A Wine Writers View on the World of Wine
Having caught the wine bug back in 1995, via a very enthusiastic boss, it has led me on a very merry journey into a world I was never aware of. As a result of this I have now studied wine, up to WSET Advanced level and briefly dabbled with the Diploma course.
I spent 14 years working for First Quench Retailing, Thresher Group, working my way up from a part time sales assistant to branch manger. My last two stores were flagship branches, both in noted wine drinking areas.
Apart from my managerial duties in these stores, I had always seen it as part of my role to educate my customers. Wine is a tricky enough subject with very little output amongst the High St wine fraternity to educate the public. Another role I played within FQR was as a company wine tutor. I would take new members of staff away for an afternoon and go through the basics of wine from tasting techniques, understanding labels, grape characteristics etc.
In August 2010 I helped set up a new independent wine store in Battersea, London, North & South Wines LTD. This allowed me to indulge my passion for wine by implementing a wine range with a particular focus on diversity. Different styles of wine, breaking from the norm, introducing the public to varieties which they may not have been aware of and finally, having the chance to work hand in hand with suppliers and producers.
Seeing a different side to the wine trade has given me a new, re-energised outlook to all things wine.
I have now developed a keen interest in wine writing. Since I launched my blog, back in April 2011, I have found writing very therapeutic. Sharing my experiences via education, news, reviews and interviews. It has also helped me to keep up to date with the wine industry on a global scale, meeting people and making new contacts from all walks of the trade and talking to others who share my passion.
In January 2012 I had my first article published in Harpers Wine & Spirit Trades Review. Since then others have followed including blog feeds on the Harpers website. I also write a wine blog on the The Huffington post UK website under my full name, Mike John Matthews. In September 2012 I left my role within wine retail to begin a career as a full time wine writer.
Outside of wine I am a keen rugby fan. I’m a season ticket holder with Harlequins RFU, you’ll find me in my usual spot on game days in the north stand, and a lifelong fan of Liverpool FC. In fact I like watching a lot of sport. I also love music. I play the drums and dabble with the guitar.