Meet Our Team

Wine Discovery have a number of experienced wine professionals around the UK helping to host our wine tasting events. All our hosts are fully qualified and have a wealth of wine knowledge they can pass on to you. Whilst each host has a different background they all share the same passion when it comes to hosting events in that they love to entertain and help others learn about the world of wine.

Nick McGrath

Name: Nick McGrath

Locations covered: Staffordshire, East Midlands, West Midlands, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Northampton, Warwickshire, Lichfield or where ever I need to be to cover people!

About me:  Owner and founder of Wine Discovery. Wine and champagne lover, especially champagne. I love the world of wine because you never stop learning. From tasting new wines to discovering and learning about new regions and their history of wine making. I also love snowboarding, golf and spending time with my wife and daughter out and about camping or walking. I love cooking and eating out when I get time!

Favourite wine: Jean-Paul Morel Champagne, his vintage 2000/2002 is amazing. Francisco Gómez Boca Negra 100% Monastrell for a big bold red.

Caroline Bird

Name: Caroline Bird

Locations covered: Isle of Wight

About me: I chose to learn more about wine as I struggled to truly read a wine list and understand what was what. Having completed my WSET level 3 and learnt more about wine through reading, tasting and travelling to wine regions both in Europe and the US I realise it’s a fascinating world! There is always something new to explore and taste. I’ve learnt that everyone can understand and experience wine – it’s not intimidating – it’s great fun!

Favourite wine: tough one but at the moment it’s Alsace Grand Cru Pinot Gris – it’s just so opulent! Another day though it would be Russian river valley Pinot noir, Sonoma, CA – so much depth of flavour and complexity.

Allison Barrow

Name: Alison Barrow

Locations covered: London/Surrey/West Sussex/South East

About Me: South-east London born and bred. I’ve always really enjoyed going to wine tasting events so I decided to take things further getting fully qualified in wine, learning much more about it and hosting events to other wine lovers! I love getting to know wines from all over the world, whether it’s from a local grape variety in Thailand or learning how wine from a widely-planted grape like Chardonnay can differ from one region to another.

Favourite Wine: I recently got my hands on a couple of bottles of 1998 Chateau Troplong Mondot, from St Emilion and it was incredible – so many fruity, earthy, meaty flavours – it was like I’d never tasted wine before!

My more wallet-friendly favourite is a lovely red wine from Riberio, Spain, called The Flower and the Be, made from a rare local grape called Souson. Lots of juicy red fruit and subtle spice; perfect for long, summer nights.

Robin White

Name: Robin White

Locations covered: Surrey, Sussex, Kent, South London, North Hampshire

About me: A wine enthusiast with a wealth of experience running wine tastings events to the public. With a Twitter following of 1700+ wine lovers throughout the world I like to blog and talk about wines I find on a regular basis. Currently working as an IT analyst in the day, hosting wine events in the evenings and spending time with my 2 young children my life is very busy!

Favourite wine: Depends on the occasion. Equally partial to fine bubbles, a fine white burgundy or a 7.99 Shiraz with friends around the bbq.

Kate Smith

Name: Kate Smith

Locations covered: Shropshire, Welsh Borders, Staffordshire and West Midlands.

About me:  Passionate about wine, I am often found serving it at 30,000ft in the Premium Cabins of the Airline, where I am a Stewardess.  I am happy to have my feet on the ground and share the wonderful wines I have discovered and the wine knowledge I have gleaned during my travels at a Tasting Event. I particularly love South African wines and since I lived in Spain for six years, I adore meaty, oak aged Spanish reds.  I am also a Sherry aficionado!

Favourite wine: High Constantia Sebastian 2006.  The most perfect blend – it must have been created by a Magician!

Rebecca Mitchell

Name: Rebecca Mitchell

Locations covered: Devon, Cornwall & Somerset

About me: Having worked in the wine trade for 19 years, I am hugely passionate about wine and love to share my enthusiasm with people. I work as a wine educator teaching WSET wine courses and consult for several hotels and restaurants in the South West. I enjoy sharing my worldwide knowledge of wine, developed whilst working and travelling abroad for a wine tour specialist. I write for Devon Life magazine and judge for various international wine competitions. I have lived and worked in France and New Zealand but I am a keen supporter of English wines – I especially love a glass of English bubbly!

Favourite wine: Amon-Ra by Ben Glaetzer – a truly iconic Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling – delicately aromatic and refined Riesling from the Mosel region of Germany.

James Franklin

Name: James Franklin

Areas covered: Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire

About me: Major food and wine lover who seems to have spent the last 25 years totally imbibing myself in all aspects of both, am a stickler for great hospitality and seem to be one of those people that are quite difficult to go out to dinner with, or so my wife tells me. I’m a keen cook, golfer, cyclist and tennis player.  The family always keep me busy whether its drumming lessons or swimming, camping or cycling – wouldn’t have it any other way.
The humble grape has fascinated me for what seems like ever – its simplicity in its form through to the finished product, am a Certified Educator for the WSET and currently finishing my 1st year of the Diploma in Wine.

Favourite Wine: Well it has to be related to visiting the vineyards and tasting straight from the cellar,
Montrachet 1996 Marquis de Laguiche Joseph Drouin,  a truly smooth and velvety wine, a perfect example of classic Burgundian treatment of the simple Chardonnay grape.

Virginia Goldsack

Name: Virginia Goldsack

Locations covered: Greater London

About me:  WSET Diploma student and fine wine broker with a dream of being a winemaker when I grow up.

Favourite wine: I often cheat on my longstanding lover of Extra Brut vintage Champagne (Bollinger R.D. is from the gods…) by searching out the world’s best Syrah.

Soma Jennings

Name: Soma Jennings

Locations covered: Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and West London.

About me: I have always had a keen palate for wine, and got hooked when I visited Barossa Valley and Hunter Valley vineyards in Australia. I was inspired to take WSET qualifications, change my career from marketing to wine, and I have even helped out at grape harvest at a UK vineyard. When I travel I plan my trip around the wines I want to try, whether in California, Italy, or Germany… I love discovering new wines.

Favourite wine: I love Russian River Californian Chardonnay, pure sunshine in a glass; and I can’t resist the spiciness of a Barossa Mourvedre on a chilly evening.

Edd Simpson

Name: Edd Simpson

Locations covered: Yorkshire, York, Leeds, Harrogate, and Manchester.

About me: Having fallen in love with wine during a tasting in a small wine bar in Croatia, I dedicated myself to drinking, learning about and experiencing wine as much as I possibly could. Since then I’ve passed both my WSET Levels 2 and 3 with distinction and now work for a vintners in North Yorkshire. I strongly believe that a good wine can offer far more than meets the eye, you just need to know how to look.

Favourite wine: 2011 Dreadnought Syrah from Man O’ War Vineyards, Waiheke Island, New Zealand. A fabulous wine with outstanding depth. Beautiful savoury and smoky notes, well integrated with sweet black fruit and peppery spice, I highly recommend trying it.

Alex Meaney

Name: Alex Meaney

Locations covered: Berkshire, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire

About me: Having joined the wine trade in 1998, Alex has enjoyed a variety of roles in the UK & Asia – encompassing sales & marketing as well as buying. He has hosted many a tasting over the years, and most enjoys unearthing and introducing wines that offer real bang for their buck!

Favourite wine: Too many to mention – akin to being asked who your favourite child is, if you had several hundred of them! I like my drinking to cover the globe and would hate to have to limit myself. However, my desert island wine would probably be white Burgundy with plenty of age – e.g. a Meursault or Grand Cru Chablis – if I can afford it; dry German Riesling or Alsace Gewurztraminer if I can’t. If I was up a mountain, it would have to be Swiss Chasselas or Petite Arvine; and if by the sea, Camel Valley’s Darnibole Bacchus (from Cornwall!).