Where did you first develop an interest in wine?
Running a pub in Oxford where I drank wine as a slimming exercise because I was drinking too much real ale.
Where was your first job?
Selling direct for the International Wine Company in Luton. This was a much more aggressive attitude towards selling which did not suit my laid back style.
Describe your role in The Oxford Wine Company.
Selling to pubs, clubs, hotels, wine bars and restaurants. Thank goodness, I no longer get involved in the day to day running of the warehouse. I like the freedom the role offers but it doesn't seem long ago that Ted and I were unloading lorries into a barn in Longworth. Things have come a long way since then!
What recent trends have you spotted amongst your customers?
Rosé, Rosé, Rosé. It seems to be really big this year purely because the quality has improved a lot recently and we stock some good examples. The Bergerac takes no prisoners and is drunk in my local (The Fox, Barrington) as if it is lager.
What is the worst bottle of wine you have ever tasted?
A bad bottle of Retsina on a beautiful Greek beach in the company of a pretty girl who refused to walk the three miles to get the bottle replaced!
And the best?
1984 Château Tour de Cause, St. Émilion.
If you weren't in the wine trade, what career might you have chosen?
Farmer or pub manager.
Who would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Tommy Cooper, Kelly McGuinness, Ian Botham, Winston Churchill and Billie Holiday. Tommy would keep us amused, Billie would sing, Ian would dispense the wine, Winston would make the after dinner speech and Kelly would just look gorgeous. The perfect evening.
Most memorable wine related moment?
Being ordered by Ted to go to the fun fair in Toulouse after a particularly long and boozy lunch (it was 10pm by then)! The Foie Gras nearly reappeared!
What will you drink this weekend?
Black & Tan (Guinness & bitter)
What interests do you have outside wine?
Cricket, golf, fishing, eating out and walking my dog, Barney.