This blog is designed to give you an insight into the wonderfully diverse world of wines and also a bit of a peek into what life is like at Virgin Wines HQ. We’ll introduce you to our Wine buyers and let you know where they have been on their round the world sampling trips. Our Managing Director, Jay Wright, will make the occasional appearance updating us on his busy schedule. We’ll also include informed debates from our expert Wine Advisors and Wine Picks of the Month from staff members ranging from our Wine Advisor Sophie to John in the Warehouse. We’ll take you on a tour of the wine making countries of the world and provide you with some interesting information on a wide variety of grapes, some of which are better known than others. Look out for our Virgin Wines News section, this will keep you up to date with everything we are involved in from raising money for charity to what we got up to at the latest staff party and where you can join us at our next tasting event.
Meet the Folks Behind the Blog
Want to get to know the people who will be writing regular features in the blog? Well, now’s your chance to find a little more out about them!
Jay Wright – Managing Director – @jaywright1969
Hi I’m Jay Wright and you’ve probably seen my photo plastered over our website and on various pieces of Marketing literature and this is because I am The Boss! I’ve been the Managing Director here at Virgin Wines since June 2008. Before that I was Managing Director of Warehouse Wines, a business I started in March 2000, and which was subsequently merged with Virgin Wines following me joining this great business. There’s no such thing as a typical day (thank God)! But it generally involves hundreds of e-mails, numerous meetings, driving 250 miles somewhere, talking with interesting wonderful people both inside and outside the business, being told ‘you’re late!’, drinking some wine (although I do normally try and wait til the evening) and about 4 hours sleep! I’m an obsessive Lincoln City fan, have a love of rock music (including dodgy late 80s hair metal) have three wonderful boys (8, 6 and 2 years old) and my first ‘proper’ job, after doing paper rounds, working in fish and chip shops and landscape gardening, was as a Deputy Registrar marrying people at Manchester Register office.
Andy Baker – Wine Buyer
Hi my name’s Andrew Baker and I’m a Wine Buyer at Virgin Wines. If I changed the word ‘buyer’ to ‘vendor’ on my business card on Monday, I would have no friends left by the end of the week! You may already recognise me if you have seen some of our wine tasting videos on YouTube. I’ve been working at Virgin Wines since the Big Bang, when the dot com bubble burst, about 10 mins after we launched, in the year 2000. For me a typical day consists of tasting wine, talking to wine producers, hassling suppliers, defending my position against people who think that tasting wine at 8am is brilliant fun! It’s hard work you know! Like most people in the wine trade, I got into it more by accident than design. One minute I was reaching for a litre of ‘grand vin’ from Bordeaux, thinking it might look cultured, the next I was drinking very fine German Rieslings on inter-city coach journeys…from a Riedel. There’s no way back from there!
Dave Roberts – Wine Buyer – @DR_VirginWines
Hello I’m Dave Roberts and I’m also a Wine Buyer for Virgin Wines. I don’t get in front of the camera as much as my more filmed colleague Andy Baker but that’s not to say I’m not super busy behind the scenes. I’ve been at Virgin Wines since 2008 and have worked in the wine trade since 1999. I started life working in customer services at Laithwaites and slowly but surely found myself sinking deeper into the vat! I met Jay in 2008 and the rest they say is history. A typical day in the office brings, what is often described as the best job in the world, down to earth, however, saying that it does beat selling insurance, or so I’m told!! In all seriousness a day in the office is fairly varied, from tasting samples, talking to producers and suppliers and writing up new wines for the site. I could continue but you’d get bored… Thankfully I’m not always office bound and often get to sample wines on location across the world. Not a bad life really!
Andrew Porton – Marketing Consultant
Hello my name’s Andrew Porton. My official title is Marketing Consultant, although unofficially I have many other titles – some not entirely flattering! My role involves a broad spectrum of creative/communication wine related activity; ranging from working with wine growers and winemakers to make the sort of wine that people would want to drink; working with designers to package them; concept, copy and art direction; and generally trying to help the company find ways to make wine more fun. There’s no such thing as a typical day for me: one day I might be writing copy and wine labels, another might see me wandering amongst some of the oldest vines in California, or working with small wineries off-the-beaten-track in South Africa, setting up some bespoke winemaking for the coming vintage. Not forgetting the occasional two-hour train ride to Norwich from London for a meeting-crammed day at Virgin Wines’ HQ. Life is busy, but I thank my lucky stars that I get to market something I really enjoy – something that brings a lot of pleasure to people. In my spare time enjoy I music: since I was a child I’ve been able to hear a tune and then play it back on the piano… and I once won a quite major Karaoke competition in New Zealand, although I’m still not quite sure how, as my singing is terrible!
Meet the Wine Advisor Team!
If you haven’t come across us already, you really should (well, we would say that wouldn’t we!!). Basically, we’re a team of friendly guys and gals who share one thing in common – the love of WINE!!!
We know that buying wine can be a little overwhelming when you are faced with rows and rows of nothing but the label to pick from. But that need not be the case. Here at Virgin Wines, we believe in giving you as much information as we can about our wines – from quirky stories about the winemaker to food matching tips – all to help you make informed choices. So next time you need a helping hand with all things wine related, whether it’s which wines to choose for your next dinner party or what style of wine to buy for your friend / colleague / loved one, simply give us a call as we’d love to help.
As you can probably imagine, our job involves us talking about wine pretty much all day, every day. And if we are not talking about wine, we’re tasting it (sorry, someone has to do it!), reading about it and sometimes even dreaming about it!! We simply can’t get enough of it!!
And that’s where we thought this blog would be the perfect place for us to share our passion for wine with all of you. Over the years, we’ve done our research, heard your feedback and listened to our winemakers, so we reckon we’re pretty informed when it comes to what’s hot in the industry at the current time. Every few weeks, we are going to pick a topic that we think is of interest and will delve into why it’s important, affecting the wine industry or maybe even a concern. It might simply by a fun or quirky idea that we like. We’ll then follow it up with a “Have Your Say”, where we’d love for you to get involved and tell us your thoughts.
Let the debate begin!
Virgin Wines Blog Editorial Team
About Virgin Wines
Unlike supermarkets, Virgin Wines is not about selling big name wines made in huge factories using mass produced techniques. Instead, we sell boutique quality wines produced by small independent winemakers who make their wine for love and not money.
We believe in offering our customers exceptional value for money and our wine buyers constantly scour the globe to find the best wines possible.
Whether you are looking to buy a case for the first time or prefer to receive regular shipments, we have something to suit you. Oh and make sure you have a go on our wine auctions – you never know you might strike lucky!
We’ve created this blog so you can take a sneak peek into the world of Virgin Wines. We want it to feature good wholesome fun and act as a forum where everyone can talk about wine. Please feel free to leave your comments in relation to specific articles. However, if you have a question regarding a wine delivery or service related issue, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and for general comments and suggestions about Virgin Wines, please email us at email@example.com