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”

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”


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”