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!

Luke

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Luke

I was born in London, but grew up in rural Sussex, making me a country boy at heart. I moved back to the capital two years ago to focus on furthering my career in the wine trade.

Upon graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Business Management, I undertook a short but eye-opening stint with an accountancy firm. It was following this that I realised I wanted to work with a product that energised and excited me. A career in the drinks business also offered me the chance to combine the three things I am most passionate about in life—food, travel and wine.

I began my career working for an online wine merchant and went on to oversee and help run their first high street shop in Sussex. I had always intended to move back to the capital, and was eventually employed by Harrods of Knightsbridge, in their world famous wine department. Whilst there I completed my WSET “Advanced Certificate” and hope to embark upon studying for the Diploma whilst at Hedonism in the new year.

Whilst I am passionate about trying wines of different styles and from different regions, I would have to say Bordeaux is my favourite. I love the tradition and history surrounding the wines and their ability to evolve and develop over a lifetime is simply unmatched. I am also hugely passionate about whisky, with Islay, off the west coast of Scotland being my region of choice.Outside of work I enjoy playing tennis, rugby and golf, with a lifetime aim to achieve a single-figure handicap! Not surprisingly I also love food and cooking. In particular, I enjoy messing around in the kitchen at home trying to come up with new and unusual food and wine pairings—rabbit goujons with Napa Valley Chardonnay was a recent hit!

I also love to travel, when I can! After secondary school, I spent 5 months in Bolivia and Peru studying Spanish and working for an animal reserve. In recent years I have traveled mostly in Europe, in particular, and probably not surprisingly, France.

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.

Ben

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Ben

I have been working in fine wine retail for nearly eight years and am extremely excited to be here from the beginning with Hedonism Wines. After growing up in Edinburgh, I graduated with an MA in Ancient History & Archaeology from the University of St Andrews before taking a job at and subsequently managing one of Scotland’s leading wine and whisky merchants

I immediately fell in love with the great diversity on offer in the world of wine and spirits and my tastes have remained eclectic ever since. If I were to be pushed on a few favourites, I would have to settle on the wines of Piedmont, Priorat, Tuscany, Bordeaux & Burgundy, although this would only be a small sample.

Indulging another of my passions, I took a year out to gain a Masters in Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Upon graduating, I returned to fine wine retail, taking a management role with a well-respected London merchant, where I have been for the past three years.

As a proud Scot, I was practically weaned on whisky and it remains my favourite foible. As with wine, I have wide-ranging tastes, but my favourites tend to be those from the coast and islands, such as Brora (when I can get hold of it), Talisker and Lagavulin. I have also developed an abiding taste for American whiskies, with those of Pappy Van Winkle and George T Stagg standing out in particular.

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.

Rob

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Rob

I graduated in 2008 with a degree in Ecological Science from Edinburgh University, after which I decided to work in Malawi and Zambia for a non-profit organisation for two years. At this point, I hadn’t considered the wine business as a career path. That changed when I bought a couple of cases of inexpensive Bordeaux, mainly out of curiosity, during the 2009 and 2010 primeurs. I became hooked. I left the non-profit behind with a tonne of good experience and got a job working for a fine wine merchant in Knightsbridge. I quickly realised that working with wine is fun and rewarding, but I needed to get closer to the vineyards to expand my knowledge. In 2012 I temporarily moved to Bordeaux and picked the grapes with the team at Chateau Haut-Bailly. After the harvest, I also helped the wine-maker turn the grape juice into wine which was an experience I will never forget.

My short stint in Bordeaux allowed me to visit many of the top estates and to taste their fabulous wines - the ideal working holiday. After the vintage I came back to London fully inspired - Hedonism was the perfect fit and after a few more months in Knightsbridge I left the competition and joined the team here.

Having been part of the team at Hedonism for over two years now, I have enjoyed tasting and exploring the best wines from around the world including many highly sought after rarities like Sine Qua Non, Harlan Estate, Giacomo Conterno, and Giuseppe Quintarelli. Stocking wines of this calibre is what sets Hedonism apart from almost every other wine shop in the world. Come see for yourself!

It’s sometimes easy to forget that approximately one quarter of Hedonism is dedicated to spirits. Single malt whiskies from Scotland and Japan are very high on my agenda as well as Kentucky bourbon.

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...