For as long as I remember, My Father was always so passionate about wine. The quality, the experience and of course Mum and Dad’s famous food and wine evenings held at home. I was inspired to want to learn more about wine and straight from school found myself working for Liquor retail. My first retail job in NZ was with Liquor King retail as an assistant manager for their flagship store Greenlane wines & Spirits. Wine and beer and spirits were in their infancy back in the late 90’s. I then spent a lot time working within liquor corporate with companies such as Pernod Ricard, which was the number 1 spirit company in the world. I gained a lot experience and fell in love with the stories and history about premium spirit brands from all over the world. Most of my working life has now been at Fine Wine Delivery. In 2013, I introduced spirits and craft beer to our offerings and both categories are now securely established here. The reason for the growth is that we also taste and rate all new products and we tell stories and create experiences. The massive growth in Gin for example also leads to tasting and recommending the right tonics. It keeps me very busy being on both the beer and spirits panels, but I love all the creative, flavours and new experiences that both spirits and craft beer delivers.
It was a given I was going to fall in love with wine. I grew up with dad working in the industry almost all my life and his passion for it was of course a massive influence in our family. Long lunches and dinners were regular events in our home. Mum is where I got my passion for food. Six-course meals matched to amazing wines, it is fun, challenging and rewarding to create these experiences shared with friends and family. It was always about good people, good food and good wine, a coming together creating experiences that are lifelong memories with the people we love.
I can thank my parents for my love of fine wine. They instilled a belief from early on that it was quality over quantity, although if there was quantity of the quality that was even better. I started my career in the Wine Industry at Vintage Cellars (yes, I'm Australian, don't hold it against me). I quickly progressed from sales consultant to store manager, eager to develop both my wine knowledge and customer service skills.
My passion for beer started while I was at university studying Food Science, when I found myself drawn to the brewing (and tasting) side of the beer industry. I was working part-time selling beer and wine whilst at university, and soon my love for beer grew and expanded from a growing hobby to a full-time job. I started homebrewing, tasting and reviewing my way through the many exciting beers New Zealand has to offer, and before long I was hooked.
Ever since I was old enough, I have had a passionate interest in fine wine, craft beer and craft spirits. I was the inquisitive teenager always having a little sip to discover what my parents, grandparents and family friends were imbibing, especially at family gatherings and celebrations, when the best wine, beer and Whiskey appeared. I can still remember being taken to the famous Bushmills whiskey distillery in County Antrim, Northern Ireland (the country and county of my birth) and being fascinated by the fact that it was the oldest in the world and one of the very best. This fired my passionate interest in all thing’s whiskey, especially my love of Irish/Scottish whiskey history and tradition, which still burns brightly to this very day.