December 10, 2021
July 5, 2022
July 25, 2022
Born in 1968, Rod came to wine, as so many people in the UK trade, through a Christmas vacation job with Oddbins. In Rod’s case this was in 1987, whilst studying at Chelsea School of Art. After completing his degree in illustration and graphic design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, Rod found himself with a part-time job working for Oddbins in London whilst establishing himself as a freelance illustrator. An increasing love of wine won the day, however, and he followed a career path from Oddbins branches via its head office marketing department to the then owner Seagram. Here he worked as Brand Manager for a variety of wines as part of the wine team.
After the sale of Seagram, Rod worked in various positions and established a consultancy business involving wine education and marketing. During this time he studied for and passed the Master of Wine examinations, and took part in many wine tours, tastings and challenges.
In 2005 Rod returned to full-time employment when he joined the fine wine importer, Mentzendorff, a company largely owned by Champagne Bollinger, as its French Wines Manager. At this time he completed his Master of Wine dissertation, taking as its subject ‘Chenin Blanc in Anjou-Saumur’, partly as a result of dealing with the wines of the area on a daily basis. He was awarded this, the world’s most prestigious wine qualification, in November 2006, the 256th person to achieve it since 1953.
Rod moved to the South of France in 2007 to lead the Wine Team for Vins Sans Frontières, the leading supplier of wine to the superyacht industry. The idea for the Riviera Wine Academy was born when he started organising wine tastings, events and dinners for some of the most prestigious and discerning clients on earth as a result. Rod continues to enjoy living and working in the Côte d’Azur.
Rod has been extensively involved in judging wine competitions. A current Panel Chair for the Decanter World Wine Awards, he has been a Panel Chair for the International Wine Challenge, and has also judged for the Moscow Russian Wine Fair, the Balkans International Wine Challenge, the Shanghai International Wine Challenge, Texsom (Dallas), Shanghai Wine100, Guangzhou Golden Bottle Awards, and Guest International Judge at the prestigious Sydney Royal Show.
Rod is an enthusiastic and committed educator, marketer and public speaker on wine. He has travelled and presented about wine widely including many trips to China and the Far East. His personal interests include cycling, running, travel, literature, card magic and film.
The Institute of Masters of Wine is a membership organisation whose members are the Masters of Wine. The IMW’s mission is to promote excellence, interaction, and learning across all sectors of the global wine community.
MWs prove their understanding of all aspects of wine by passing the MW exam, recognised globally for its rigour and exacting standards. The MW exam involves a series of theory papers and blind tasting examinations, plus an individual research paper on a subject that will contribute to the understanding of the world of wine. After passing the exam, MWs are required to sign a code of conduct before they are entitled to use the initials MW. The code of conduct requires MWs to act with honesty and integrity and to use every opportunity to share their understanding of wine with others. Since the first exam in 1953, 493 people have become an MW, and the IMW actively seeks new candidates around the world.
America's top wine buyers that includes 14 masters of wine and regional and national buyers will gather in San Francisco this july to judge the 2021 USA Wine Ratings.
The USA Wine Ratings competition, which is organized by Beverage Trade Network prides itself on working with preeminent judges that have direct buying responsibility in their roles. This competition that happens every year in San Francisco will see buyers assess wines by their quality, value, and package.