Where did you first develop an interest in wine?
Around the Sunday dinner table when I was fairly young. My Dad has always been interested in wine (especially Italian) and we all enjoyed a good boozy Sunday lunch. My friends loved being invited to join us because of the wine and the atmosphere - I always ended up with red cheeks!
Where was your first job?
In our local pub. I started in the kitchen and progressed to being a waitress and then serving behind the bar - in fact I've had a go at pretty much everything that you can do in a pub - workwise that is! I knew all the locals - we used to have loads of laughs at the bar and had a great time. When I was waitressing the locals insisted on me staying on until closing time and bought me loads of drinks. Very often I'd end up spending all the money I'd earned during the day!
Describe your role in The Oxford Wine Company?
I'm now part of the Sales team selling to the trade, but before that I'd worked at The Oxford Wine Company part time on and off for about four years, working in the shop, the warehouse and doing the odd delivery here and there. It was a great introduction to wine and the trade and was a good way to earn a bit of extra money whilst I was at Uni.
What recent trends have you spotted amongst your customers?
We seem to sell more rose every year. The customers are always asking for it, especially Domaine de Gouyat, which is still the most popular of all our roses. Sparkling wine has been very popular this year and also BBQ wines, probably because of the hot summer we had.
What is the worst bottle of wine you have ever tasted?
It's hard to remember the worst of all, but in my student days when I was managing on a student grant with someone else buying the booze for a group of us I got through some awful stuff - the whites in particular were pretty rough.
And the best?
Amarone Della Valpolicella, Corte Sant'Alda which I first tasted whilst on a visit to the winery in Italy during my gap year and again when I was taking my Wine and Spirit Education Trust Advanced Certificate with Michael Palij, Master of Wine. Mind you I used to drink an Italian red with my father that we really liked. I can't remember the name of it but it came in a really heavy bottle - when you picked it up it still felt like there was something left in it - although there never was! A nice tasty fun wine.
If you weren't in the wine trade, which career might you have chosen?
I completed a Business and Management BA honours degree last summer which could have led to a career in marketing, but actually I've always fancied being a lady that lunches - that sounds like a great career to me! All I need is a rich husband!!!
Who would you invite to a dinner party and why?
The Top Gear team (my older brother, father and boyfriend are all fanatical about cars and always take me along to shows and track days) because they're funny and I love the crazy tests and stuff that they get up to. Michael Palin because he's amusing and interesting, has travelled the world and must have loads of stories to tell. And I'd get Gordon Ramsey to cook the meal and then join us because he'd make us laugh, be extremely rude and cook us a great meal.
Most memorable wine related moment?
Drinking a bottle of Krug in the garden after my exam results with my boyfriend Sy (I got a 1st). It was a beautiful sunny day and I didn't have a care in the world - apart from the Krug running out!
What will you drink this weekend?
A bottle of the Inurrieta Norte from Navarra in Spain - it's just perfect with roast lamb.
What interests do you have outside wine?
Good food and eating out. Motorsport, swimming and watching rugby. I'm also into music and enjoy seeing live bands.