A lot of my teenage years
were spent in Perigueux (Dordogne Valley) with frequent visits to Bordeaux and
Bergerac. Later, a boyfriend of mine worked for Gonzalez Byass Sherry and we
spent about a month as guests of that family in Jerez. Both these factors
sparked off what has proved to be a lifelong interest in wine.
In the 1970’s I started work
in the wine trade as the only female wines and spirits representative (women
were not considered to have palates in those days!) for Saccone and Speed –
firstly selling mostly Blacktower and Tarragona Spanish Gold in the East End of
London and finally graduating six years later to the much ‘posher’ environment
of Central London and the City with such accounts as the Savoy Hotel.
Saccone and Speed sponsored
me through the WSET exams up to Diplomas A and B. I started teaching Wine
Studies Courses for Merton Borough Council and Surrey Council approximately 16
years ago and I now teach for them three nights weekly during term time.
I also teach privately for
companies, associations, clubs etc. when requested. My regular commitment is
with two branches of the retired gentlemen’s club known as PROBUS. I started my
own wine school three years ago and for the last ten years I have organized and
lead tours to the vineyard regions of France (usually groups of between 30 and