A Wine Writers View on the World of Wine. Formerly Magics Wine Guide and Reviews for Newbies
As people who appreciate wine, regardless of what level of knowledge you may or may not have, we all had to start somewhere.
For me it was working for a guy called Steve McNeil. He was my manager back in 1995 in a Bottoms Up store in Teddington, South West London. I was a part time sales assistant. I had just come from having a summer break after spending 4 years as a trainee departmental manager in Tesco.
My mother had told me about a job she saw being advertised in a wine store. I thought it would be a lot of fun and applied. Needless to say I got the job.
As a man and a manager, Steve was a guy who shared an enthusiasm for wine. So much so that he had guys working for him during there entire University degree.
He was respected by most that worked with him. The guy taught us a lot about wine.
When I was promoted to assistant store manager, along with another member of staff, Gary Clough, Steve arranged for a party in our honour at his place in Crowthorne, Berkshire. I was moved to another store and received an engraved pewter tanker for my efforts . It still stands by my computer.
His passion for wine rubbed off on me and the rest of the staff. I find myself now getting wound up by the same things he got annoyed with 16 years ago.
So to Steve McNeil. I salute you for putting me on this crazy path.