Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A little memo....

It’s funny. After eight years I sit here in my wet Brunswick home and think back to what happened this day 2002, and I think to myself, ‘are you happy with what you have done?’

For those who don’t know, way back on October 6th 2002, I was working alone at a wine store in South Yarra when all of the sudden I was set upon by some very brazen thieves and beaten, blind-folded, feet and hands bound and mouth gagged, and then sat on by a very heavy bloke and had a knife held to my throat while his buddies ransacked the store of about $60,000 worth of Penfolds Grange (I will not go on about how I was poorly treated by my employer after, for he has since told me that I am lucky he hadn’t got his lawyers on to me for talking a lot of bullshit, which I never did).

So, I find myself sitting here in my home in Brunswick, safe with the knowledge that my wife and children are fast asleep, and asking myself, am I happy with what I have done? Well I am. Do I still have a passion for wine? Yes as well. But what has got me out of bed to write this is do I still want to be involved in the wine industry.

Since getting back from my travels in 2000, I have been a bar owner, waiter, wine waiter, viticulture student, wine science student, cellar-hand, vineyard worker, sommelier and now wine rep for a business that I want to be a part of. I can honestly say I have had a 360° view of an industry, which in all honestly is not searching for a cure of cancer or brokering the middles east peace accord, or even an industry that is trying to get rid of people like Aker and Fev. This is an industry that hopes people like their product.

The bottom line is a like what I do, and I want to keep enjoying it. I still want to be part of this industry because 15 years ago I sat in a little French Bistro in the Upper East side in New York and sipped a glass of 1986 Château Haut-Marbuzet from Saint-Estèphe and was blown away. The following night the owner of the same Bistro poured me another glass of wine; a 1985 Château La Conseillante from Pomerol. With that glass of wine my life changed and my career in banking and finance was over. Wine was where I wanted to be.

It sounds corny but it’s true; wine is where I want to be. Laugh if you must, but I hope you don’t, because at the end of the day all I am doing is expressing my desire to still be involved with wine and work with people who share my passion, not the people who will read this and cast judgement on someone they do not know. For even though I have bared my soul in my little blog, I do not expect many people to read this, but if you do, please read this with an open mind and not take it for a rant. All I have done is choose this public forum and express what I feel eight years after I could have lost my life over some bottles of Barossa Shiraz. Nothing more, nothing less.


  1. Well written, and here, here.

    I read, I lurk, and now I comment.

  2. A story that deserved to be told. Glad you are still enjoying being part of the industry. It says a lot really.

  3. It's amazing that seemingly innocuous events (the drinking of a glass of wine, not the store being ransacked obviously) can lead to such life-changing turns. What's important is that you enjoy what you do and that it motivates you to get out of bed every morning.

    I admire your courage for leaving behind a familiar career. I left a rewarding career that became soul-destroying a couple of years ago and I have yet to find direction.


  4. Good on you for opening up. It is very rare these days for someone in this industry to be honest and frank.

    Like the previous comment, I too admire your conviction and courage and wish you all the best in your current role, and as I said earlier, wish that more people in the wine/hospitality industry were as honest, and not go about their business with such a elitist and snobbery manner; something that I have found is rife in Melbourne's restaurant scene (sort of reading between the lines if you know what I mean).

    All the best and good on you again,

    Jeremy - Perth

  5. Thanks Jeremy,

    Not sure I get what you mean about the last bit, but thanks anyway.
    I'll see you when I am back in Perth towards the end of November.


  6. Keep on blogging, and good to hear that your interest in wine is still strong and taking you on interesting adventures!

  7. No judging here Tim - I think it's a great story.

    Pleased that you found your "way out" of banking and finance - I'm still looking for mine! :)