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. I’ve since literally steeped myself in wine knowledge and struck out on my own in 2005 as The Wine Detective, travelling widely to keep up with developments and to discover exciting wines to write about and show at my tastings.
Today, I am an award-winning freelance wine writer, blogger, educator and judge, with a particular interest in the wines of Australia, the Loire, Portugal and South Africa. Additionally, I speak at conferences, participate in panel discussions and present tutored tastings, courses and events nationwide for a range of clients and, as quizmaster, host Wine Australia’s University Wine Champions.
I have written for specialist wine magazines including: Decanter, The Drinks Business, Imbibe, The World of Fine Wine, Harpers Wine and Spirit and Wine-Searcher.com and, since 2006, have contributed to the annual guide Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book (for Portugal, Port & Madeira).
Past contributions include The World Atlas of Wine (6th ed & 7th ed, latterly consulting on Australia and Portugal), 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 currently contributing on Portugal to the forthcoming fourth edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine.
I have also contributed to BBC Radio 4 and ABC TV programmes about wine.
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- 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
- 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
- 2013 – 125th Rutherglen Wine Show, Australia
- 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