I am definitely sober. Believe it or not being pissed does not lend itself well to the role!
That’s disappointing... So what exactly does a wine buyer do? Because In my mind you sit around in linen suits wearing cravats and straw hats sipping from a variety of different bottles until you are red faced, red mouthed, blurred vision. Is this true?
(Adam laughs) (thankfully).
Actually a wine buyer is more akin to a dating agency. We spend time really getting to know our clients, understanding their needs and future plans, then we go and source the best wines for them.
So you are like an alcoholic problem solver?
I’m a problem solver. Exactly.
So... just out of interest, how did you get the job?
I was actually one of Verre Gourmand's clients. I had worked for a chalet company in Courchevel for a long time and I was friends with the owners of Verre Gourmand. I knew the business. I knew what they were trying to achieve, and I understood firsthand the clients' needs so they asked me to switch teams.
When did your passion for wine surface? Do you remember your first glass of wine?
I don’t remember my first glass of wine, but I do remember when I started to enjoy wine. For me, wine is about stories. Every bottle of wine has its own story to tell and I think that interest started with my father. He travelled extensively with his job and he would always bring home wine. It was a truly eclectic international mix - particularly North and South American - normally people start drinking wine from the Old World, the classics – France, Italy, Spain then branch out to New World wines, but I learned about wine in the reverse! Throughout my early twenties I tried wines from all across the globe. I began to learn about each wine’s origin, about their country of birth, the climate, the grape, the grower. No story was ever the same.
Tell us about a typical day as a wine buyer
There is no typical day but there are certain types of activity that take place at certain times of the year. In autumn we meet with chalets and hotels, we organise wine tastings, we showcase our wine list for the coming year and see how we can meet our clients budget and needs. We also organise training so that our clients can effectively and knowledgeably speak to their clients about wine. From January each year we start attending wine shows and visiting producers to begin sourcing and testing wines for the coming year….