Chapter 5 – The Dinner That Goes Wrong

I should phone Maman. We speak every Sunday but I spent last weekend with Sam messing around with her kids and I missed my weekly assignment. I feel guilty but I can’t phone her now. She’d know I’m upset, and in trying to make it better she’d make it worse. She refuses to take anContinue reading “Chapter 5 – The Dinner That Goes Wrong”

On Women in Wine

In May last year, Christy Canterbury MW wrote an article on Tim Atkin MW’s blog entitled ‘Where next for women in wine?’ I loved its upbeat tone and optimism. In an era when some women seem more concerned with bashing men indiscriminately and stoking the fires of a sex war than being proactive in advancingContinue reading “On Women in Wine”

On Lying

Lying is, in its various shapes and forms, part and parcel of life and especially professional life, something I’ve always found difficult to cope with. It fascinates me though. I suppose that makes me a daughter of Eve, the first victim of deception in the history of mankind. One of my former bosses once exhortedContinue reading “On Lying”

Chapter 4 – Lies and More Lies

Andy and Serge are discussing whether a drop of Muscat would enhance the flavour of their Chardonnay when I tiptoe back into the room. It looks like I haven’t missed too much. I prepare to apologise for my absence. ‘Bet it took you ages to speak to a real person,’ Andy says. I stare atContinue reading “Chapter 4 – Lies and More Lies”

Chapter 3 – Not Smelling of Roses

I got the job – again – the following Thursday, after two long hours of what felt like a police interrogation about every single detail of my work history to date, and at a lesser salary than the one agreed in Bordeaux. My trust in my new boss decreased in proportion to the cut he’dContinue reading “Chapter 3 – Not Smelling of Roses”

Chapter 2 – Back to Bordeaux

Until last summer, I worked for Terrazas de los Andes, an upmarket Argentinean producer from Mendoza. They’re owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. I spent eight years developing their UK business and sales were booming. I was spending a lot of time in Argentina with clients, prospects and the odd wine writer. Over there IContinue reading “Chapter 2 – Back to Bordeaux”

On Tasting Notes

Tasting Notes is a work of fiction, loosely based on my professional life. It is first and foremost meant to entertain. I have always wanted to write and to write a novel but I did not know what to write about. The idea of setting my story in the wine world came to me afterContinue reading “On Tasting Notes”

Chapter 1 – A Wine Saleswoman

The alarm rings. I’m exhausted and I haven’t even woken up yet. Outside my bedroom, a door slams and a suitcase rolls past. A man is talking in the loud voice people use on mobiles. I turn over. The pillow is square, French. I open one eye. The light is Mediterranean bright. I had theContinue reading “Chapter 1 – A Wine Saleswoman”

Prologue

Papa opens the 1961 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Marguerite Villa has given him for his birthday. ‘It’s a stunning wine,’ he says, nose deep in his glass. ‘Must have cost her a fair bit,’ Maman says. She brushes invisible crumbs from the tablecloth and returns to the kitchen. The smell of roast beef wafts intoContinue reading “Prologue”