Meet the Team

Soo-Shern

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Soo-Shern

I have now been working in the wine trade for over 10 years now, initially in “front of house” roles at restaurants and hotels before becoming a trained sommelier and finding employment in some of the capital’s top eateries.

I discovered my love for wine whilst employed at my family’s hotel, in leafy Suffolk. Famed for it’s authentic Malaysian cuisine and extensive wine list, the hotel was a great environment to gain experience pairing wines, liqueurs and Champagnes with the fragrant, spiced cuisine of the Far East.

Following this, I undertook training to become a sommelier and upon graduation was employed at a Michelin starred restaurant in Kew, West London. It was at this time that I was truly able to refine my palate and understand the finer points of food and wine matching at the highest level gastronomy.

I am also passionate about visiting vineyards and wineries all over the world—from Europe to New Zealand and beyond. This has not only fed my passion for wine, but also given me a better understanding of the influence of climate, soil types, altitude and weather conditions have on the culture of food and wine in a particular region.

In terms of my own personal favourites, I have a great love for classic French wines like Bordeaux and Burgundy, Riesling in all its guises, fortified wines from Oporto to Rutherglen and sweet wines from all around the world.

If I was asked for one piece of advice to give to someone entering the world of wine and spirits, it would be to keep discovering, keep learning, and always trying new things!

Clayton

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Clayton

Originally from Sydney Australia, home for the last 10 years of my life has been London. After graduating from my tertiary studies in Sydney, I found myself working in a Wine Shop until I knew exactly which path I wanted to take. It wasn’t long before I realised that I actually wanted to work in the wine trade, and soon found myself immersed in the world of Fine Wine.

After several years of work, I met my now wife, who convinced me to throw the towel in and go travelling with her. It was a tough choice, but one I will never regret. When I landed in the UK, I realised that London was the epicentre for the wine world, and that I was now in the right place to take my career further. Having spent nine and a half years with a major wine retailer where I was the Fine Wine Manager for the company, it was time for a change of scenery. Now at Hedonism Wines, I get to work with a fabulous team, and work with some, if not all the greatest wines and spirits in the world. If asked what my favourite region was, I couldn’t narrow it down to just one area, but usually you will find me drinking a lot of the classics from the Old World, whilst experimenting with exciting wines from the New World.

Outside of work I love spending time with my family and friends and sharing my vinous passion with others. I am also a lover of many sports, and when I’m not being a patriotic Australian, you will find me watching my beloved Arsenal Football team.

Miguel

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Miguel

Growing up in a traditional Latin family in Portugal, where wine was always part of every meal, helped me develop a great enthusiasm about the world of wine.

The day I opened a bottle of Chateau Lynch Bages 1982 for our Christmas lunch, everything changed and I had my epiphany - I had to learn more about wines and I figured working in the trade would be the best option going forward. It was easy to get a job at first as my parents ran a small wine distribution business and I started by controlling the sales of our wines in supermarkets (and stocking up shelves!) and started dedicating more and more of my time to the business and to discovering new wines.

After 4 years of hard work, my thirst for knowledge and increasing passion for the product made me leave the nest and fly to London for the first time where I landed a job in a well-known chain of Wine Merchants. It was a great learning experience for just under 3 years. I learned a lot about the wines of the New World and Europe and completed my WSET Advanced Certificate as well as discovering my passion for wine retail!

After this great period, I returned to Lisbon to work as an Export and Marketing Consultant for a small wine producer, but quickly decided that an office job wasn’t what I wanted and went to work for an Italian wine specialist as an On Trade Salesman. A few months later, I had the opportunity to join one of Lisbon’s best wine merchants and I didn’t think twice, it was time to go back to back to wine retail! It was amazing to work with a range of over 2000 products including some of the finest Bordeaux, Champagnes and New World wines!

My soft spots are Port (what a surprise!), Champagne and the great reds of the Old World!

I am now extremely happy to be a part of the Hedonism team where we can provide you with the finest wines known to humanity!

Oliver

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Oliver

Hailing from leafy Hertfordshire, I was attracted by the bright lights of London to study Classics at Kings College London University. After 3 years studying of all things Bacchus, I graduated with a firm desire to embark upon a career in the wine trade. 
I quickly a joined a well-known wine retailer and spent 10 years managing various stores around London, gaining a superb insight into retail management and passing my WSET Advanced Certificate and Diploma. I finally felt the need to move on to pastures new and wanted to concentrate solely on working with the finest wines and spirits on the planet.

I am always trying to taste new and exciting wines but if I had to narrow down my favourites, I would say Bordeaux reds & whites, Riesling of any kind, Margaret River Chardonnay, anything from Swartland, red Rioja's and white Burgundy. 
Outside of work I enjoy reviewing my wife's latest cupcake creations, lengthy walks with my 2 dogs so I don't get fat from eating too many cupcakes and lounging in pubs drinking real ale to recover from the lengthy walks. I also have a lifelong passion for North London's greatest football team, the mighty Tottenham Hotspur.

I enjoy traveling and try to visit visit producers in a range of countries including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Chile, Argentina and Lebanon. The highlight of my travels would have to be an invitation to Chateau Lafite in Bordeaux where I enjoyed Bavette of Beef paired with Lafite 1990 and Fois Gras Ice Cream paired with Riussec 2000.

Julien

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Julien

A Brittany-born Frenchman, I was lucky enough to have my family involved in the wine and drinks business. That meant travelling to some of the top wine regions and wineries in France and discovering the meaning of‘terroir’ in the winemaking. It also led me to start the education of my palate with the classic French reds, the Pinot Noirs from Burgundy being the favourite ones of the family at this time.

I moved then to Paris where I lived for 13 years and worked in the cultural and touristic sectors. My clients were located everywhere in France and I had to deal notably with winemakers in the definition of touristic strategies. This was a really great time to discover a broader diversity of wines and to build up my tastes. Regional such reds as Gaillac, Minervois and Arbois became some of my favourites. With the whites, I have to admit I am a bit more of a classical man, sticking to Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley and richer Chardonnays from Burgundy.

However, France is just not big enough and I decided to move to London in 2011 to discover the worldwide range of the wines. I became a senior wine host in a famous wine venue in London where I was on the one hand discovering wines from more and more countries and on the other sharing my passion with people, beginners or confirmed wine lovers. I have been leading tasting events there and managed to show people the diversity of the wine profiles.

I look forward to seeing you at Hedonism where I can understand your tastes and try to find the perfect match for you. Or if you prefer, I can also offer you some options out of your comfort zone.

Maxime

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Maxime

Born in Normandy, France, and growing up on the Bay of Arcachon near Bordeaux, I have been raised with the French tradition of good food and good wine. From which I kept the memory of my dad and I, choosing the wine to be served from the cellar for most of our weekend meals.

My passion for wine continued to grow over the years. At its peak, I was the president of the wine association of my business school in Bordeaux where I was organising sponsored events by the city of Bordeaux, Saint- Emilion; working closely with winemakers and wineries, while organising wine tasting on weekly basis. That year I also participated to the regional Pol Roger blind tasting in which I finished third place.

Beyond the beauty of wine as beverage, I am inspired by the unique way it impacts all senses. Wine creates an experience that can be so vividly recalled, becoming memories captured in snapshots and portraits, replayed in our minds at brief sightings of the bottle. Perhaps this is why I prefer to showcase wines by pairing them with meals, moments, settings, and friends to create new memories.

My philosophy about wine: “You do not need a special occasion to drink a great bottle of wine. The bottle, itself, is the special occasion. However, an exceptional bottle will make this instant memorable.”

My thirst to craft such experiences for myself led me to San Diego where I completed my bachelor degree in International Management. During my time living in California, I managed to exercise other passions gaining experience as a photographer and a personal chef. I also had the fortunate opportunity to move to China, residing in both Beijing and Shanghai, where I studied Mandarin as well as continued my work in photography. 我是你身边的 Hedonism Wines.

As areas of expertise in wines and spirits, I consider myself well-versed in all regions of French wine (with a heightened focus on Bordeaux), Calvados, Sake, and also American wines. My favourite wines will be old vintages of Burgundy, Pinot Noir from Oregon, Bordeaux especially Saint-Estephe and Saint-Emilion, and lesser known wines of Argentina. In life, as a true epicurean I also appreciate good food, fine cigars, and am affectionate for art, photography, and music.

I look forward to meeting with you at Hedonism to discuss wines, pairings, and to help you craft your own memorable wine experiences.

Alexander

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Alexander

After graduating from university with a degree in Economics, I accidentally stumbled upon a career in the wine trade with a major retailer whilst hunting for jobs in the finance sector. I developed a keen interest in Bordeaux after trying a 1998 Ducru Beaucaillou and found myself reading books to further my knowledge. I completed the WSET Advanced Certificate and then undertook the Level 4 Diploma, which I finished 5 years ago. I am also a WSET Certified Educator and was responsible for teaching new recruits in my previous job. After eight years of experience in the industry an opportunity at Hedonism came up, where the chance of working with the finest wines and spirits in the best drinks shop in the world was too good to turn down.

I have a keen interest in wines from Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley and California, and also have experiences in organising tastings. I have visited many wine regions including Mendoza, New Zealand and most of France and am fascinated by the technical and scientific sides of wine making and grape growing.

Outside of work I have a keen interest in sports and music, particularly football and golf, whilst also still hanging on to my dream of being a lead guitarist for a rock and roll band.

Gennaro

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Gennaro

Wine always takes me back to when I was a little boy, helping my grandfather make homemade vino while on holiday on the Naples coast. I helped him pick & crush the grapes &, when I was a little older, enjoyed drinking the final product. That was the beginning of my interest in wine & the starting point for my career. After my degree in tourism science in Milan, I lived in many different countries including my native Italy, Turkey & the United States.

I never lost my curiosity for wines and spirits & after I returned from travelling, decided to go back to my home town of Milan & embark on a professional sommelier course. In 2012, I passed my exams & was certified by the Italian Sommelier Association & was now ready for a new adventure. London, a city in the heart of the wine trade, had always attracted me & was the obvious choice. Since I moved here, I have worked in many different renowned restaurants & wine bars in the capital &, in 2015, I had the chance to join the Hedonism Wines team. 

Since my career began at Hedonism, I had the pleasure to try some of the best wines & spirits on the planet & meet & serve customers from every part of the world. Hedonism is a very special, unique and dynamic place & I recommend everyone who hasn't visited the shop to find time to come down, explore & become a Hedonist too...

My favourite wine regions are Burgundy & the Langhe due to the huge diversity of their terroir & the different styles of wines produced there. My desert island wine would have to be a Barolo, specifically Giacomo Conterno Monfortino Riserva 1997.

...Life it's too short to drink bad wines...

 

Helga

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Helga

I have been working in the wine business for over 20 years & there has never been a single day of regret!

After finishing my undergraduate degree back in Germany I wanted to do something 'hands-on' which combined my love of cooking with two of my other greatest passions – languages & travelling - the hospitality sector was a natural fit.

Along with the UK, I have lived & worked in several other European countries as well as holidaying in some of the world's most famous wine regions, including Jura, Bordeaux, New Zealand, Okanagan Valley, Sonoma, South Africa & many more! I have been deeply impressed by the global rise in quality, consumer knowledge & intercultural exchange in the wine industry over recent decades. I have discovered that wine & spirits can truly build bridges.

The endless possibilities of pairing wine & spirits with different dishes still fascinates me; even more so if we also include our emotions, moods, preferences, weather conditions – two meals are never the same & therefore never boring!

This is what attracted me into retail a few years ago & I am very happy that I have found a new & challenging job here at Hedonism where I wish to contribute to the high standards of service, knowledge & of course, hedonism!

Richard

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Richard

I started in the wine trade in 2001, & have worked as a winemaker, wine merchant, whisky merchant, sommelier, wine buyer, & occasional drinker. Freddie Mugnier's 1997 Musigny converted me to a lover of great Burgundy, though my interests now expand well beyond the Cote d'Or, & include (in no particular order), the Roussillon (where I make wine), sherry, grower Champagne, single malt whisky, Piedmont, South Africa's new wave, more sherry, cool climate Australia, & the occasional pint after tasting all of the above. 

I'm excited to be back on the front line of wine merchant-ing, engaging with customers & finding the perfect bottle for whatever occasion. Wine & food pairing in particular is a passion of mine, & predates my time as a sommelier. At home I try to cook as much as possible to see which wines work best with a variety of things.

In my spare time I write books, take photographs, & try to expand my palate as much as possible.

Matthias

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Matthias

I was born in the Pyrenees & have lived in Paris, Tahiti, Los-Angeles & Nimes, but it is London where I feel most at home. I have worked in hospitality for around ten years. My sommelier training began at Pierre Gagnaire's eponymous restaurant on the Rue Balzac, Paris. Following a number of years at the restaurant, I was offered the opportunity to lead the sommelier team at Piere Gagnaires's first London-based brasserie, The Gallery at Sketch. 

I have been lucky enough to travel a lot & each experience showed me a different approach to life & to the wine industry. If I were only able to drink one wine it would have to be Champagne & I have applied Winston Churchill's motto in every step of my life - "in victory we deserve it, in defeat we need it".

The right wine with the right company can create wonderful memories - I look forward to welcoming you to Hedonism Wines & helping to find the right wine for you.

Simon

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Simon

My career in the wine industry began whilst on a gap year in Australia, when I landed a logistics role with a major wine producer in Sydney. Along with growing my passion for wine I was also developing expertise in shipping bottles all over the world. The role captivated me so much that I remained in Australia for a further 8 years observing the grape to bottle process in wine regions all over the country. My favourite regions during that time were; the Barossa Valley, famous for bold reds and Hunter Valley, where Semillons are world-leading.

Combining my passion for wine with a love of travel, I have been fortunate enough to take in some of the most fantastic wine regions around the world. I recently travelled around South America, sampling exquisite wines from Chile, Argentina & even Patagonia. Mendoza will always have a special place in my heart as it was here, in a vineyard overlooking the Andes Mountains where I proposed to my girlfriend.

After returning home to the UK, I was recommended Hedonism Wines as a fine-wine specialist where I could continue to develop my career. Upon entering the Mayfair store and speaking to equally like-minded people passionate about wine, I knew it was for me. I get to apply the knowledge I’ve gained over the last 10 years on a daily basis, to assist in managing the warehouse & get to handle the best wines from around the world.