Name Faye Welsby
Job within the wine trade Sales Manager at Portuguese Specialist Wine Importer – Raymond Reynolds Ltd
How long have you been in this role/wine trade? This role about 2 years, with Raymond 3 and a half years, in the wine trade almost 4 years.
What made you want to get in to this area of work and what drives you to stay in it? I created my own opportunity for a career change from the world of IT & Telecommunications, where I specialised in sales & service with a focus on delivering a great customer experience.
My only plan was to use my ‘break’ time to build on my passion for wine, and all things wine related. I quickly developed my knowledge both practically, and by taking the WSET level 2 course. Following that my only thought was to explore working in a smaller/less corporate business. I quickly realised there was a vast and exciting industry I could focus on that combines the two and here I am!
Generally, discovering new wines, and learning more about the ones I’m familiar with, is the most exciting part of the wine trade for me…you can never know enough and there are so many brilliant people to learn from! The challenge can be creating enough time and headspace for doing this, it’s so important and always worth reminding myself that I’m here because I love everything about this fascinating product.
What is your wine career highlight? There are a few but as I am a huge fan of Madeira wine, especially those from our producer Barbeito, spending 2 days touring the island with winemaker Ricardo Diogo de Freitas was very special. We visited the winery and all the different vineyard locations from those in the sub-tropical South, to the drier style varieties near the cooler and wilder coast of the North. I also enjoyed the best octopus I have ever eaten, served with mashed potato…which is the best mash potato Ricardo has ever eaten!
If someone wanted to get in to the wine industry, what would your advice be? Study the WSET courses, speak to your local wine merchants/wine bars and see if they can offer you any hours to get experience…or volunteer at their/other wine events. Look at the WSTA diary for trade tasting events to develop your wine knowledge…these are fundamentally sales events for buyers so be honest about your intentions and most organisers will be happy to admit WSET students, just don’t hog the tables and the exhibitors time. Ultimately all this will help build your network in the industry and you can go from there.
Quick fire questions – Up close and Personal!
1. Favourite food and wine match? Hardest question as I enjoy so many, my simpler choice would be chargrilled white fish with maybe a light caper butter sauce for some saltiness and a lovely, light crisp Alvarinho from the Vinho Verde, or an Encruzado from the Dão…both Portuguese whites.
A little richer, but still simple, a Barbeito Single Harvest Tinta Negra Madeira with foie gras, or a light liver or mushroom pate on good fresh bread. The right fortified wines with savoury food can be amazing.
2. Have you got tattoos if so, how many.. if not, are you tempted?
Yes, I have an Egyptian Ankh (the key/symbol of life) on my back/shoulder which I got when I was 18. I’m currently working on getting a much more artistic, interesting, and colourful cover up which will incorporate the symbol.
3. What did you want to be when you were growing up? Independent!
4. What is your favourite season? I love the transitional seasons of Spring & Autumn equally. Spring as I get so excited when I see the first signs, and it literally puts a spring in everyone’s step. It also encourages a welcome refresh of everything, be it practical such as the garden, or spiritual such as health & wellbeing. Autumn as I love the outdoors and going hiking, you can’t beat being on the top of a mountain in cold weather with bright sunshine…and I’m partial to a cosy jumper and all things Hygge.
5. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
– World peace and prosperity (cliché I know)
– That me and Abi are able to click our fingers and be transported anywhere we choose, then we can pop in and have a cuppa with friends & family across the globe whenever we miss them.
– We’re both happy & healthy until our times up!