Simply put, we are two friends who have worked in the food and drink world, in varying roles, for a number of years. This blog is a way for us to share our enthusiasm and knowledge with anybody who cares. We also hope to learn even more along the way!
James – Twitter: @jgrward | Instagram: @jgrward
If you were stuck on a desert island with an unlimited supply of one food and wine pairing, what would you want it to be?
Got to be Pinot Noir and anything duck related. Duck cooked medium rare with plums and berries, a bit of cinnamon added and then chips that have been triple cooked in the duck fat. Such a winner!
Describe your favourite wine related memory.
I remember when I worked at Merchants Tavern in Shoreditch we had a tasting with one of our suppliers and sampled an extensive range of wine. Well… dinner service with 100 covers and five drunk waiters was interesting to say the least.
If you could live permanently in any wine region in the world, which would you choose and why?
Burgundy. I know it’s boring and a bit of an unoriginal answer but they are known for making the best wine in the world! Ultimately, if I could live somewhere and drink world class wine every day, that would make me happy.
Lily – Twitter: @lilykg | Instagram: @lilykgrouse
What is your first memory of enjoying wine?
My parents always spoke enthusiastically about wine and encouraged me to have a small glass with them alongside meals from the age of 14. I’ve enjoyed wine for years, warming to dry whites first and then developing a real love for Tempranillo and Pinot Noir, but I would say my most enjoyable, specific memory of truly enjoying wine is actually relatively recent. In April 2014, a cellar door tasting at the Yealands Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand, unlocked a whole new level of wine appreciation for me. Read more here.
When did you become serious about working in the wine and food industry?
After working as a waitress, barista and chef at various establishments throughout my degree and beyond, I committed to seriously pursuing a career in food and wine when I left my job in recruitment at the end of 2015 and applied to work at Leiths School of Food and Wine in their marketing team. A year on, I still can’t get over how lucky I am to be walking through those doors every day, doing something I truly love.
Do you have a favourite style or producing region?
I completely fell in love with Waiheke Island, NZ, in March 2016. It has over 25 wine estates, an extremely sunny microclimate, critically acclaimed restaurants and beautiful beaches… when can I move there?! The terroir is perfectly suited to producing incredible Syrah/Shiraz, and other Bordeaux wine-type grapes. It’s a red wine lover’s dream.