years. 2-3 years ago decided life was too short not to have more of what I remembered from the previous era. I discovered Grange had become almost unaffordable so searched for alternatives and continue the hunt to this day. In the search have enjoyed a wonderful array of Australia's best and learnt a good deal - but still see myself as a beginner. I get to drink very little from outside OZ - mainly because it is difficult to find and seems very overpriced (the tax situation + import costs make lots very expensive here). Present favourites are McLaren Vale Shiraz, Barossa and Coonawarra Carbenets and MSR Reislings. I am also starting to enjoy more NZ and Victorian Pinots. Hope I can be a useful source of alerts as to the good and bad coming from OZ. (01/00)

Morgan, Charles - London, UK
A wine drinker since childhood, and a claret lover since being introduced to a mature Ch La Lagune 1970 in at college in 1988. After 18 years working in investment banking, I left the City in 2004 and have been eating, drinking and wine tasting with numerous friends met through the Squires board. My current wine enthusiasms include Alsace (a long term love), Germany, the Rhone, Bordeaux and California, oh and mature Barolo. Currently setting up a small business related to wine which will hopefully launch in 2007. (03/07)

Morgan, David - Glasgow, UK
Worked all my life in sales and marketing within Scottish Trade selling and training staff in the Hospitality Industry. I now run my own Training Company offering Certificate and Higher Certificate WSET course to trade and private clients. I am an accredited tutor with the WSET. I run various wine appreciation classes in Edinburgh and Glasgow and run Food and Wine events for hotels and Restaurants. I taste 20-30 wines each week. My aim would be to promote the Wines of Germany as I feel that the Riesling grape is one of the most under-rated varieties. Anyone else wish to join the Riesling Club? (09/00)

Mosebury Smith, Martin - Nottingham, UK
I have a particular interest in European eiswein, ice wine and wines generally made in Canada. I am a freelance researcher for publications and reports using methods of qualitative analysis and document research. Happily this work can sometimes coincide with my interest in wines, including those from my home country of New Zealand, as well as visits to South Africa, Australia and of course Canada. (06/00)

Müller, Stephan - Germany, now Cambridge UK
I'm a student, 23 yrs old, doing a PhD in Cambridge and have had a keen interest in wine for about three years - but having been brought up in Italy and lived in Germany have had much exposure to wine before! Took some time off last year and spent a few weeks working for Cambridge Wine Merchants, and now do the occasional bit of work for them e.g. tastings for student societies, etc. Main areas of interest are German, Alsatian and Italian wines, but I'm easy - still learning much and have much to learn, I'm always happy to add new favourites to my (sadly, shortish) list of wines I've tried! I go back to Italy as often as I can, mainly to vist friends who own a vineyard just north of Siena, where I spent three months a few years back learning what I could about how to make good Chianti Classico! (02/00)

Mussett, Charles - Newcastle, UK
I'm a thirty something whose interest in wine has grown rapidly over the past five years, but it still feels like I'm climbing an ever growing but hugely enjoyable mountain. I started off on simple to understand New World reds and whites after thinking I would never acquire my Dad's feelings of ease around a French label / wine list. As with all things, clarity comes over time, and I'm now a fan of Rhones and Burgundies (cheaper end, needless to say) as well as other wines that I've encountered on trips to Spain and the States in particular (why is good US wine so hard to find for decent money?). Mainly a red drinker, but have recently tasted some some great Oz Reisling and keen to know more. Tend to buy from mail order, supermarkets and Oddbins spiced up with the odd random purchase on my travels here and abroad. (02/05)

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Nanson, Bill - Bradford originally, now Basel, Switzerland
Age 37. First introduction to proper wine was on visiting customers in France near Beaune in 1994. That probably explains my tastes. Mainly Burgundy, but good fruit driven wines of Oz and US are quite acceptable:-) I have, however, 3 cases of 1990 Bordeaux in storage for a rainy day - I moved them to storage to avoid drinking them - the Pichon-Lalande was lovely last year! The finest wine I have tasted was a 1988 Thomas-Moillard Romanée St.Vivant not far behind was a 1985 Vieux Chateau Certan, Pomerol half bottle. (08/00)

Wojciech Bonkowski a.k.a. Nerval - London (originally Poland)
I am 25 years old and have been seriously into wine for over three years. I am a musicologist and Italian literature historian/translator by education but wine is taking up more and more of my time. I am currently preparing the first Polish wine guide, together with my friend Marek from Warsaw, and this is why I have moved for about a year to London to expand my wine-tasitng horizons. I have so far been active on American forums, especially the WCWN Italian board and the WLDG, but now am browsing more and more here as well. My main areas of wine interests include Italian wine, sweet and fortified wine with a special dedication to sherry and Tokaji, Champagne, Mosel Riesling, and wines of the Mediterranean area, especially from indigenous varieties. (11/01)

Nieminen, Otto - Helsinki, Finland
I originate from the grand vintage of 1982. I study assyriology and the near east in general and work part time in an antiquarian book shop. My other interests include classical music and cursing the Finnish alcohol monopoly and its very limited stock of fine wines. My introduction to fine wine was very unfortunate: the -59 la tache spoiled Burgundy for me, as I haven't really enjoyed anything from that area since. Hence, Bordeaux and Rieslings from practically everywhere are my main interest - to say nothing of Musar! (01/05)

Nierop, Lionel - Cambridge/Exeter, England
I originally gained my interest in wine via a bottle of Pichon Comtesse 1979 I was given for my christening. Youthful curiosity got the better of me and the interest really blossomed on coming to University in Cambridge. Represented the light blues against Oxford in the Pol Roger Blind Tasting Varsity Match 2005, am currently Publicity officer for the university wine society and run Corpus Christi College Wine Society. I'm a sucker for German riesling and sweet wines but also adore Rhone blends and good Bordeaux. (03/06)

Norfolk, Johnny - Norfolk, UK
I was born and bred on the family farm. I was encouraged to do something else and ended up working for an international company. I have spent a lot of time away from Norfolk but we are now back at the farm. I have a son and daughter who live in Pormouth and Burgess Hill respectivley. We have lived in France and Germany. In Germany we lived for 2 years in a wine village a place called Bosenheim near Bad Kreuzach. we had 11 wine producers in the village and we drank Dornfelder red wine that you cannot buy in Britain of the quality we had. I also enjoyed the sekt. But its great to get back to the good French red and port in Britain. I have been a purchasing member of The Wine Society for many years, and would recomend it to anyone. (2008)

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Ong, Yixin - Oxford, UK/Singapore
My tasting experience has been mainly curtailed by my lack of money, but that doesn't stop me from liking Riojas, German whites, some Oz reds and dessert wines. Am currently trying to delve into the fascinating and great QPR world of South African wines, especially Pinotage. Basically, I try my hardest to stretch my limited pounds without sacrificing variety, and am a shameless wine slut - if there's free wine, I'm there:) One last note: Oak juice actually goes with burnt steak, so who says two wrongs don't make a right? (01/00)

O'Reilly, Karen - Ireland, now France
Leaving the professional world of accountancy behind me 6 years ago when I fell in love with the Roussillon region, I have been living and working in the Sunny South of France since. After 6 years in the property and tourism business, we have just launched The French Tour Co, offering fun and informative wine tours of the Roussillon region. No other area in the world has as much land devoted to vineyards and we have chosen our favourites for you to visit. With stunning scenery, gorgeous weather and the sparkling med as a backdrop and some of the nicest wines in France to taste, it's not hard to see why I left those number crunching days behind! (2008)

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Palmer, Steve - Middx, UK
I am a 28 year old science teacher and picked up the wine bug from my father a few years ago. It is only recently that I have begun to have a few more bottles stored than I can drink! For this I have to thank Lathwaites and Majestic. My wine tastes are varied but I am a big fan of the New World especially some of the Rosemount wines such as the GSM and the Show Reserve Chardonnay. Drostdy Hof do a very good range from SA and I am a big fan of their sublime Pinotage. My goal is to eventually own a few cases of Chateau Palmer but it's not going to happen on a teachers wage! Outside of wines I enjoy rugby and soccer and I manage to turn out most weekends for Old Hamptonians 2nd XV. (02/01)

Patterson, Rob - London, UK
I'm 34, live and work in London. Have been a member of the Wine Society for ages (an 18th birthday present from my dad, I think) but I've only really had 'the bug' for about the last 5 or 6 years. Still pretty much a beginner. I like to cook, so love matching wine with food, and will generally drink whatever suits the meal/occasion. Have recently discovered the pleasure of visiting wineries direct, although France (Champagne and Provence) and NZ (Martinborough) have been my only trips to date. Looking forward to expanding my knowledge through this site! (08/03)

Peacock, Nick - London, UK
Now I've really caught the bug. I was introduced to wine from a early age, since my dad always had a well-stocked cellar. I'm now trying to persuade him to spend more money on better wine and drink less, but it's a hard task. As to developing my own taste upwards (or outwards, perhaps) from Bulgarian Cabernet as a student in the late 80s, when I first drove south through Lyon and saw the Rhone sweep towards Ampuis, I knew I had found a sort of vinous spiritual home. So it proved when, the next summer, my wife and I arranged our very own tasting tour through Cote Rotie (Barge, Rostaing), Condrieu (Cuilleron), Hermitage (Faurie, Chapoutier), Cornas (Courbis), Gigondas (Brusset) and others. Not a duff drop among them and, although speaking French helps a lot, nothing but passion and enjoyment from the vignerons themselves. I recently passed the WSET Higher Certificate (with distinction) and plan to take the Diploma fairly soon. I live in London (hoping to move soon: too many people/traffic) but spend most holidays in the South of France, where we have recently bought a house. Nearest AOC: Costieres de Nimes, my tip for the top. Local co-op Merlot: 17 francs a bottle. And only 1 hour's drive to Chateauneuf du Pape: imagine that! (05/01)

Pearce, David - Maidstone, UK
I am a confirmed oeneophile and as such have made a career out of wine for the past 12 years. Firstly I was a Sommelier in a Michelin starred restaurant for some 10 years and now own the internet wine retailer www.winevault.co.uk which specialises in Australia. My passion for Australia started in 1994 when I toured the country's vineyards for a year (with quite a few beer and surfing stops along the way!) and worked the harvest in Margaret River which was back-breaking work. I find the biggest problem in selling wine is that you don't always want to - especially when you have secured some odd bottles of exceptional and rare wines which are virtualy irreplaceable! It is a tough life taking the plunge and working for yourself (especially when you have almost no money for advertising or promotion and pray that the press pick up on you) but untimetly I derive great pleasure talking all day with like minded people who share my passion. Happy drinking to you all! (02/01)

Pearce, Mark - Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
I'm a 36 year old wine drinker from London, but now living in Newcastle. My interest in wine was first stirred on a gastronomic honeymoon in Scotland (Vieux Telegraphe, Tertre Roteboeuf, an Eileen Hardy Shiraz and a Trimbach Riesling being four wines which made me want to know more). Initially my interests were centred on the affordable wines of the New World (Aussie chardonnays and Shirazes, Chilean Cabs and Merlots etc.). Recently I've started to explore new regions and different styles as well as trying to get to grips with the mystery that is European wine. I've always enjoyed Alsace whites and have recently been introduced to the pleasures of German Riesling, I'm also currently "exploring" the Rhone. Most of my wine drinking friends are still in London and Newcastle has a real shortage of independent merchants. I'd love to hear recommendations of places in the North East to buy wine, but even more I'd like to hear from anyone else in the North East who'd like to get together to enjoy fine wines. (09/00)

Pickles, Stephen - Lanark, UK
I have been slowly developing an interest in wine over the last 10 years or so. A good friend did a great favour and introduced me to The Wine Society a few years ago and it has been downhill from there. I am now trying to find space for my first en primeur purchases. I drink wines with friends and enjoy anything good/interesting - my motto is life is to short not to try anything at least once. I am fascinated by the whole idea of wine, and love to try it in its natural home. One of my ideas of paradise is a glass of ice cold fino on a sunny day in Spain with a few tapas to hand. (02/00)

Plant, Ed - London, UK
I'm in my mid thirties, living and working in London creating visual effects for Film and TV. My interest in wine was started by Francophile parents allowing tasting with meals at an early age on family holidays. Favourites include Bordeaux both red and white, and Rhones. I'm fortunate to have a cellar at home, with overspill in commercial storage. (2008) "Why buy a bottle, when a case will do", would be the saying that gets me in the most trouble with my wife! As my parents now live full time in the Loire Valley, things can only get worse...

Pollock, Donald - Stratford-on-Avon, UK
I have been interested in wine for the best part of 30 years. The "spark" that kindled my enthusiasm for fine wine was the opening of the 1st Scottish Oddbins shop in Glasgow in the early 70's, where I purchased (and quickly enjoyed) some ½ bottles of Leoville Barton 1966 for the princely sum of £1.26! I haven't looked back since then having visited a number of wine producing areas in France, Tuscany and the Napa Valley. Having purchased wine from a number of UK Wine Merchants and attended numerous tastings in this country, I still get a buzz buying wine direct in France in particular. Best trip so far took place few years ago in Alsace, where I managed to visit about half a dozen producers over 2 days. My better half thankfully did the driving, which was just as well as I must have tasted well over 100 different wines! This is not difficult to do, due to the incredible range of wines produced in this area.

Main loves: Alsace (Tokay-Pinot Gris), Burgundy (Puligny-Montrachet), Rhône (Gigondas, Cairanne, Rasteau, etc.). Main hates: Australian blockbusters with no finesse. I'm a fan of the Wine Pages - my other reading is Decanter & Wine. (01/00)

Pope, David - London, UK
I became interested in wine in the late 1980s, when I was introduced to its delights by a friend who had started working in the trade. Since then I've become hooked and have amassed a collection of nearly 700 bottles. The majority of these are French (especially Bordeaux) but I have a healthy amount from other areas, including Italy, Australia and most points of the compass. My two 'fads' are traditional style Hunter Valley Semillon (I have some bottles from the 1980s) and Zinfandel - especially the late harvest style, which is difficult to get in the UK. I used to buy a lot of Californian wines but the prices and alcohol levels are driving me away. Nowadays I'm increasingly looking at wines from the south of France, which seem to beat most areas for value. I'm also intrigued by wines from New Zealand. I live in London and work as a civil servant; I present occasional tastings for fellow enthusiasts at work. I also read, listen to opera, visit the cinema, play cricket, spend Sundays walking in the countryside and indulge my love of Tottenham Hotspur. I used to be a left-wing political hack and active trade unionist but that's another story... (07/02)

Prothero, Keith - UK and South Africa
I have spent most of my working life in Africa, Australasia and the Far East. Recently retired, I have bought a home in the Cape Winelands were I am fortunate to be able to spend the English winters. All my life I have been a lover of wine, and have been fortunate in my job to be able to consume copius quantities of excellent wine - mainly New World it has too be said - at little or no cost to myself. Having spent two winters in the Cape winelands I have really fallen in love with Cape wines and believe they have enormous potential. I am currently investigating an investmemt in a winery near Paarl (10/02).

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Rankin, Gavin - London, UK
Long-term lurker on this site, though a regular poster on the Squires/Parker site. I live in London, having recently returned after living in the US for the past five years (New York and California). Married, early 30s, with one son. I have just entered the "trade" as an importer specialising in American artisinal and family wineries. The business helps to justify those sums I have spent on wine in the past as educational - I am trying to persuade my wife of this excuse's veracity. I like wine that a) taste good; and b) has a defining sense of either place, winemaking philosophy, or varietal. My collection, spread across three cities (the perils of living abroad) is mostly California (various grapes), Oregon Pinot Noir, Australian, Bordeaux, Rhone (North and South), Alsatian and German (11/03).

Redfern, Paul - Bristol, UK
It all started to go wrong in 1978 when I qualified as a solicitor. Up until then I was happily guzzling large quantities of beer (and the occasional litre of Hirondelle) and playing as much rugby and cricket as I could fit in around work.The partner I worked for gave me six bottles of Troplong Mondot 1966 and six Maximin Grunhaus Abtsberg Spatlese 1971 both from Avery's of Bristol then a fine source,to celebrate (or commiserate) the start of my career as a lawyer. The revelation on opening those bottles I will never forget and it set me on the road to an obsession with wine that shows no sign of abating. I have tasted, read about and discussed a wide variety of wines and visited numerous vineyards in Europe.In 1982 I was a founder member of a wine tasting group in Bristol,the Jeroboam Club, and have been chairman throughout that period.My tastes are wide ranging but my heart is in Burgundy and the Rhone and I tend to agree with the view of the late Harry Waugh "the first duty of a wine is to be red". I have collected far too much wine over the years but it is still far too tempting to buy and too agonising to sell those precious bottles. I have no idea of the total stored in various locations but it exceeds 3000 bottles. Apart from wine I love both cooking and eating good food and I am still passionate about sport, even though the joints are now protesting (10/02).

Reid, Don - Milton Keynes, UK
A child of the fifties, well 1959 actually, I first started taking an interest in more than the colour of the wine I was drinking around 1993 (courtesy of a friend). And then enthusiastically consumed as much of any wine I could find that I liked without any thought of keeping the stuff. I was then fortunate, or not as the case may be, to share, in 1996, a bottle of Mouton-Rothschild from my birth year. A sublime experience which has propelled me on a bizarre odessey of wine collection, in the hope of duplicating the ethereal splendour of my night of passion with the Mouton, an obvious folly as I cellar nothing even faintly comparable in price or quality. It is a frustrating goal but one that I am compelled to pursue into the faint and distant future. Many shadows pass me by on this loneley road, I wonder if one of them is yours? (03/03)

Reynolds, Stefan - Godalming, UK
I am 30 years old and work for Dorling Kindersley and Penguin publishers. I've loved wine from an early age and started collecting about 7 years ago and currently have about 200 bottles, almost all red and about 70% French (I am half French after all..). The rest of the wines are mainly Spanish, South African and a few bottles of vintage port. My family has a house in South West France where I still find inexpensive wine bargains (especially second wines) as well as quaffable Buzet and Cahors. My recent 'discovery' is a love of good sherry and I'm having great fun trying out the different styles and producers. Best ever wine was a Latour '70 in December for my 30th birthday - a wonderful gift. Two challenges for the year ahead - learn to love Australian wine and do the WSET Higher course. (03/01)

Rico, João - Peniche, Portugal
Where to begin? I am 35 YO, work with computers at the Portuguese Institute of Wine and Vineyards. My passion for wine comes from 1992 when I first thought seriously about wine. Nowadays this passion is really huge and time consuming, but this is what I like the most. I really love every wine, good one. But I have more feelings for Madeira, Port and Austrian Wines.Since this is a huge world to be in, I am always searching for wines in every corner of the world and learn about them. (2008)

Robertson, Mark - London, UK
Although a wine drinker for 25+ years I seriously got the "bug" five years ago when a few nice bottles of claret were gratefully received as a wedding present. Since then the cellar has grown rapidly to about 800 bottles. My greatest love is Rhône and have managed to track down a number of favourites from Jaboulet, Guigal and Chapoutier which I am struggling to keep my hands off. Other loves are Bordeaux (I plunged into the en-primeur market for the 1995 and 1996 vintages as well as the 1998 right banks), Australian Shiraz and South African Pinot Noir. Also very fond of wines from Alsace, the "super Tuscans", Rioja and Californian Zinfandel. As the cellar gets fuller and my age advances my attention is turning to wines which my wife and I will be able to drink before my dotage. I'm a big fan of the Wine Pages - my other reading is Decanter and the Wine Advocate. (01/00)

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Sainty, Russell - Colchester, UK
I'd better let you know who I am as I just posted first note after several months "lurking". I'm in mid/late thirties have an interest in all wine, although Favorites are Australia, the rhone,southern french, claret and spain. I drink about 80% red but when on the white head for burgundy, other chardonnay and alsace. Have a mixed celler (cupboard in the playroom), about 200 bottles which reflects the above preferences with rarely more than two bottles of anything as I am like a kid in a sweet shop when buying. Interestingly, Paul Armstrong lives 200 yards away and my daughter and his ate ate supper together yesterday. (03/01)

Sansom, Dave - Dorset, UK
Wrong side of 50, living with girlfriend Mary of similar age, together we own a wine bar in a seaside town in Dorset, me for the last 19 years, Mary for 11 years. Previous existence as a transport manager in the same locality, but quickly became disilusioned with corporate philosophy when family firm I had worked for since school was taken over. Purchasing for the bar we, and the staff, look for good value wines from anywhere in the wine producing world and all are tasted blind. Final decision as to whether they make the list is part consumer lead, "What have you got that is good and not French", and part, "Will the customer be happy with the bottle at £x". Purchasing for ourselves is far easier, we both prefer reds and being able to purchase from importers is a definite plus. Cellared we have in the main Aussies from the likes of Henschke, d Arenberg, Jim Barry, Peter Lehmann, Penfolds although Ridge, Musar, Caballa Loco, Tokay and Port also figure. Regrettably French wines continually disappoint, seemingly lacking in that vital ingredient - fruit. Most memorable bottles - 92 Ebenezer Cab/Merlot/Franc; 94 Orlando Steingarten Riesling; 92 E&E Black Pepper Shiraz; 92 Cape Mentelle Zin; 90 Gundlach Bundschu Zin; (such a shame the last two are no longer available over here), 35 Smith Woodhouse Port. Most disappointing - 61 Ch. Moulinet. Ambition - to live long enough to drink what is cellared. P.S. Sorry to sound so anti French. (02/01)

Schutte, Jelle - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Collecting, drinking and cellaring beers started me becoming enthusiastic about the evolution in taste. Working in a supermarket during my math study as the "wine buyer" drew my attention to winetasting. Winecollecting began when I had some colleagues who bought wines at auctions at Christie's. That I found so decadent that I joined my friend at an auction. Buying a cheap lot of old bordeaux, and drinking it afterwards, made me so enthousiastic. Since then, my interest is broad with a main focus towards bordeaux and bordeaux blends. Favourite wine though is Domaine de Trevallon. (04/04)

Seddon, Ian - Milton Keynes, UK
I've had a basic interest in wines for about 15 years but things took a distinct turn for the better when our friends bought a holiday 'gite' just north of Bergerac, in 1988. A basic interest turned into something a lot more serious, so in the early 90's I went to evening classes in Daventry and got myself up to WSET Higher Certification standard. I wanted to use this knowledge so with just a little fear and trepidation I put an ad in the local paper to start a Wine Tasting Club. Its been going for more than six years - we have one tasting per month, held at members houses and I'm pleased to say we are still as enthusiastic as ever! The members are getting very well informed - one of even got to be a taster at the Wine Challenge this year and another has set up a little specialist business bringing in premium Aussie wines. As far as I'm concerned, wine has brought me many benefits, including some excellent friends! (10/00)

Sevenich, Julia - Austria
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, my interest in food and wine began long before I was of legal drinking age in the United States. With theultimate goal of opening a fine restaurant at a ski resort somewhere in the Rockies, I came to Europe to seek one or two years of training as achef and to deepen my knowledge of wine. After a few stages as kitchen slave, I decided to do a last season of fun before my return to the States. I took a job at a French crêperie/wine bar just being opened by a wine freak from Australia in Kitzbuehel, Austria. Not only did a life-long love affair with Austrian wines begin, I also to met the wonderful Austrian who is now my husband. After the birth of our first child, I changed from the restaurant business to the wine branch where I worked in purchases and sales for several years. In 2000, I established myself as a wine and food consultant working primarily as a wine educator and writer. The Austrian Wine Marketing Board contracted me to create a website for wine educators which can be found at
www.winesfromaustria.com/adventuretour and my own website is located at www.stratsplace.com/7ich . I completed my WSET Diploma in 2002 and am currently working on my first wine book which will be published in German by the Österreichischer Agrarverlag in spring of 2005. I think there is very little about wine that I don’t find interesting, but most of all I like enjoying it with good food and good friends. I think of my tastes in wine as being very diverse, but when I take an honest look at my wine cellar, the reds are devoted mainly to the great regions of Europe while the whites and sweet wines are nearly exclusively Austrian. Sadly, my husband insists we can not afford my taste in sparkling wine if we are to send our daughters to University and continues a futile search to find a suitable substitute for good vintage Champagne. My pet peeves are corked wine, snobs, bores, and George Dubya. (05/04)

Shorten, Phil - UK
33yo (well, for one more month) Anglo-Australian, born in the UK, but grew up in Australia prior to leaving Antipodean shores and returning to Old Blighty just over three years ago. Interest in wine developed while living in the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills, a growing wine region, through the 1980s'/early 1990's. Have worked in Corporate Finance and Management Consulting for the past decade or so, but currently "considering career options". Since returning to the UK I have been lucky enough to complete two of the WSET courses and now half way through the Diploma (touch wood). Winewise, I'll drink anything from anywhere - white, rose or red, dry, sweet or sparkling - provided it's good. However, I have to admit a penchant for aromatic white wines, particularly riesling, Rhone reds (North, South and New World), cabernet sauvignon/cabernet based blends (New and Old World), Italian reds, Tokaji and Madeira. (07/03)

Sidebotham, Peter - North Yorkshire, UK
At last ... belatedly biographied, as I have been reading (and occasionally writing) for a few months already. I guess wine started at University, when joining the Food & Wine society seemed like a good route to cheap alcohol, but turned into much more, and my drinking rapidly escalated in quality. Quantity has gone down, especially since the kids arrived, with the result that my cellar has grown to fill the available space and some "off-site" storage. Although I enjoy almost all wines, my favourites are red Burgundy - resulting from two "wow" experiences in my formative years, most notably the 1961 DRC Echezaux. As a result I spend a lot of time and money trying to find more Pinot Noir highs. Close behind are Nebbiolo, Riesling and Cabernet Franc. A few years ago I took the WSET Advanced Certificate, fantasising about working in wine when the British chemical industry finally went down the pan. I have spent all my spare time this year setting up Hand Picked Burgundy and as of January 1st 2008 I'm done with chemicals. Be careful what you wish for - it might come true! (09/03, update 11/07)

Simpson, Alan - Edinburgh, UK
I have been mad about wine for the last 15 years, since my wife bought me a copy of the Which Wine Guide for 1991. I am active in a number of tasting groups around Edinburgh and am a committee member for the Scottish Wine Society. Much of my cellar is from classic wine regions (Bordeaux, Rhone, Port, Germany) but I also have a fair number of Aussie reds. (04/05)

Simpson, Graham - Liverpool, UK
I am a 30yo Scouser who woke up one day and realised that I was no longer in love with my profession, chemistry (if indeed I ever had been). So, I completed my Ph.D at Liverpool John Moores University and decided to shack-up with my new mistress, wine. Since then I've been on a rollercoaster of a ride through the world of wine (unfortunately, not literally) and love it so much so that I want to make it my new career! I suppose it all started in the late '80s when my brother introduced me to Oz and South African Chardonnay, but it didn't really take off until 15 months ago when the Sunday Times had a wine supplement and offered a selection of wines for half price through the Sunday Times Wine Club (STWC). Since then I've been totally hooked and have found a plethora of interesting wine sites on the web, including Tom's Wine Pages and the WLDG, which has allowed me to forge new friendships. I am studying the WSET Certificate course at home and keep meaning to take the exam so I can start the Higher Certificate. I am also trying to put together a 'cellar' and have just under 100 wines (many from Bordeaux and Burgundy). But it is an expensive hobby, especially considering I am currently 'in between jobs' and a total wine addict!!! Thank God for credit cards...... (01/00)

Smith, Brian - Cleethorpes, UK
I'm pretty new to this Forum stuff, so bear with me! I'm 53, and have been interested in wine for 20 years or so, gradually building up a reasonable cellar over that time. As I'm not rich, it doesn't contain any 1st growth clarets, although I do have 5 bottles left of Guigal 'cru' 1989 Cote Rotie, from a 6 bottle mixed case I bought 8 years ago. My particular passions are Mosel Riesling and Rhone reds, especially Chateauneuf- at least I can afford (some) of the top wines, which probably wouldn't be the case if I were a Claret/Burgundy devotee. I do like a variety of wine however, and have a sweet tooth for obscure 'sweeties'. (04/01)

Smith, Chris - London, UK
I am 27 and work as an economist in the City of London. But I am currently seeking to get into the wine trade, so if anybody out there needs an enthusiastic, motivated wine lover, let me know! I got into wine 5 or 6 years ago through the Central London Wine Society, and now attend several clubs as well as running two of my own. I also present tastings for a number of clubs in the London area, and am always keen to get more opportunities in this line, which is great fun. Have also recently completed the WSET Basic and Higher exams. Particular preferences are Rhône and Burgundy (inspired by trips) and Australia (sadly not). I buy far more wine than I can either drink, afford or store. Christopher.Smith@abi.org.uk (01/00)

Smith, David - Bath, UK
I'm 46 with the liver of a man twice that age. Owning a second home in France between the Loire and Bordeaux has led to the expansion of my collection to close to a thousand bottles. I have the great, good fortune to have a French friend who is astonishingly knowledgeable about wine and has by far the finest cellar of anyone I have ever met. He has created a vast network of small wine-makers in Bordeaux(especially noteworthy are the Crus Artisanales) and in Burgundy who often have small parcels of land abutting great estates and who enjoy the same terroir as their more illustrious neighbours. I buy en-primeur from five Bordeaux growers and from several in Bourgeuil and Chinon. My wife and I home exchange in Napa every other year where we have many friends in the wine industry - growers, producers and the blessed people who pour the samples in the tasting rooms. I've been lucky enough through them to enjoy many wonderful tastings of limited release and library wines (special mention and thanks to V Satui, BV and Silver Oak). If I could only drink one wine for ever more it would certainly be from the Medoc but I'd be loathe to be pinned down this early in my drinking career. If I could have my working life again it would be devoted to wine and food but it remains a fascinating and rewarding hobby. (08/00)

Smith, Geoffrey - California, USA
Hello! My name is Geoff Smith writing you this today in St Helena, Napa Valley, California. I began selling California wines in 1982 in Sebastopol, Sonoma County, when involved in a wine bar there called Jasper's. I had the great good fortune to grow up in a family where both French (Bordeaux) and Californian wines were served and appreciated. Having worked several stints at wineries, first and foremost during a six year period at the Dehlinger Winery in the Russian River Valley, I have had a constant and continuing love for both wine and winegrowing---having grafted approximately 5,000 grapevines in establishing a syrah vineyard 6 years ago at the intersection of Vine Hill and Laguna Roads in Sonoma County (Vine Hill Road---location of the Dehlinger and Kistler wineries). At any rate, a lifer it appears! (05/00)

Smith, Kinley - Lancashire, UK
It all started with a collection of beer. I knew what I liked and sought out new flavours and types from all over the world. At Uni, we drank wine, and the same process continued thanks to Oddbins and Australia (the former had the range and the latter affordable). Sotheby's Encyclopaedia '96 provided the knowledge, and so I bought a bottle of L. Latour 1996 Clos Corton and 1996 Ch. Maucaillou and never looked back. Dave at T. Wright in Horwich then refused to allow me to pick wine (or let me spend too much on a single bottle) and taught me about the wines of the world. Sadly he now works in Australia. (06/07)

Smith, Mark - Cambridge, UK
I manage a large wine cellar in Cambridge, not your average Cambridge cellar awash with ageing Port and Claret, although these areas are not neglected. Most wine making countries represented, so have the opportunity to taste great wines that would normally be beyond my budget. Personal preferences are mainly red, Southern France, Italy, Spain, all providing great QPR at the moment. Other interests are music, preferably live and loud, walking up hills, although family commitments restrict these outings at the moment. (04/02)

Sparkes, Marc - Hinckley, UK
I am 39 years old and live with my long time partner Nathalie (who us french) just my luck. My passion for wine started about 10 years ago with my first taste of alsace gewurztraminer, a night never to be forgotten. I am now a total Alsace nut! Our cellar now stands at around 300 bottles of alsace 100 of bordeaux and 150 bottles mixed beetween australian & italian reds. We have visited Alsace 4 times in last 7 years. If you have not been to rolly gassman at rorschwihr you should. My favorite producers are ostertag, zind humbrecht,ernest burn & bruno sorg all make stunning wines.We are both members of a wine club in st albans and attend many tastings. My other passion is the mighty Derby County FC.I Think i am wrong town! any info on the wines of Alsace maybe I can help. marc.sparkes@eu.interfaceinc.com (03/01)

Stewart, Alan - Penticton, B.C. Canada
I am a 61 year old retired Scot who has lived for the past 21 years here in the middle of the Okanagan Valley, Canada's premier wine producing region at the top end of the Sonoma desert which runs from California through Oregon, Washington to the southern interior of British Columbia. Over that 21 years I've seen a great evolution in viniculture here, spurred on by Mission Hill,s winning of the best chardonney in London in 1991. While the whites,such as Reisling,Pinot Auxerrois,Ehrenfelser,Mueller-Thurgeau,Chasellas were the first to gain some recognition because of our cool climate,we are now seeing quality Pinot Blanc,Sauvignon Blanc,Semillon and Pinot Gris as well as the ubiquitous Chardonney. More recent plantings of red varieties in the hotter south end of the valley are producing nice Merlot, Cab Sauv,Cab Franc and even Syrah.I,ve been informed that some very good Pinot Noir is showing up further north in the valley,but I'm not a true believer. I realize very little B.C. wine shows up on British shelves at the moment,but I'm convinced this will change. I'm willing to provide information on any of our local wines to anyone who's interested. PS I am partial to wines from other regions, as well as nice single malt Scotches, particularly Islays. (01/03)

Stevens, Greg - Hunter Valley, Australia
Age : 33. Live : Singleton (20 mins from the Hunter). Wine knowledge : Amateur/Intermediate. Cellar Size : Approx. 300 bottles - mostly Aust. and some French (Sauternes, Bordeaux, and Red Burgundy). Favourite Wines : Aged Hunter Shiraz and Semillon, Aged Riesling, good Pinot, vintage Champagne, Rutherglen Tokay. The Dream : To host a dinner with wines from my birth year (1966) inc. Le Montrachet, La Tache, Latour, Cheval Blanc, Yquem. Pet Hates : Verdelho, the dreaded Sem-Chard, green Cabernet, oak levels that leave splinters, unoaked Chardonnay, forgettable expensive wine. Short-term Goals : Build a temperature controlled cellar and become more knowledgeable about French and German wines. Long-term : to be able to share 20-30 yr old wines from my own cellar with friends. Other Interests : Football (Man.U supporter - sorry Jamie), Golf, Fishing, dining at good BYO restaurants. (03/00)

Stevenson, Andrew - Lancaster, UK
I got interested in wine following what was probably one of the best introductions: at some time between me being 16 and 18, my father decided I should have a reasonable introduction to wine and the first ever bottle was a Gevrey Chambertin at the (old) Mirabelle in London. Maker, year etc. long forgotten, though I do remember my dad having to wrestle with his wallet at the thought of such an expensive wine, so it must have had some age. The introduction worked - far better than he could have thought. And soon I was off on Sunday Times Wine Club tours with my mother (father doesn't leave the UK ...). I remember one splendid dinner at the Factory House in Oporto ... Holidays still tend to be wine tours, though unlike some forumites, these are organised tours (Arblaster & Clarke) - removes all the worry about drinking and driving. Just wish they didn't cost so much. Wine interests are distinctly catholic, with preferences for the Moselle, Argentina, non-Rioja Spain, Italy (top & bottom - ie Veneto & Sicily), and the French regions. Also sweet wines. Dislikes? Claret doesn't often do much for me (perhaps I've just not saved up enough for the good ones) and I've yet to have a South African wine that I like. I've never had a Barbaresco that I've liked either. I tend to buy from a range of places. I used to buy a lot from the Wine Society, but find their list dull now. D. Byrne at Clitheroe is blissfully close, but visits have to be limited by wallet considerations! I would normally only buy by the case once I've tasted a wine. For this, I now find everywine.co.uk useful. They're not the cheapest, but it saves a lot of hassle if I've had a single bottle of a wine and want more of the same. The lists of Lay & Wheeler, Laymont & Shaw and Bibendum (well, their sale list - they never send the main list!) also stir me into buying action on occasion. I've managed to wean myself down to just two or three bottles a week now. I always try to make a note of wines I taste, but try not to be too obsessive! I did a Latin degree at King's College London and then a PhD. I now work as the Departmental Administrator in the Department of Continuing Education at Lancaster University. Part of this role now includes that of wine steward: for various residential summer schools we pour wine down the customers' throats - and this is the third year that I've provided the wine for this and similar events after I got fed up of people buying bottles of rubbish from various supermarkets. Each of the three years, the wine bill has gone down, and the quality of the wine has gone up. I rather like that! Can I get free invites to trade tastings now, please? :-) Currently on the look out for relatively affordable bottles of 1964 anything for my upcoming 40th birthday. (07/02)

Stolarski, Leon - Nottingham, UK
I am 43 years old and have holidayed in France throughout my life (I have family there). Consequently, I always seemed to be around people who drank wine! I really started to take a serious interest in the late 80's, developing a taste for good Australian wine, which was much more reasonably priced at the time. In time, I gravitated more towards European wines, from countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany (Mosel Rieslings) and of course France. After travelling extensively around the south of France, for two weeks a year over a period of more than a decade, I finally decided that I wanted to become a "wine merchant". I have to admit to having absolutely no previous experience of the wine trade, or sales in general, so it is definitely a big leap for me. But some of the wonderful wines I had discovered over the years were just crying out to be available in the U.K, so when I was treated (whilst purely an "amateur de vin") to an extensive cellar tasting by a fabulous winemaker in the Minervois named Guy Vanlancker, I was hooked. I set up my business a few months later, and now sell Guy's wines as part of a growing and eclectic range from Languedoc, Roussillon, Rhone and Beaujolais. I am truly passionate about the wines of southern France - they are so exciting and different, and provide brilliany value for money, when compared to the more established regions. At the time of writing, I do all of this whilst still holding down a "day job" - which I have hated for the last 26 years. One day, I hope to be able to make the wine thing my full time job, if and when it can support a family! A few more good reviews from the likes of Jancis and Tom can only help in this regard! As to personal wine preferences, I am basically a carnivore, also with a sweet tooth and a liking for rich puddings, and this is reflected in my wine tastes. In terms of French wines, I am passionate about reds (predominantly) and whites from Languedoc, Roussillon, Rhone, the south-west, whites (both dry and "stickies") from the Loire and southern Vins doux naturel. I also love good Pinot Noir - unfortunately, Burgundy can be either brilliant or disappointing, and I never really had the money to experiment that much - therefore, most of my best Pinot experiences have been of the Californian variety. I must try some N.Z ones - a bit of a gap in my experience, I'm afraid. I also love Italian and Portugese reds (so many wonderful grape varieties), good German Riesling (from bone dry, right up the sweetness scale) and Hungarian Tokaji. Bordeaux, for me, is such a minefield and I largely avoid it, these days - many of the cheaper wines are rustic, to say the least, and the Cru Bourgeois can be very hit and miss, often leaving me underwhelmed. I have only ever drank a handful of classed growths, the last of which was a Lascombes 1986, (a few months ago). I'd saved it for 15 years or so and it was a huge disappointment - nothing technically wrong with it, just...ordinary. Maybe I'm too spoilt by having tasted so much wonderful wine from elsewhere, but I'm afraid I simply don't "get" Bordeaux. I still drink the odd new world wine, but have largely abandoned the Australian thing, especially as prices are now over-inflated. And they have a lot to answer for with the branding thing, even the once great Penfolds, whose wines have taken a dip in quality since the mid 90's. As for my life outside of wine.... I have been married to the delectable Diane for nearly 20 years and we have two devilish teenage boys, Alex and Daniel. I am a Nottingham Forest fan and was privileged to be a season ticket holder, back in the days when they ruled Europe, attending various cup finals, including the second European triumph in Madrid. I love motor-cycle racing, again travelling all over the U.K, Belgium and Holland, in the days of Agostini, Read, Roberts and Sheene. Halcyon days! I also play golf (12 handicap), and love cooking. My musical tastes are eclectic. Favourite artists/bands include Beatles, Beach Boys, Queen, Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Wilco, Nanci Griffith, Beth Nielsen-Chapman, Bonnie Raitt... the list goes on! (01/05)

Strange, David - London, UK
I have always been interested in wine, but my first opportunity to try reasonable wines was at Oxford University when I ran the wine circle and blind tasting team. Since then I have worked for a wine merchant, travelled around wine regions extensively and used my knowledge to write for various wine publications. My favourite wines come from Burgundy, the Rhone, Alsace and the Mosel valley, although (after a string of good vintages) I am now starting to love the wines of Piedmont. Wine is surely the greatest art form and I try to indulge in the best of the wine world as regularly as possible. (12/02)

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Taylor, Anthony - Stoke-on-Trent, UK
I've been an enthusiastic self-taught wine drinker for several years now and now have a colletion numbering som 450 bottles. Having grown up on New World wine, some 50% of that is Australian, but I have a real fondness for Riesling from Germany( the only truly world class wine that's relatively affordable nowadays, Port, Dessert wines and Madeira. I've never drunk a pinot noir i didn't think was missing something, but have recently developed a real fondness for claret, something else for my girlfriend to despair of! Am contemplating doing my WSET Higher certificate as a distance learning thing and would be interested in increasing my tasting skills if anyone out there lives within reach of Stoke.In my time away fromthe bottle I manage to hold down a job as an A&E doctor. (02/01)

Thomas, Paul - Orlando, Florida
I've enjoyed wine since the mid-seventies, but never got deeply into it until I drank a 1975 Chateau Haut Brion in 1993, which got me hooked on wine. At that point I began soaking up wine knowledge and collecting, always searching for new knowledge and great wine. Spent some time as a wine steward at Disney World, but otherwise have owned a recording business, acting as a producer and mixing engineer, creating audio CDs for bands and singer/songwriters. Am now in the real estate business with my wife, where we both work for a company that specializes in vacation homes in the Disney area. (2008)

Thomson, Craig - New Zealand
I am a 29 year old market analyst who first gained an interest in wine I guess five years ago. Being from down under my training, which involved countless tastings, was centred around New Zealand and Australian wine which is reflected in the composition of the cellar. I have a love for great australian Shiraz (best place to buy it is in NZ) and top New Zealand Cab Merlot (we keep the good ones here in NZ), Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurtz, and our famous Sauvignon Blanc. I have ventured into the world of clarets though my collection includes only a few bottles of the "safe" superstars. South America, Spain and Italy have also had a brief look. (05/00).

Thornett, Susan - San Francisco, USA
Grew up in green and leafy South West Birmingham, England. I became interested in wine as a waitress in a City restaurant whilst taking a music degree in London. Realising that a career in the restaurant biz affords better opportunity to drink on the job (well, depends which musicians you talk to) I waited tables in several countries before settling in glorious San Francisco. I'm studying for a level 3 Master Somm qualification, tasting all the wine that comes my way. Love some of the cooler climate West Coast wines, but tend to prefer old world wine in general. (07/08)

Travers, Marion - Doncaster, UK
Confirmed and unabashed lover of Champagne and Alsace Riesling, married with two smallish kids. Also a tallish husband who, fortunately, shares my enthusiasm for wine (if not my talent for spending money on it). Heaven is kids to my mum's for the night, some serious time in the kitchen, then an evening of food and wine with friends. (02/00)

Trombley, John - Michegan USA
I'm a fool who lost his heart some 25 years ago somewhere along some rivers in Germany, and whose taste perceptions were nearly permanently destroyed by the first fine vintage I came across - the 1976ers. Since then, pushed on by net friends, I've traveled to Germany twice (can't wait to get back), and begun holding forth virtually on the subject of German wine. I'm a bit of a controversialist, a lover of Germany's smallest wine rivers (if you don't know which those are, you have a treat in store for you), a Riesling addict, and a new convert to the finest of Germany's dryer wines. I'm also seriously involved (not commercially, though - I'm a retired pharmacist) with one particular estate, which I believe is getting ready to get the recognition it has deserved since the 1993 vintage - Jordan & Jordan, of Wiltingen, the Saar, whose best wines come from the Wiltinger Gottesfuß and the Scharzhofberg. I'm also a passionate lover of Maximin Grünhäuser, as much as its limited supplies and high demand allow me. My cellar is mostly German, and the rest is European. Loire stickies, a few Bordeaux and Burgundy gems, and some Sauternes and Tokaji make up the balance, if you forget about all that vintage Porto down there maturing. (09/00)

Trond, Norway
I am a 33 year old wine and food enthusiast from Norway. I am a business to business telecom salesman, when I'am not drinking, reading, tasting and living wine. I have only been seriously into wine for a couple of years. My cellar is basicly filled up with bordeaux wines, and wines from Tuscany. I also have a few bottles of Ch Musar from Lebanon and and some old rioja wines. I guess I'am now holding about 120 bottles, but it's strongly increasing. Burgundy is the next keyword, for what's going to "kill" my bank account. Some friends and I are now starting a wineclub for further pleasures. (01/04)

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Vaughan, Philip - London, UK
I got the wine bug "seriously" about 6 years ago now, although wine has always been around me and drunk by me for as long as I can remember. I know I've drunk a number of fine red and white Burgundy's, courtesy of my Dad and his friends. But the first "proper" wine I recall having under my own steam was a Chateauneuf-de-Pape from 1994. I cannot remember the maker, but do remember it was bought from one of those dodgy and predatory "wine merchants" at the Ideal Home Exhibition. I think they convinced me to part with 6 bottles of CdP - 3 red and 3 white - at about £20 - £25 per bottle (when I think what I *could* have bought!). However, I must say, I do not regret for a second the money I spent on those 6 bottles, as it has opened up a world of wine I could have quite easily missed... After that, a friend and I embarked on a wine tasting and fact learning frenzy, meeting up every Saturday for about 3 years (this is *before* children!) and either hunting out new wines and/or wine merchants or tasting various wines. That was good fun, I must say. I then enrolled in the WSET Certificate and Higher Certificate courses as with a notion of formulising and expanding my wine knowledge. FWIW I got an "A" at Certificate and a "B" Higher Certificate. And two nice tie pins ;-). After completing the courses, I knew I had to actually visit wine producing areas to really understand a wine region, so I started arranging one of the annual "family" holidays to a wine region (thanks to a very understanding and appreciative wife!) and have only missed a trip the year my son was born. These visits, to a certain extent, have driven my wine loves. My visit to Champagne made me fall for the individuality of the small growers Champagne. The tour of The Loire made me passionate about Savennieres and makes me wonder why South Africa seems unable to produce an unoaked Chenin with as much intensity and interest and the holiday in Alsace confirmed my thoughts that Riesling is by far the best white wine grape in the world! Other wine loves: I still hold a particular affection for Northern and Southern Rhone (which I think *still* offers exceptional value for money when compared to Bordeaux) despite the quite disgusting wine I bought from The Ideal Home Exhibition. Bordeaux is always intriguing. I'm learning, very slowly, about Burgundy. Know little but like lots of Italian wine (mainly Chianti/Chianti clones). Enjoy the remarkably good drinking that can be had from Germany and the value for money of South Africa, Chile and Argentina. Sherry also often makes an appearance in my house. I will drink and appreciate sweeties, but I don't really love them. The only time I seem to get along with wine with "higher than dry" RS is when they've been aged for 10 years or so, allowing the sweetness to subside. Port being the occasional exception.

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Walsh, Gary - Sydney, Australia
English by birth but have lived in Australia for most of my life. Thirty three years old at the time of writing and happily married. I drink wines of all colours and varieties from all over the world. There is nothing I am specifically against or dislike apart from cork closures. I specialise in Australian wines primarily because that is what I have the greatest exposure too. My palate preference is for more elegant Bordeaux blends and spicy cooler climate Shiraz. I have been very seriously into wine for about 8 years now but wine has been my favourite drink since (and infact before) turning 18. Some of you who hop over to the Auswine forum every now and then may be familiar with me as Gary W. I find this forum to be one of the more informed, civil and urbane examples and hope to contibute something useful every now and then. (03/03)

Wannell, Julian - London, UK
Wine lover and collector with some formal wine education, a good reference library and a subscription to The Vine. Write a regular column for a South African wine magazine, attend/host tastings frequently and have a miniature sideline advising other enthusiasts on buying wine. Have emerged from privacy-conscious obscurity after years of browsing this and other winesites mainly in order to participate in VinXchange, due to desire to rationalise cellar, which has grown out of control over the last 2 years of obsessive collecting. (02/04)

Weaver, Richard - London, UK
Though in the trade, I'll try bring something more to the forum than shameless plugs! I joined the trade with Majestic in 1997 and now run our website. My personal preference is for Southern European reds, especially Rhone, Southern France and Spain, although I'd like to think my palate was as varied as it is travelled. My one wish would be to be able to afford to drink better wine every day - but then whose isn't? (08/00)

Webb, Tim - Cambridge, UK
Chief compiler and editor of Good Beer Guide Belgium (CAMRA Books) since 1992 (6th UK edition due out March 2009) and 100 Belgian Beers to Try Before You Die (with Joris Pattyn, CAMRA Books, Sep 2008). Also owner and managing editor of Cogan & Mater Limited (www.booksaboutbeer.com), publishers of LambicLand (2005, 2nd edition Autumn 08) and Around Bruges in 80 Beers (2006, 2nd edition Winter 08), Around London in 80 Beers (out July 08) and two others - still a secret! Former Organiser Great British Beer Festival & CAMRA National Exec. Specialist in Belgian beers and trying to keep abreast of the growth of proper craft brewing (as opposed to badwagon-jumping), sometimes in the most unlikely places. Not as regular a contributor as I would like to be, yet. (2008)

Welch, Gareth - Fareham, UK
Hi, my names Gareth, I've been an avid reader of the forum for a couple of years now. I don't post very often - no net at work, and five children at home means I most often log on last thing at night, so usually just a browse - sorry. I've been into wine for maybe ten years. For me it fulfils all three of the things a good hobby should, its endlessly fascinating and you keep on learning and discovering. It allows you to collect, catalouge and maybe even hoard. And most importantly its sociable and makes you feel good. My main loves are White Burgundy, Dry Riesling from Alsace or Australiam Pinot Blanc, Red Burgundy and Rhone (both North and South), and good Aussie Shiraz and Cabernets. But really I'll drink most things, including the 3 for a £10 cellar protectors :-)) Cheers. (01/04)

Wesseling, Cornelius - Netherlands
I emigrated from the Netherlands to Australia at the age of 18 in 1967, got a practical diploma as a restaurant cook at the Polytechnical College in Sydney, after which I worked my way travelling around the world for many years as a cook in various degrees. My interest for wine developed during cooking at, and visits to, various wineries in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Spain, Italy, France and Germany. I also travelled to a many of the Greek Islands, of which a two year stay on the island of Kythira. On this island I worked as a fisherman/cook during summer, in the off-season I helped tending small private vineyards. Back in the Netherlands, I studied to become a Registered Oenologist and Liquorist at the Dutch Wine Academy and did a course in business administration. In 1989 I started my own company in The Hague: Savoir Vivre, specializing in wine-courses, cooking workshops, organising wine-events, writing about wine & food and guiding wine-travels. Since September 2011 I started the Project Greek Wines 2012, consisting of an interactive wine-website by the name of GrapeRover, first published beginning of March 2012 amd a comprehensive Greek wine guide and App. by the name of "It's all Greek wine to me". During the first six months of 2012 Cornelius I am travelling to most of the Greek wine regions, meeting winemakers, tasting their wines and gathering extensive information on Greek wines in general and, more specific, the numerous indigenous Greek grape varieties. I live in the town of Middelburg/Netherlands, and am happily married with two children, a dog and two cats. (11/12)

Westcott, Ian - Australia
I'm 49 y.o and live near Melbourne (on the Mornington Peninsula) in Australia married to a French lady ex Bordeaux and have two children, girl 14, boy 12. Since my early twenties I have had a great love of good food and wine. My palate has evolved from Aussie blockbusters to Aussie cool climate wines to Bordeaux and Rhônes then to an almost sole concentration on the beauties of Burgundy. A long term friend and I have establish a Burgundy wine tasting group from which has evolved a group to buy wines direct from the domaines for our own cellars. I have visited Burgundy at least once a year since 1994 and have been fortunate to develop a number of strong friendships with vignerons there. With the ever climbing price of white burgundy in particular we have started exploring the fascinating world of the small Champagne producers with much success and satisfaction. Again due to our groups passion we have been able to get allocations of a number of fine producers and been able to convince them , where thought desirable, to hold the wines on lees for later more optimal disgorgement. My recommendations of these producers is solely based upon my conviction as to what great quality and value they represent (I have no commercial interest in wine other than purchasing the wines for our private cellars.) (01/02)

Wharton, Simon - Dalston, UK
Had a general interest in wine since University when some friends set up a College wine society. Only became more focused again in the last year or so when the birth of our first child has necessitated more time spent at home. Generally interested in trying new and different wines with my attention constantly being dragged on to new areas - current favourites Alsace and Rhone. Now my expenditure is increasing, I'm looking to expand my knowledge.(11/02)

Whiteley, Nick - London, UK
27 year old whose interest in wine came from my dad and uncle. Was a member of Bath University wine society and interest has grown from there. Working in the City let me start a cellar, although redundancy last year has slowed the pace of expansion. Initial enthusiasm was for Australia, although this I year want to get into Italy. Main New Year resolution is to start taking and keeping proper tasting notes, so you may have to put up with a few…. Other main interest is sport, especially rugby. (01/02)

Wilkie, Linden - London, UK (ex-New Zealand)
Finished work in the corporate world in 2002 to come to London in pursuit of wine. Started with an MBA at Brunel in Uxbridge, then set up The Fine Wine Experience (
finewineexperience.com), organising wine tastings and dinners for enthusiasts and for the corporate hospitality market. Meanwhile drinking and tasting as much as possible - trade tastings, and other people's tastings too - doing my bit to prop up the industry! Loving it! (05/04)

Wilkins, Phil - London, UK
I am a 36 year old wine lover having set up residence in Wandsworth, married, with 2 little boys filling up the terraces in Nappy Valley. Since leaving Australia half my lifetime ago, I am now pigeon-holed as a so-called specialist freelance food photographer with over 70 titles photographed to date, along with numerous magazine features and supermarket commissions (ie the pictures you get on the packaging of your Chinese ready-meal, cornflake box or package of biscuits for example). Yes, it's my job to make the food you eat look appetising, day in and day out! My wine interest began extremely casually and then took over when my father sent me an article on a wine for which "to mortgage your house over". That was the Grange 1990. The subsequent search for it was my downfall (actually £35 at Tesco's in the end) and since then it has been a self-educational quest, trying wines from around the globe. The learning has been real trial and error (and there have been lots of errors). Great fun though! My favourite wine is still Australian Shiraz but my new quest is to find the more elegant and restrained (80's) versions of those and, of course, the exquisite Rhone Valley reds - both Southern and Northern. I haven't had much luck with white wines that really satisfy, from anywhere, as yet. So much more to learn though. (02/01)

Wilson, Andy - Cambridge, UK
I am 31 and have been facinated with wine for some 10 years now. My eyes were really opened to wine after attending Wine tasting evening classes and being able to taste some of the great wines of the world. I now organise a wine tasting group for fellow wine lovers in Cambridge. I only have a small cellar of some 150 bottles at various prices and vintages. I have a great passion for the wines of Alsace and the red wines of Rioja. (04/00)

Wise, Nick - London, UK
Hello to everyone. I've been working in the wine industry for 10 years now. Worked for different wine companies such as John Armit, Fullers and such before starting my own on-line wine company-casevalue.com. We mostly deal with selling wine to the corporate market- gifts, incentives etc., but also have a dedicated site for private customers. I have come across quite a few posters on the Squires board. I live in South Ken next to the new Hanford shop(used to be the Vig) with my Jack Russell and I like to drink and collect plenty of wine (11/03).

Worsley, Jari - St Albans, UK
I've drunk wine on and off for years, and seem to have realised only recently that there is more variation and fun in wine than choosing just "red" or "white". My first memorable wine encounter was as a 15 year old in a nouvelle cuisine restaurant (remember them?) in the south of France with my parents. The food was absolutely dreadful, but the wine even to me as a young'un was quite superb. A bottle of 1966 Haut Brion bought for something like 200 Francs - because it was so old the proprietor was having trouble shifting the stock... *sigh* my subsequent wine drinking hasn't lived up to the initial promise. The "dark" years of university saw much experimentation with home brew... with young professional days pursuing quantity not quality... The recent trigger came from a bottle of 1994 Cos d'Estournel enjoyed over my first wedding anniversary meal last September (2002). Quite frankly it blew me away compared to the wines I've drunk in the past (and yes I know it's not supposed to be a great year, etc, etc...). I finally realise why people paid the subject so much attention... Since then I have been like a magpie, trying anything and everything I can to try and find some more WOW experiences, and broaden my everyday drinking knowledge. Shock, horror, German wines, dessert wines, pinotage, Zinfandel, all have crossed my palate, and yet there's still so much to try! My wife is bemused by it all and accuses me of being on the road to becoming a wine bore. Frankly I don't mind... Lastly, I am labouring under the delusion that this is a controllable habit, and that I will calm down with a few years tasting under my belt... please tell me this is so? ;) (03/03)

Wright, James - Paris, France
I am 40 and live in Paris although I hail from Glasgow via London. I work in the car business. I have been interested in wine and things wine related for longer than I now care to remember. However I beccame seriously interested (anorak?) in wine probably about 5 years ago when I started to explore fine burgundy, which remains my personal weakness. I benefit from living in driving distance of the worlds finest vineyards and I try and make the most of it. Whilst I do enjoy new world wines, I am at heart a lover of French wine. My current project is in it's early day's. I have started planning for a cellar to see me through my retirement and old age, France being the ideal place to research such a long term project. My ever patient wife fortunately shares the wine bug although perhaps less seriously. (07/01)

Wright, Mark N - Southport, UK
I have been interested in wine for a long time now and my simple philosophy is to try as many different wines as possible. As a result I rarely buy the same wine twice unless it is a particularly good one or a unbelievable offer. I have recently had a career change and have just qualified as a teacher. I live in Southport in the North-West of England, although I am originally from Coventry. My one disappointment in living here is the lack of good wine merchants to purchase wine from, and so I use the Internet. Ideally I would like to contact people in this area with a similar interest in wine - i.e. wine club. (07/08)

Wylie, Gary - Doncaster, UK
I am a 40-something originally from Wales, but working and settled in Doncaster for over 20 years. My interest in wine includes running a small " fine wine circle" and writing the occasional wine piece for a local newspaper. I drink the stuff too of course, mainly red with a particular penchant for Bordeaux and the Rhone, though I'm not adverse to new world wines if balanced and moderately oaked. (03/00)

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