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Archive for March, 2010

My First Ever Blog

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

If you are reading this you will have worked out that Find Wine now has a blog. This is my first ever blog! Not just for but ever in my life.

I thought the best way to start would be talk a bit about how Find Wine came about. Then a bit about me, Mike. Hopefully the other two elements of Find Wine will also introduce themselves in subsequent blogs, John and Martin. Each of us will be filling this space over the coming months, years, decades! Who knows maybe one day we will be able to employ somebody to write it for us.

For the time being it will be us, our thoughts, feelings and adventures into starting a wine business.

So, how did it all begin? Not so long ago John and I met whilst both working for Oddbins in Harrogate, North Yorkshire (Top branch in the company when we were there!). John was the manager and I turned up one day looking for a way to fund my gap year before heading to uni. Luckily I managed to convince him I could sell stuff and knew a bit about wine and away we went. It was during this time that John actually purchased the domain with the intention of setting up a wine sourcing website, luckily for me this never happened.

We had plenty of fun at Oddbins’ expense but the time came to leave and do other things. More of the other things in a moment. A random text message and a decision to meet up led to working together briefly again, which led to talking about starting our own wine business, which led to actually doing it.

With the help of some very clever web designers, John’s genius designer wife Lucy and Martin’s ability to locate fabulous wines, with the aid of his ‘magic calculator’, we launched in September 2009 ready to take on the world (well virgin, naked and majestic etc.)

Our aim is to make buying wine easy so that everyone takes more interest in what they are drinking and explores the wide and varied world of wine there is out there. But also we want it to be a bit of fun.

We try loads of wine but we only select a very limited number. First and foremost it has to taste good, it has to be priced well, we like to find things that people may not necessarily pick off the shelf and if it has a great story or can raise a smile (The Barefoot Bubbly, sparkling White Zinfandel) then even better.

Wine is for enjoying with food and with friends, not worrying too much about. We hope we have created a website that makes that possible.

Now, enough about Find Wine, more about me!

As I mentioned before, I am Mike, by far and away the youngest of the Find Wine team. I am 23 and still cannot quite get my head around the fact I own a real life wine company.

I am a Yorkshireman born and bred and can often be heard telling my many Southern friends what they are missing, especially when it comes to pork pies and beer (both of which I am more than proficient at consuming). Although a country boy at heart more and more often you will find me in London often seeking out the best excuse for meeting someone for lunch or supper. The one thing that does remain constant is that where ever I am my cocker spanial Otto is never far behind, normally distracting me from any form of work.

I was lucky enough to have a mother who taught me a great deal about wine growing up but also learnt a huge amount during my time at Oddbins under the tutelage of an aging rock star who also worked there. However after leaving my post at Oddbins I ended up living with a tribe in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador for a little while (I can still use a blowpipe fairly effectively and do still have a scar on my leg from a machette wound). From the Amazon via a little bit of adventuring I ended up a fresher a Edinburgh University studying Economic History or History of Economics, I was never sure which.

Given that my lecturer had also taught Gordan Brown it was not long before I grew very bored of my studies and so I decided, during my second year to make life slightly more challenging and start my own business in the midst of the worst recession for 100 years. I met up with John again and Find Wine was born, my first business, I now have two others and far less free time than when I was a student!

My wine choice is pretty varied and I do have favourites from all over the world but if I had to take one region to a desert island it would have to be Burgundy for both reds and whites and of course some Champagne for special desert island occasions. The current favourite wine that we sell for me is Sideral from Chile. (so nothing like Burgundy!)