A passionate member of the hospitality industry. A trained sommelier. A wine, food and people lover.
I fell in love with wine as a child… not in a weird way. I could hardly help it when my family introduced me to the wines of France, New Zealand, Australia as if they were something sacred, important and just really lovely. We travelled, we ate, we drank and we talked.
I still feel an extreme sense of nostalgia walking down into a musty wine cellar. The smell is so evocative and immeasurably connected to my childhood as well as my best memories during my years in the wine industry.
Through nearly 15 years working in the hospitality industry my love of wine has grown and grown. Beginning in Wellington, then moving through Auckland, then Melbourne for over 6 years before returning to Auckland. I have worked in family-run, boutique restaurants such as Maria Pia’s in Wellington; high end Japanese restaurants including Nobu Melbourne and Masu at Skycity in Auckland with Nic Watt; a fast-paced and intensely dedicated small Turkish restaurant, Gigibaba; a sophisticated Asian inspired Australian eating house at Golden Fields with Andrew McConnell; and carefully-curated dimly lit bars focusing on craft beer, craft cocktails and natural wine at Lovebucket. Among the roles I have taken on are those of Sommelier, Beverage Manager and Sake Sommelier. I have been involved from the opening stages for 7 different venues and I consider this to be one of my strengths. I thrive on the adrenalin and challenges that come with setting up an exciting hospitality venture from scratch.
At first I learned from passionate managers, bartenders and owners. Then I met some sommeliers and serious trained wine professionals and my interest was well and truly piqued. I embarked upon official wine education when I started with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust UK. Through each level of course that they offer I became more aware of what I didn’t know about wine! It is a huge, varied and constantly changing world. It is romantic, earthy, practical and ethereal all at once.
I have succesfully completed my studies for the WSET Diploma (Level 4) and am looking forward to the next step in my studies of wine. I am now working with Jane Skilton MW for the New Zealand School of Wine and Spirits as a WSET Certified Educator. In the meantime, my exploration of extraordinary wines from all over the world continues.
In addition to my hospitality jobs I have also been hired for public speaking at wine events (ie Winetopia, WOW Festival, Taste Auckland), training roles, coordinating fundraising events and wine-judging (Dish Magazine, Metro Magazine). I was awarded the Negociants Outstanding Wine Service Professional Award at the Lewisham Awards 2015.
What now? Now I am a sommelier and wine consultant living, drinking, creating and enabling in Auckland, New Zealand. I am offering consulting services to restaurants, bars, corporate clients and private clients with the aim of helping to curate, train, inspire and build. My skill set reflects all of the years I have spent enchanted with wine and working hard in the hospitality industry alongside many talented individuals.