Where did you first develop an interest in wine?
I worked in Dijon in the mid 90's. We used to spend many of our weekends eating and drinking in Beaune in the heart of Burgundy, and discovering the delights of Mersault's cellar tastings on hot summer days.
Where was your first job?
I joined Majestic Wine in Northampton in 1998. That year went by in a bit of a blur, but we had great fun and drank a lot of wine.
Describe your role in The Oxford Wine Company.
I help run the day to day operations of the warehouse. It's a non stop job and no two days are the same. It can be hard work but it's always rewarding. Anyway - how many people are encouraged by their boss to taste fantastic wines at work on a daily basis.
What recent trends have you spotted amongst your customers?
There has been a backlash to the overly oaked, over ripe new world Chardonnays that some producers have been making. It's now common for customers to ask for "...anything but Chardonnay". I do think it's a bit of a shame, as many people are missing out on some of the most wonderfully subtle and complex wines in the world today; from the steely character of a good Chablis Grand Cru, to the enchantment of the best southern Burgundies.
What is the worst bottle of wine you have ever tasted?
I tend not to drink bad wine; I feel it's better clean your kitchen floor with the stuff than drink it. I have tasted some awful wines though. What I find most shocking is the quality of some of the most popular wines in the country, often these are Californian wines found in the supermarkets for three for a tenner.
And the best?
The bottle I had last night. Ask me tomorrow and it'll be the bottle I'm going to drink tonight. Wine is about occasion; we've all drank fantastic wines, but it's the people you drink a bottle of wine with that really count.
If you weren't in the wine trade, what career might you have chosen?
Professional rower. I was a keen rower at Uni and in my prime held the indoor rowing marathon record. If it wasn't quite such a hard slog, I think I'd still be doing it now.
Who would you invite to a dinner party and why?
I'd invite Tony Benn and Margaret Thatcher for a bit of a debate; Mathew Pinsent and Ranulph Fiennes to tell a few good tales; and Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore to make us all laugh.
Most memorable wine related moment?
During Bastille night jumping into the fountains in the town square in Meursault, after consuming too many fine wines and cheep beers, and listening all night to a really awful live band.
What will you do this weekend?
Go mountain biking in South Wales.