Contributors

While we try to publish features by a rotating and wide-ranging selection of authors – both from in-house at Berry Bros. & Rudd and beyond, you’ll notice many of the same names cropping up. Find out more about our “regulars” here, listed alphabetically below.


 

Olivia Bodle, Events Coordinator

After a back-breaking stint in our cellars at Christmas, Olivia joined our wholesale arm Fields, Morris & Verdin, moving to her current role in 2016. Today Olivia is part of a crack team that organises specialist wine tastings, lunches and dinners at No.3 St James’s Street. Olivia has a particular passion for Antipodean wines, having spent a couple of years working for winemakers in New Zealand and Australia. Read posts by Olivia Bodle


 

Adam Bruntlett, Wine Buyer

A linguist by training, Adam’s eyes were opened to the vinous wonders of the Languedoc-Roussillon in 2005, while on his year abroad in Perpignan. A seed had been sown, even if the palate was not yet able to fully appreciate the nuances. After a couple of years spent with Majestic and completing the WSET Diploma, Adam moved to the little-known but highly-regarded importer Richards Walford, where he began a love affair with the Loire and Burgundy. Two years later, in 2012, the company was subsumed into Berry Bros. & Rudd and Adam joined our wholesale arm, Fields, Morris & Verdin. Today he is responsible for purchasing Burgundy (including Chablis and Beaujolais), Loire, Jura and Savoie wines across the business. In his spare time he can mostly be found on a bicycle. Read posts by Adam Bruntlett


 

Tom Cave, Cellar Plan Manager

With more than a quarter of a century’s experience at Berry Bros. & Rudd, Tom has nurtured our Cellar Plan since its infancy. There could be no better man for the job, as he has a true appreciation of aged and fortified wines: “It is their texture, longevity, sheer intensity, and yet – in old age – their capacity to be so beguiling and sensual which is the real appeal,” he says. Tom also has an acute sense of when a wine – be it great or humble – might be approaching its perfect drinking window. Read posts by Tom Cave


 

Ronnie Cox, Brands Heritage Director (Spirits)

Ronnie, our spirits specialist, has whisky in his bloodline: six generations of his family have been involved in producing and selling the famed Scottish export. He began his formal involvement with the industry working for The Distillers Company Ltd in 1974, later joining Berry Bros. & Rudd. Ronnie is a Master of the Quaich, Member of the Committee of the Keepers of the Quaich and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers. He calls an aeroplane “home” but lives in England. Read posts by Ronnie Cox


 

Katherine Dart MW, Wine Buyer

Katherine’s love of food and wine was sparked by gastronomically experimental parents, willing to try and offer her a taste of anything. After completing an MA in Literature and History of Art, Katherine found herself in Oddbins where, over the next couple of years, she embarked on the steepest and most exciting learning curve. Having obtained her Master of Wine in 2006, she joined Richards Walford which merged with our wholesale arm, Fields, Morris & Verdin, in 2013. Today she works in our Buying team, responsible for purchasing wines from South Africa, England, Australia, Central and Eastern Europe, Austria, Germany and Alsace; but has – in her own words – “a real soft spot” for Austria, enjoying not just Riesling but the lesser-known Neuburger, Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Read posts by Katherine Dart MW


 

Barbara Drew, Wine and Spirits Education Specialist

Barbara joined Berry Bros. & Rudd in 2011. Today she organises and hosts many of the dinners, lunches, tastings, Wine Schools and courses held in our St James’s Street cellars. She is particularly passionate about unusual, obscure or just plain unloved wine regions, and loves experimenting with food and wine matching. Barbara believes wine to be one of the most rewarding subjects to study, as there is always something new and exciting to discover. Read posts by Barbara Drew


 

Edwin Dublin, Assistant Manager (London Shop)

Edwin left a 20-year medical sciences career, during which time he organised staff wine tastings, to enter the world of wine full-time. Having “graduated” from Oddbins and via a short spell with Laithwaites, he arrived at Berry Bros. & Rudd in 2005. Since then he has developed a passion for the wines of Alsace, Burgundy and especially Champagne – an area in which he is undoubtedly one of the company’s leading experts. Today, he is Assistant Manager of our London Shop at 63 Pall Mall, ensuring it always has an extensive selection of fine fizz. Read posts by Edwin Dublin


Catriona Felstead MW, Wine Buyer

Catriona graduated from the University of St Andrews with a degree in French and Spanish and spent the first years of her working life at a Spanish petrochemical company. Having rapidly discovered a love for wine, she undertook the WSET Intermediate course and moved her career to the wine trade. After gaining a thorough grounding in the trade as an Oddbins Shop Manager, she joined Berry Bros. & Rudd’s marketing team in 2007, taking up her current role as a Buyer in 2013, purchasing wines from Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, South America and fortified wine. Catriona passed the Master of Wine examinations in 2012 and was awarded The Robert Mondavi Winery Award for her exceptional performance across all Theory papers. Read posts by Catriona Felstead MW


 

Fiona Hayes, Wine Buyer

Fiona first developed an interest in wine having spent her year abroad in Burgundy while at university. After graduating, she started working for a wine importer, Berkmann Wine Cellars, and quickly realised that a job in the wine industry was definitely worth pursuing. After just one year, she moved to the Buying team at our wholesale arm Fields, Morris & Verdin. Today she buys the wines from North America, the Rhône and Southern France for the whole business. Outside the office, she mostly juggles her Master of Wine studies, looking after a toddler and – when any spare time arises – eating and drinking. Read posts by Fiona Hayes


 

Will Heslop, Burgundy Buying Assistant

Will has recently returned to Berry Bros. & Rudd following a six-month sabbatical, spent working at wineries in Western Australia and the Mâconnais. Having previously covered regions as diverse as Chile, Crete and Bordeaux, Will’s focus is now Burgundy (including his beloved Mâconnais and Beaujolais) and the Loire. Away from the office, Will is a keen jogger, and an avid fan of Springsteen, Brel, Hemingway and craft beer. Read posts by Will Heslop


 

Rebecca Lamont, Head of Wine School

Rebecca joined us in 2000 following a career in music, teaching at Warwick Academy in Bermuda. She now manages the Berry Bros. & Rudd Wine School – organising our extensive calendar of lunches, dinners, tastings and courses at No.3 St James’s Street. Rebecca is passionate about wine education because it encompasses so many fascinating subjects: sensory perception, history, innovation, tradition, art, health, geography, geology, biology and chemistry, to name but a few. Read posts by Rebecca Lamont


 

Max Lalondrelle, Buying Director (Fine Wine)

Max Lalondrelle was born in the southwest of France, where his parents made Armagnac. After a degree in Wine Sales and Marketing in Bordeaux, he came to England in 1993, joining Berry Bros. & Rudd in 2000. Today, Max is responsible for sourcing all the fine wine and Bordeaux sold by Berry Bros. & Rudd, both in the UK and abroad. Read posts by Max Lalondrelle


 

Sophie McLean, Trade Marketing Manager

Sophie studied Spanish and Italian at Bristol University, running the Bristol Wine Circle in her second year. On her year abroad, Sophie spent six months living outside Barolo where she first discovered Nebbiolo and Granada where the mystery of Manzanilla was uncovered – and she hasn’t looked back. Since then she has spent as much time out of the country as in it – working in Buenos Aires for Time Out Magazine, arming herself with some hands-on “vintage” experience – in New South Wales, Chile’s Maule Valley and London’s first winery – LDN CRU. She joined the Fields, Morris & Verdin team in June 2018. In her spare time, she continues to write about wine, travel and sometimes motoring. Read posts by Sophie McLean


Emily Miles, Content Editor

Emily joined Berry Bros. & Rudd in 2013, in something of a career sidestep. Having previously worked as a copy editor and writer for magazines such as Esquire and Men’s Health, as well as a freelance drinks writer, she elected to swap the bright lights of Soho for more stately streets of St James’s in a bid to immerse herself more fully in all things wine and spirits. In her role, Emily heads up our Content team which produces a multitude of literature and communications for the company. Read posts by Emily Miles


 

Philip Moulin, Fine Wine Quality and Authentication Manager

After his formative years at Majestic Wines, Philip joined Berry Bros. & Rudd in 1997 as Assistant Manager in the Warehouse Shop. He joined the old “broking department” in 2000 and for five years was responsible for sourcing and broking rare wines for Asia. Today, however, he works within our Buying team, valuing and authenticating the finest and rarest of wines; and, every now and again, he finds himself in the dark and damp, rummaging through capacious cellars in search of the exceptional and the extraordinary. While Philip will drink wine from all over the world, it is to the Médoc that he inevitably returns. From his first “proper” Bordeaux purchase in 1994 (1990 Carruades de Lafite, purchased at £4.99/bottle in Safeways), to today, it remains the region that pleases him most. Read posts by Philip Moulin


 

Peter Newton, Fine Wine Account Manager

Peter’s earliest wine memory is a bottle of Ch. d’Yquem savoured on a warm evening in the south of France at the age of 15, but it was not until he graduated from the University of Exeter that he set his heart on a career in wine. After working in fine wine for 15 years, he joined Berry Bros. & Rudd in July 2014. While a fan of the classic regions of France, Peter has a growing interest in Barolo too – not to mention a penchant for good Sherry. He also has a passion for artisan chocolate which he tries, often unsuccessfully he claims, to match with a broad range of wines. Read posts by Peter Newton


 

Mark Pardoe MW, Wine Director

Mark started his career in the wine trade in 1978, running his own business until it was acquired by Berry Bros. & Rudd in 2003. Since then he has worked in Fine Wine, Buying and Wholesale – but today acts as our Wine Director. A Master of Wine since 1989, and also the first UK winner of the Madame Bollinger Award as the top MW taster of his year, Mark spent many years behind the scenes with the Institute of Masters of Wine. Mark is a consultant to H.M. Government as a member of the Committee to advise on the purchase and selection its wines, and also fulfils a similar role with other London institutions. When not striding miles across the glorious Hampshire hangers towards a suitable hostelry, Mark can be found in the concert hall, enjoying an eclectic range of music, ranging from the Shetland fiddle to Wagner and most points in between. Read posts by Mark Pardoe MW


 

Chris Pollington, Fine Wine Account Manager

Originally joining Berry Bros. & Rudd in 1997 working in the Heathrow Airport shop, Chris also worked in our internet and telesales departments before joining the Fine Wine team in 2007. Chris’s great passion is for the wines of Italy, hosting dinners and Wine Schools on the subject, but he also admits to a soft spot for the great wines of Burgundy. Read posts by Chris Pollington


 

Katie Rolph, Wine Club Manager

Katie joined the wine trade after university, working for Majestic Wine for five years where she gained the Diploma in Wine, a passion for all things vinous and a well-exercised palate. In 2007, she joined Berry Bros. & Rudd as a Wine Advisor, becoming our Wine Club Manager in 2008. Wine is not just work for Katie: holidays are often based upon visiting different wineries around the world and trying out the local wine with regional dishes. Read posts by Katie Rolph


 

Martyn Rolph, Fine Wine Sales Manager

A nose for a good story and a way with words are essential tools of the trade not only in journalism, the profession for which Martyn trained, but also in the wine trade (his true vocation). Martyn joined us in 2011 with almost a decade’s wine experience under his belt and a committed enthusiasm for the classic French regions and Spain. At home, Martyn selects wines that can stand up to his penchant for outdoor cooking. Read posts by Martyn Rolph


 

Lenka Sedlackova MW, Agency Manager

Lenka was born and raised in the Czech Republic but her love of languages took her first to Germany and subsequently to the UK. A chance encounter with the wines of López de Heredia at her local wine shop saw Lenka change career paths from web design to wine, joining the wine trade in 2005. A few years and a WSET Diploma later, Lenka decided to take the big leap and attempt the Master of Wine course, which she passed in early 2016. Lenka is our Agency Manager, working with our enviable portfolio of producers and enjoys discovering the weird and wonderful wines of Central and Eastern Europe, wines from volcanic regions, as well as indulging her love of Burgundy. Read posts by Lenka Sedlackova MW


 

Alexis Self, Content Executive

A freelance promoter of the good life since c.1990, Lex went full-time in 2017 when he joined Berry Bros. & Rudd as a copywriter and all-round words maven. A relative novice when it comes to wine, he is currently aiming to bolster his knowledge with the help of his esteemed colleagues – one bottle at a time… Read posts by Alexis Self


Simon Staples, Sales Director

Simon Staples spent his post-school years hacking through jungles, trekking through deserts and exploring the remotest parts of the world. When the wanderlust was satisfied he returned and took up his next great passion: wine. He was a sommelier at many top restaurants before beginning an illustrious sales career in 1989, running Harrods’ wine department, joining Berry Bros. & Rudd in 1996. Possibly because of his travelling, Simon likes to think of himself as “the Indiana Jones of the wine trade”. Read posts by Simon Staples


 

Sophie Thorpe, Deputy Content Editor

After a degree in Linguistics, Sophie joined Berry Bros. & Rudd as an intern in 2013 – learning the ropes in our Fine Wine team, before finding a more permanent home in the Marketing department. As our Deputy Content Editor, she uses her eye for detail, love of wine and enthusiasm for the places and people behind each bottle to share as many of their stories as possible. As well as being a regular contributor, she edits the Berry Bros. & Rudd Blog. If you have any thoughts on how Sophie can improve the blog, or if there are stories you would like to see, please do get in touch. Read posts by Sophie Thorpe


 

Stewart Turner, Head Chef

Those of you who have had the pleasure of a lunch or dinner at our St James’s HQ will know the calibre of Head Chef Stewart’s cooking. In his many years at Berry Bros. & Rudd, Stewart has steadily built up the kitchen, drawing on his background in world-class and Michelin-starred restaurants such as Michel Roux’s Waterside Inn. Though his childhood ambition was to be an airline pilot, it wasn’t long before Stewart’s culinary vocation became clear: at school while his peers were trying to bake fairy cakes, he could be found putting the finishing touches to a sole bonne femme. These days, Stewart feeds his love of food by taking in as many restaurant visits as possible. In his recipes for the blog, Stewart aims to show just how good simple ingredients can be – especially when served with the right bottle of wine. Read posts by Stewart Turner


 

Demetri Walters MW, Wine Educator and Presenter

Demetri works as a Wine Educator and Presenter in our Events and Education team, which he first joined in 2001. His route into the trade was an unconventional one, coming to us via a brief stint in the army, a spell in Australia working as a jackaroo, a degree in property surveying and also a number of years in new media, including a spot of head-hunting. Since turning, professionally, to the bottle, he hasn’t looked back, completing his Master of Wine in 2013. Read posts by Demetri Walters MW


 

Rob Whitehead, Spirits Buyer

Rob started with Berry Bros. & Rudd in March 2006, initially working at our Heathrow shop. After moving to our London shop, his passion for spirits (which first blossomed during his university days in Oxford) came to the fore. Rob’s Yorkshire roots reveal a keen eye for value, and he enjoys exploring some of the more obscure spirits and wines of the world. That being said, he keeps returning to red Burgundies, the whites of Alsace and Germany, Jamaican and Demerara rums and, of course, Scotch whiskies. Read posts by Rob Whitehead