The Secret Cellar,
What do you wish you had known when you started out as a retailer?
That the ethos of too many people in this country is set to see you fail. Luckily, we have a loyal and ever expanding clientele; but the early months were far from easy.
Does money motivate you?
With a young family and expensive tastes, to a necessary degree. However, their and my happiness far outweigh plain financial gain. I didn't join the wine trade to be a multi-millionaire. One mill should suffice.
Which celebrity do you most admire?
Any which are down to earth and unaffected by their fame. I met Kathy Burke, and she is an absolute diamond. I also have a good laugh with Tom Baker.
A top fella with a wicked sense of humour.
After a hard day's work, what drink do you kick back and relax with?
Guinness in my local with my mates. Any top-quality Riesling, preferably German, at home. The king of grapes in my humble opinion and much misunderstood.
Which retailer do you most admire?
Pret A Manger. They display passion in all that they do, and their staff seem genuinely happy and motivated - a template for many of the big players in the wine industry. Happy staff make for a happy fiscal return; it's truly not
What's the best age to be?
Age means little to me. The older you are just equates to more experiences you've had and the more Rieslings you've sampled. I am looking forward to whatever age it is that I can pretend to be deaf though. Pardon?
What would you change about the drinks industry?
Stop using the world's grape surplus to churn out £3.99 deal-led plonk. The cost of living has risen over my 14 years in the trade, but for 95 per cent of the population the prices of entry-level wines have stayed virtually static.
In a nutshell, your philosophy is:
Life is too short. If you're not having a laugh in whatever you're doing - be it life or work - don't moan about it, change it. Be pro-active and get stuck in.