Vin-à-Porter was born out of my refusal to drink mediocre wine when travelling at home or abroad. In some places like Morocco it was simply impossible to find anything drinkable and in certain hotels you needed a second mortgage to afford anything half-decent.
I started VAPing on British trains with a couple of trusty Riedel stemless glasses and then graduated to taking bottles in my suitcase wrapped in towels and plastic bags. Amazingly I never had any breakages using this technique! I upgraded to using inflatable bottle bags before the wine suitcase was born.
To date I have successfully case-VAPed in countries including Japan, Morocco, Hawaii, Mauritius and Mexico and those holidays were all the better for having a few bottles of delicious wine to hand that didn’t cost the earth.
I started my wine career at Majestic Wine in 1998 and tired of stacking boxes I moved to the Rheingau, Germany in 1999 to work as an apprentice winemaker. On my return, I landed a dream job as tastings manager for the world’s first ever wine website WineToday.com (The New York Times Group) working alongside industry legend Oz Clarke.
I started writing about wine in 2000 and in 2002 won the UK Young Wine Writer of the Year award. I have since contributed to titles including Esquire, Olive and jancisrobinson.com and have presented wine segments on Sky One, Radio 2 and LBC London.
From 2002-2006 I worked for a Michelin starred restaurant group, with restaurants in London and New York with some of the most extensive wine lists in the world. Working with the sommeliers at each location gave me a detailed knowledge of fine wine, wine lists and fine dining.
In 2006 I moved into PR and have since worked with generic bodies (Champagne Information Bureau, Sherry Information Bureau, Wines of Germany) and companies including Rémy Martin, Laurent-Perrier, G.H. Mumm, Perrier-Jouët and Aldi. In 2010 I devised the Pernod Ricard Champagne Assembly, an event which won the Best Event category at the CIPR Pride Awards. From 2015-2019 I worked with Morrisons organising their biannual press tastings and acting as a consultant to the buying and press teams and writing award entries.
My specialist area is food and drink pairing and I have worked with many brands including Castello Cheese, Jacobs Crackers, Premier Foods, Peperami and Ferrero Rochet to develop thought-provoking pairings. My most memorable project was Café de Mort: a pop-up restaurant fronted by Gregg Wallace serving a menu of potentially lethal dishes including Japanese puffer fish. I have also worked as an ambassador for Castello Cheese developing innovative recipes and drinks pairings and demonstrating in the live theatres at shows including BBC Good Food and Ideal Home.
For 4 years I worked as part of the team developing Corkscrew, a wine app to help consumers find the perfect wine in UK and US supermarkets and wine retailers. I was Corkscrew’s ambassador, in-house sommelier and co-creator of the OmniPair™ food and wine pairing algorithm.
I opened Daygustation Wines in October 2020 after COVID terminated my ongoing contracts in PR, tech and events! A local wine shop and bar offering truthful and unpretentious service.