How did you first get into wine?
Completely by accident! I was working in a wine bar as an 18 year old because I needed a job! I got curious as to what differentiates one wine from another and started feeding the curiosity. I eventually heard about a guy who had started a wine merchant business and was looking for an apprentice. With no idea what else I wanted to do with my life, I figured it could be interesting and went for it!
Where did you work before The Wine Society?
Before the wine society I worked a few winey jobs, in both the on-trade and off-trade. I managed the bar at The Talbot Hotel in North Yorkshire when James Martin was the Exec Head Chef, as well as at a couple of small independent wine merchants, which supplied hotels and restaurants. Working for the small wine businesses gave me a fantastic grounding in the industry and exposed me to all elements of the wine world at a very early point in my career.
What have been your most exciting discoveries as a Buyer at The Wine Society?
I have been lucky enough to make a number of really exciting discoveries working here. Naturally, I cut my teeth on the smaller wine regions when I started buying and I was blown away by how much Austria has to discover, even now; that’s been really exciting for me. A few years ago I was also given the task by Pierre of coming up with what we now know as The Bin Series and that’s a range which is all about exciting discoveries!
Any particular aspirations for your role?
I think one thing that means a lot to me and that I want to always strive towards is making wine feel accessible, as it should do. I guess you could say that one of my aspirations is to unlock the often daunting or baffling wine-world for as many people as possible! Aside from that, I love being able to shine a spotlight on parts of the wine world that offer amazing value but which may otherwise be little-known to most, so seeing small producers get the recognition they deserve is something I strive to make happen.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love good food! So cooking, BBQ-ing and going out to eat is definitely up there. I also love a good comedy, all sorts of music and spending time in the countryside (particularly in the North York Moors).
You can follow Freddy on Instagram @freddythewinebuyer