About

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One of 14 “international wine opinion leaders” selected for The Landmark Australia Tutorial 2010

A wine tasting course was the catalyst for my re-invention from lawyer to purveyor, raconteur and professional imbiber of wines. As they say, converts are always the worst and I love sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm about wine through tastings and wine writing. There is no better way to combine pleasure and learning!

I started off my wine career with multi-award winning wine merchants Oddbins in 2000, managing Oddbin’s flagship Fine Wine Store in the city between 2003 and 2005. Since striking out on my own in 2005 as an independent wine writer and educator, I have become an acknowledged authority on the wines of Portugal and Australia.

In addition to writing for respected magazine titles such as Decanter and The World of Fine Wine I have contributed to leading reference books on my areas of expertise, including Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book (Portugal, Port & Madeira, since 2006), Jancis Robinson MW’s The Oxford Companion (4th ed., Portugal), Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson  MW’s The World Atlas of Wine (6 ed. & 7th ed., Portugal & Australia). I have also contributed to 1001 Wines You Must Drink Before You Die, The Wine Opus, 1000 Great Wines, Oz Clarke Pocket Wine Book and Wine Behind the Label.  I am one of two international contributors to the Portuguese wine blog Blend, all about wine.

Broadcast experience includes appearances on BBC Radio 4 and ABC TV’s Landline.

In demand as a judge and speaker at home and abroad, I am delighted to be counted among Decanter’s “experts par excellence” in my capacity as Regional Chair, Portugal at Decanter World Wine Awards and to be one of four “UK leading wine experts” judging Oddbins’ The Palate 2014.

Click here for client and press testimonials.

Accolades

Portuguese wine writer award 2009

The Portuguese Ambassador Antonio Santana Carlos presents me with The Portuguese Wine Writer of the Year Award 2009

Photo credit: Axel Probst

Anointed a Cavaliero of Confraria do Vinho do Porto. Photo credit: Axel Probst

  • Cavaliero of Confraria do Vinho do Porto (Port brotherhood)
  • One of 14  international wine opinion leaders selected for The Landmark Australia Tutorial 2010
  • Short-listed for the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Wine Communicator of the Year 2010
  • Portuguese Annual Wine Awards Wine Writer of the Year 2009
  • Short-listed for the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Wine Communicator of the Year 2009
  • Finalist, the Women of Wine Awards 2007

Qualifications

Receiving the Rouyet Guillet Cup - WSET Diploma

Receiving the Rouyet Guillet Cup – WSET Diploma

  • The Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma (Distinction); as top graduate, awarded the Rouyer Guillet Cup (re-named the Vintners’ Cup), Geoffrey Jameson Award and Vintners’ Scholarship
  • WSET Higher (Distinction); awarded the Vintners’ Bursary
  • WSET Certificate

Judging activities

Chairing the Portugal panel - Decanter World Wine Awards

Chairing the Portugal panel – Decanter World Wine Awards

  • 2014 – Oddbins’ “The Palate”
  • 2014 – Wines of Portugal Sommelier Quest
  • 2013 – 125th Rutherglen Wine Show, Australia
  • 2013 – Wolf Blass Master Blend Classification
  • 2013 – Wines of Portugal Challenge, Portugal
  • 2012 – Concurso Nacional de Vinhos, Portugal
  • 2011 onwards – Regional Chair for Portuguese table wines, Decanter World Wine Awards, London
  • 2009 – Vinipax, Alentejo, Portugal
  • 2009 – Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia, Mount Barker
  • 2009 – Essencia do Vinho Top 10  Portuguese Wines, Porto
  • 2009 – Interloire Project Sauvignon Blanc Ambassadors’ Tasting, the Loire
  • 2009, 2010 – The International Wine Challenge, Senior Judge
  • 2008 – Annual Chile Wine Awards, Santiago
  • 2006 onwards – Decanter World Wine Awards, London, (Loire, Portugal, Chile, Australia)
  • 2006 onwards – Decanter panel tastings, London
  • 2006-2007 – Wine & Spirit Sommelier Challenge, London
  • 2007 – Interloire Project Cabernet Franc Ambassadors’ tasting, the Loire
  • 2007 – Wine & Spirit Muscadet Panel, London
  • 2006 – Union des Oenologues de France Rendez-Vous de Chenin Blanc & Cabernet Franc, the Loire
  • 2004 – Union des Oenologues de France Rendez-Vous de Chenin Blanc, the Loire

Hands-on experience

Vintage experience in Spain (Bodegas Torres), South Africa (Boekenhoutskloof) and Australia (Cullen) and an introduction to winemaking course at Plumpton College, Sussex.

Vintage at Cullen Wines, Margaret River

Hats & hands on: vintage at Cullen Wines, Margaret River