The Wotwine tasting team is a glorious blend of wine professionals and technologists from various backgrounds and vintages.
Christopher Burr MW is one of the founders of Wotwine and leads the tasting team. He has been a Master of Wine since 1995 and has held senior management positions in both the wine and brewing industries. He was also International Head of Wine for the prestigious Christie’s auctioneers, but don’t worry – he can still sniff out a bargain bottle! Christopher also advises wine collectors around the world and works as a consultant to a number of wine producers in France, Italy, Croatia and the UK.
Dee Blackstock MW has been a Master of Wine since 1992 (passing at her first attempt and scooping up the Marketing scholarship). Dee’s career in the wine trade has spanned some 30 years, including over 20 years as a buyer at Waitrose. She is currently a member of the Government Wine Advisory Committee, and additionally she judges in a number of the main wine competitions as well as winning a few herself including Lifetime Achievement Award in The Drinks Business Awards in 2012 as well as Best Multiple Champagne Buyer of the Year in 2011 at the Harpers Wine & Spirit Champagne Summit.
Philippa Carr MW has had a life-long love affair with wine, starting from university where she ran the student Wine Circle alongside her studies in English Literature. Launching into the wine trade on graduation she has had many and varied roles, including buying and blending wine for major retailers, managing a fine wine merchant, leading the wine courses at Leith’s School of Food & Wine, writing blogs and articles, judging at international wine competitions, presenting at corporate and consumer events and being actively involved in wine education. She became a Master of Wine in 1991 and enjoyed a varied freelance career before joining Asda in 2006. After a decade of creating award-winning wines for Asda and accepting the accolade of Decanter Wine Supermarket of the Year 2015 on their behalf she left the company in early 2016 to combine her career passions: retail consultant where she builds wine ranges and creates bespoke blends for clients and writing about wine. She is currently consulting for Spar as they revamp their wine range.
Andy Howard MW worked for Marks & Spencer for 32 years as a buyer in the Food division, becoming a wine buyer in 2007 with responsibility for over 250 SKUs covering Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire, Fine Wines, Italy, Chile, Argentina, North America, South Africa, England, Port and Sherry. He left M&S in 2013 to set up his own business (Vinetrades) which is involved in consultancy, buying and investment in wine. He is a regular wine judge, chairing the judging panel for South Eastern Vineyards Association for seven years, as well as judging Burgundy wines at the Decanter World Wine Awards and acting as a Senior judge at the International Wine Challenge. He writes for Decanter and consults for Wilton’s Music Hall.
Nick Clarke MW has over 50 years’ experience in the drinks industry and has been a Master of Wine since 1971. He started his career at one of the oldest wine merchants in the world, Hedges & Butler and went on to run the UK wine interests of Distillers Corporation of South Africa and become Sales Director of esteemed UK wine merchant OW Loeb. He also purchased Dreyfus Ashby & Co from Guinness which he then formed into one of the leading purveyors of fine wine in the world.
Orsi Szentkiralyi is our esteemed Tasting and Database Manager. She left the glamorous world of posh restaurants and luxury wine shops behind (having previously worked at two Michelin starred Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and award-winning Hedonism Wines in Mayfair) to join our team and help everyone find great wines, regardless of their budget. In her free time, she is preparing for her Master Sommelier exam.
Paul Scholfield holds a Wine and Spirit Education Trust level 3 Certification in Wines. Taking a departure from over 20 years’ experience creating IT delivery functions in the City of London, Paul is an aspiring wine maker having participated in vintages in Canada, Italy and the USA.
Dominic Buckwell has been tasting wine and visiting vineyards since the 1980s. His main career is as a commercial lawyer and in the last four years he has become semi-professional in wine, qualifying as a certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers) in January 2016 WSET Level 3 with merit, leading consumer tastings, regularly conducting blind tastings and since 2017 as an International Wine Challenge Associate Wine Judge. He is Chair of the Wine GB Regulation Working Group, and has written about legal appellations, presenting a paper at the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium in 2016 on geographical indications in emerging wine regions.
Yan Li has been working as a sales developer for a leading Italian wine producer for seven years. Yan has an IT background but her passion for wine led her to a completely new career and she is currently studying for her Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma.
Ashika Mathews is a wine educator, MW student and wine blogger. Her business, London Love Wine, runs tastings, events, trips and courses – including WSET up to level 3 – and is the fruit of many years’ experience in the wine trade as a wine maker, writer, event organiser, buyer and trader.
Zsuzsa Toronyi is a wine educator and marketer, and a qualified oenologist. Before moving to the UK to promote Hungarian wines, she owned a WSET school in Hungary and worked in the wine trade as a buyer.
Charlie Culliford is a sommelier for leading London restaurant Bibendum when he is not cogitating on the latest Tesco Sancerre for us. Charlie is also completing his studies for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma.