Meet the Committee
As of April 2020 our Committee is made up as follows. There are a number of changes planned at the next AGM which has been postponed from June 2020 due to the Covid crisis. We thank those who were due to step down in June for continuing to support the Club until the next elections.
Sarah Evans - President
Our President is always the Chairman of the Wine Society, based on our historical links.
Sarah's wine tastes are broad. "My cellar is full of wines from the Rhône, Burgundy and the USA."
Stuart Goldsmith - Vice President
Stuart has been Vice President since 2017 and a member of the club since 1996. He's been a member of the committee twice, including a stint as Chairman.
"The Dining Club is fortunate to be able to attract charismatic wine makers to attend our dinners. Leoville Barton is one of my favourite wines (when I can afford it) and we have welcomed Anthony Barton and more recently his daughter Lilian to speak at a succession of dinners in different Livery Halls over the years: 2001 at Painters Hall was particularly memorable – we followed it up by visiting them when on a Dining Club wine tour to Bordeaux. Also memorable is when en route to Burgundy we have visited Alfred Gratien several times – and nearly missed the onward transport because of their inexhaustible generosity with old bottles of champagne."
Jim Ryan - Vice President
Jim has been Vice President since 2017. Before that, he was Chairman of the Club for 7 years.
‘I’ve been a member of the Club since the 1980’s and have served on the Committee in various capacities for the past twenty years. There are two things I really enjoy about the Club: it gives me an opportunity to spend time with the many members who I count as friends, and it also gives me the chance to enjoy wine I wouldn’t otherwise get to taste, whether from the Reserve, or from the eclectic tastings that we hold.
"I especially enjoy the Tours. The three most recent have seen us go to Piedmont, Spain, and Portugal, Bordeaux is next. I’ve had huge fun at all of them, and come away quite a bit richer in knowledge about some of my favourite areas.
Right now, I have to spend most of every month working in California. I’ve yet to find the West Coast equivalent of the WSDC, if one exists, and that makes me appreciate all the more just what a special and unique thing that Wine Society Dining Club is.’
Tim Wright - Wine Society Representative
As part of our link with The Wine Society, there is always a Wine Society Representative on our Committee.
"I am currently Deputy Chairman at The Wine Society. I previously worked for over 35 years in retail and finance. My specialism is in human resources and I also have experience in corporate governance, pensions, finance, property and marketing. I have a longstanding love affair with the Roussillon area, its Catalan culture and, of course, its wines."
Jo Ryan - Chairman
Jo was elected to the committee in 2019. She served as Assistant Secretary to the Club from 2011 until 2020, when she handed over to the Club Administrator.
"My first WSDC event was the Christmas Tasting in 2004 when my then-boyfriend was Honorary Secretary. I was immediately hooked by the fabulous wines and wonderful people. Attending the Club's events has allowed me to taste a remarkable amount of wine that would normally be out of my price range... not to mention nearly impossible to find. But my favourite thing at the events is catching up with all the friends I've made in the Club while we compare notes on ridiculously good wines.
My favourite wine is Chateau d'Yquem which Sebastian Payne MW once described as the best white wine in the world -- I don't disagree! But in the real world, I have a taste for Alsatian whites -- I'm an especial fan of Zind-Humbrecht."
Mark Shaw - Hon. Secretary
Mark joined the committee in 2018 as a fairly new member of the club, having joined around late 2016.
“The sangiovese grape wasn’t the only reason for buying my tuscan home. Achingly beautiful views (and art), decent weather, enthusiastic locals, proper food and delicious olive oil … they all contribute. But the wine, that’s the real magnet. And I’ve grown to respect the local wine producers, after seeing for myself their annual vinous vicissitudes. Wine merchants and commentators are often engaging and insightful. But actually making the stuff; that demands not just toil, but courage. Such a precarious business, and lifestyle. Fundamentally, that’s why I so appreciate wine.”
Michael Bullett - Honorary Treasurer
Mike joined the committee as Treasurer in 2019 after being involved with the club since around 2006.
"I've been a wine lover for over 50 years and Burgundy is one of my very favourite areas having made a few visits to producers there. Other wine travels have included California and South Africa and I had a wonderful reception at Felton Road in New Zealand a year ago, where Sarah Knowles had smoothed the path.
"On another trip, in 2011, I visited Huet in Vouvray, where thanks to Jo Locke I had a full trip of the cellars. At one point underground there were some roots dangling down from the vineyard above, Le Haut Lieu I seem to remember. I remarked that we must be fairly close to the surface. “Yes” our guide came back, “just a mere 30 metres”!
"Having been a Dining Club member for around 15 years, I’ve many good memories, but one that I particularly remember was at the 2015 Christmas tasting when I won first the third prize in the raffle, and then 2 draws later - also the first prize, a bottle of Chateau Lafite! My first thought was that I really had got a good return on my investment in raffle tickets! Other guests thoughts on "my return" were rather less printable!""
Sarah Jeffery - Committee Member
"I was introduced to the WSDC around 2015 and was drawn to the common goal of sharing beautifully aged wines with excellent food and company." .Sarah has been active in the committee since 2018 and provided some wonderful event photos for our new website.
"I have been interested in wine from a young age; conducting family blind tastings of French supermarket wine on holiday in my early teens. Over the years that interest has turned into something of an obsession and a few casual tastings led to WSET and Wine Scholar Guild exams (who doesn’t like a certificate?) and ultimately completing the WSET diploma in 2018 after a career break spent travelling various wine regions. Whilst you can’t fault the classics of the old world, there is such an exciting and burgeoning range of regions and grapes to explore and I will try anything once (although a Burmese Sauvignon Blanc was admittedly something of a low point). There are over 1300 grapes in Jancis Robinson's “Wine Grapes” anthology and it is a lifetime mission to try them all.
As an oenophile there is nothing more impossible or infuriating than the common question “what’s your favourite wine?” - so much depends on the occasion, the company, the season and mood. It would be rare for me to turn down a German riesling (my partner is from the Rheingau) and reds tend to be on the more full bodied side- a mature Rioja being a frequent go to wine in my cellar. I am least likely to be seen sipping a rose or pinot noir and I am yet to be converted to skin contact orange wine but am happy to keep searching for one to change my mind. "
Julia Lintott - Committee Member
Julia joined the Club recently and was elected to the committee in 2020.
"I joined the club relatively recently having been introduced by my husband who had been a member for many years. He had taken me to events as his guest; I’m interested in wine and although very much a novice am keen to learn. I loved the tour to Douro in 2018 which was a total immersion trip for me amongst so many experts. Highly enjoyable and I look forward to the next one."
Mike Stone - Committee Member
Mike was elected to the committee in 2020 after joining the Dining Club in 2009
"I have been a member of the club for about eleven years and have served on the committee previously.
I am a great fan of the Club and particularly enjoy the opportunity it gives me to enjoy wines that I would not normally have a chance to and, in interesting places. I always look forward to the wine tours and am eagerly awaiting the next tour to Bordeaux."
Rob Stephens - Committee Member
Rob was elected to the committee in 2018 after having been a member on and off since 1999.
"I became interested in wine when I lived in Germany during the early 1970's. To someone whose wine drinking had previously been at the "Blue Nun" level, the wines then available in Germany were a revelation. With a young palate, I favoured the more full bodied varieties, particularly the Muller-Thurgau (particularly popular at the time, if not now) from Rhinehessen. Riesling was far too dry and slate flavoured for me then, although when I revisited Germany 30 years later I discovered my palate had dried out with age. Sadly, when I returned to the UK in the 70's I could not find, or afford, the wines I had been enjoying - so I went from the sublime to the ridiculous and started making my own."
Corinna and Chris Edge - Joint Club Administrators
Corinna and Chris joined the team in October 2020, with responsibility to adminster memberships, event bookings, and our website, among other tasks.
"We have been members of the Club for many years and both served on the Committee a while ago. We love fine wines and food which is why we joined the Club in the first place. We have enjoyed the many events we have attended and of course the tours we have been fortunate to be able to go on; making many friends over the years. Both of us are Bordeaux, Cote Rotie and desert wine lovers, but also like to try other wines."