Here are some things I’ve been up to recently
I contribute regular features to drinks publications such as timatkin.com, Decanter and Foodism. Having worked in and around the industry for 15 years, I also write articles for trade magazines such as Imbibe and Harpers Wine & Spirit.
From 2013 to 2016 I edited The London Wine Guide, an iPhone app designed to help you pinpoint the wine bar, wine shop or wine-focused restaurant that is closest to you (published in conjunction with Blue Crow Media).
Throughout 2015 I chaired the tasting panel for retail app Mr Vine, a marketplace for independent UK wine merchants.
For other wine apps that I think are worth downloading, see my recent Decanter article here.
If you want an exceptional wine list for your pub, restaurant or hotel but don’t have the in-house expertise, give me a call. Clients include The Table in London Bridge. I produced an original list for them that launched in summer 2012 and an updated new style of list in autumn 2015.
“His professionalism & understanding of his subject were immediately apparent, but it’s been his enthusiasm & commitment to the project which has made it such a pleasure to work with him. He has made what can be a daunting & intimidating subject entirely approachable. Throughout I was kept well informed & consulted. Matt produced a staff handbook and ran several staff training sessions which we have now incorporated into our induction process, an invaluable aid to the long-term knowledge & development of the team. I would have no hesitation in recommending Matt.” Shaun Alpine-Crabtree, Owner, The Table
“The wine list is a joy. The management recently brought in specialist Matt Walls as a consultant to rejuvenate their vinous offering and I would say they certainly got their money’s worth.” Noah May, The Arbuturian
“…a clever, curiosity-packed winelist” Marina O’Laughlin, The Guardian
I also established a wine list for Cafe Below in the City of London went on to win Best Cafe Wine List in the 2015 Imbibe Wine List of the Year competition.
If your restaurant, bar or shop staff could benefit from wine training, get in touch. From a 3-hour crash course to a 12-session weekly programme, my courses are always tailored to your individual requirements.
“I just wanted to say thank you so much for your brilliant & informative training session. It is always so nice to find other oenophiles with the passion that you display! Your book has been popular with the staff & customers alike (I’ve been known to stick it out with our newspapers on a Sunday). One of the bar managers has even borrowed it!… I will let the other managers know in case you they are interested & will pass on your email address if that is OK.” Anneka Swann, Restaurant Manager at Paradise By Way of Kensal Green (Columbo Group)
This is the fun bit – drinking the stuff. I present consumer tastings and trade masterclasses for promotional bodies such as Wines of Germany.
I can work with you to create an original event, whether it’s a party for friends and family or corporate entertaining. Email me for a copy of my tastings menu and pricing. I also host the occasional sampling session, more for fun than for anything else. Send me an email if you want to go on the mailing list.
I’m an annual judge for three international wine competitions: the International Wine Challenge, the International Wine & Spirit Competition and the Decanter World Wine Awards. I helped judge the 2013 and 2014 Wines from Spain Awards in London and I was selected as the UK representative to judge the 2013 Pays d’Oc IGP Collection in Carcassonne, France and the 2016 Hunter Valley Wine Show near Sydney, Australia.
I set up and co-chaired the Wine Bloggers’ Cup, a competition for UK wine bloggers than ran from 2012 to 2013 in conjunction with The Table.
These are just some of the projects I’ve been involved with over the past few years. If you’d like any further details, get in touch: mw(at)mattwalls.co.uk
Shortlisted for the Born Digital Wine Awards 2016 Best Editorial/Opinon Wine Writing
Shortlisted for Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2016 Online Drink Writer
Shortlisted for The Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards 2015 Online Communicator
Runner Up in the Born Digital Wine Awards 2015 Best Editorial/Opinon Wine Writing
Shortlisted for Harpers Wine & Spirit French Wine Awards 2014 Best French Wine Writer/Critic
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014 Blogger of the Year
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013 Blogger of the Year
Off Licence News Top 25 Policy and Opinion Formers 2013
Winner of The Drinks Business Awards 2013 Communicator of the Year
Winner of Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2013 Newcomer of the Year
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2012 Blogger of the Year
Matt Walls first got into wine working in an off-licence in Brighton. He has since worked for Bollinger Champagne and helped manage and buy wines for The Sampler, one of London's best wine shops. He now spends half his time writing about wine and the other half collaborating on various wine-related projects. His first book, Drink Me!, was recently published by Quadrille and has sold over 10,000 copies.
- Buy my book!
- Guy Farge Saint-Joseph Blanc 'Vania' 2016, Northern Rhône, France
Just 6% of Rhône Valley wine is white, but it’s well worth exploring. This Saint-Joseph was a stand-out during my recent masterclass on white Rhône at the London Wine Fair. Guy Farge is a fourth-generation winemaker at his family estate and is making some stunning wines. This has aromas of honeysuckle, apricot, toasted almonds and lemon pith. It’s full-bodied, but there's a wonderful tension in the wine, and a balance coming not just from acidity, but also subtle bitterness and a saline streak that I often find in wines grown on granite. Not hugely complex right now, but energetic and textural, with a long finish. Hugely drinkable, deeply satisfying. It’s not cheap but it is fairly priced for this level of quality at £23.99. The 2016 hasn’t quite reached the UK yet, but Bybo have the 2014 (click through).
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