As a born and raised Canadian whose youth was spent getting buzzed on strong lager and whiskey, fine wine was a mystery I had never really contemplated until I was introduced to the magic of fine wine by a continental gastronomic friend in the early 1990s.
After experiencing the revelations of properly matured Bordeaux at a time when I could scarcely afford a 6-pack of Molson X, I found myself suddenly educated and fascinated with the idea of building a cellar: A concept as foreign as I was to the UK. Patiently collecting en primeur/ release wines (starting with the 1995 Bordeaux vintage), I gradually expanded my wine horizons, initially through auctions, into vintage port, red and white Burgundy, Tuscany, Piemonte, North and South Rhone, vintage Champagne, Spain, Australia, New Zealand.
I have also dipped my toes (actually more like both feet up to my knees) into investing, focusing on noted vintage new releases of champers, and other potentially investable gems. I can confidently advise anyone interested in this on what not to buy if you ever actually want to realise some gains as, believe it or not, wine is actually a notoriously illiquid market!!
In terms of wine education, I came to WSET quite late, after taking a little career break in 2018. I suppose I figured that having read almost every available piece of wine literature, subscribed to multiple online review sites and generally geeking out about wine, I didn’t need it. I was wrong. I thank Adam and Kiran for convincing me to go the WSET route, managing to get straight onto the Level 3 course, which I duly completed with a distinction (Note: if you haven’t done Level 1 or 2, you will need to get a 90% score on a fairly difficult timed multiple choice exam, which is achievable if you just read the Level 3 WSET book).
I am also an original member of 67 Pall Mall, a destination for the continually wine-curious. Fortunate to have a wide circle of friends through various jobs who are similarly wine oriented, I constantly marvel how wine lovers seem to have some inner magnetic ability to find and connect with each other.
Adam and Kiran graciously invited me to become part of the WanderCurtis family, enabling me to expand my wine horizons even further – or perhaps it was because of my cellar – but I guess it doesn’t really matter. I was involved in some of the earliest WC dinners and continue to help with and attend these events as they are simply a fantastic way to experience a small deep dive into a wine maker/region. The atmosphere is always convivial, light hearted and highly social, plus they are just great value wine education events. I would say that one of the coolest things about WC is that we take our wine seriously and ourselves less so.
I look forward to hopefully seeing you all again at one of our upcoming GrosternWanderCurtis (while I think GWC has a certain ring to it, I haven’t managed to convince them to change the name yet…) just as soon as life returns to a more normal state.