Ted studied History and Physical Education at Loughborough University before teaching at Magdalen College School in Oxford for 7 years. He gave up teaching to follow his passion for wine and cut his teeth at Stevens Garnier in Wine retail. During this time he travelled extensively and took his wine exams including the Diploma – which he will admit is much harder these days! Frustration and ambition prompted him to start The Oxford Hamper Company in 1985 which by 1992 had metamorphosed into The Oxford Wine Company.
John joined The Oxford Wine Company as Warehouse Manager in 2002. He worked his way up the ranks and now runs the company in his role as Managing Director, having taken over the post from Ted in 2020. John holds the WSET Diploma in wines, and has extensive knowledge across all categories of wines and spirits. When not looking after the day to day running of the company, John travels internationally to wine fairs, ensuring the OWC range offers the best available around the world.
Neil was born in South Gloucestershire and remains a country boy at heart, continuing to spend most summers chasing Salmon on the island of Islay. He is also loves sport and in his older age golf has largely taken the place of cricket and football – and he is now on a ‘course’ most weekends! He joined The Oxford Wine Company in 1994 because he owed Ted some money due to a rogue business partner. He started selling wine into the hospitality industry and has been doing that ever since. Neil has made many friends in the wine industry over the decades – both clients and suppliers from all over the world – and now can’t think of a better job to be in!
Karen has been looking after the Oxford Wine Company’s finance department since 2000, and became a Director of the company in 2017. She grew up in Oxfordshire, and studied Commerce and Business studies as well as completing a secretarial course at Abingdon College. Before she joined us at OWC, Karen spent time working at North Oxford Garage and Finders Keepers. When she’s not keeping the company finances in shape, she enjoys keeping herself in shape by going to the gym, running and gardening.
Emily has worked at The Oxford Wine Company since 2015. She studied English Literature at Pembroke College, Cambridge and went on to study Law. However, her heart wasn’t quite in that and after spending some time teaching English in Hong Kong and Tokyo she found her way to Oxford where she joined us as a Shop Manager. Emily passed her WSET Diploma in 2016, and she is now a Stage Two student on the Master of Wine programme. When her head isn’t buried in a book, Emily likes to experiment in the kitchen, cooking up new dishes to pair with her favourite wines.
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Aljoscha was born in Cape Town and lived the city life until the age of seven when he moved to the South African countryside. He studied Politics, Economics and Sociology at Stellenbosch University, and during his time there worked at a number of wine farms. After graduating Al moved to the UK to take up a job at a friend’s pub on the Norfolk Coast. He left again for the Alps, then South East Asia and South Africa again, before coming back to the UK. He joined The Oxford Wine Company as Assistant Manager of our Botley Road shop, then Spirits Buyer, and now heads up our range-wide buying operation.
Thom is West Oxfordshire born and raised. He grew up in Bampton where he now lives with his fiancée. After leaving school, Thom studied Biology at the University of Gloucestershire. Thom has a real passion for wine, and immediately after leaving University he started work for Majestic, during which time he completed his WSET Level Three. He joined The Oxford Wine Company in 2016 as the manager of our Standlake Shop. Since then his role has evolved and Thom now takes an active role in the buying and operations of the company, and is working on his WSET Diploma.
When he left school, John trained as an actor and worked in theatre and TV for five years. He loved it but eventually felt he needed a more secure lifestyle which led him to work in hospitality for many years in various roles, from cocktail bartender to pub manager. His move into the wine trade proper was when he started work at Oddbins in Oxford, and after several years there he joined us at OWC. In 2018 John trained as a WSET Educator, and he now heads up our education arm, taking responsibility for our WSET courses, customer tastings and staff training.
The Retail Team
Katy joined our team in February 2020 as a Retail Assistant, before moving quickly up to a new role as Retail Manager in October of the same year. The Oxford Wine Company was her second job in the wine business, having spent time working at Waddesdon Manor before joining us. She studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia, during which time she became captain of the Women’s Rowing Team. Katy completed her WSET Level Three in 2021, and is now studying for the Diploma.
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Manda grew up in Surrey and Nice, France. She studied English and History at Southampton University. Her logical mind led her into a career as a software engineer and project manager. After early retirement, Manda decided to formalise her love of wine. She took WSET level 2 then level 3, joining Oxford Wine Company in the Spring of 2019 as a retail assistant. She works part-time, usually on Saturdays in the Botley Road or Little Clarendon Street shops. She grows prodigious quantities of veg on her allotment, is an enthusiastic forager and particularly enjoys exploring the relationship between food and wine.
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Rebecca joined us in the Summer of 2021. She worked in headhunting and luxury retail before reassessing her career goals and pursuing wine education. In 2021 she took her WSET Level Three, and began working for OWC’s sister company, Amie. It didn’t take long for us to spot her potential and snap her up, and she now spends her time working for both businesses. Rebecca has an impressive academic background, having studied French at both degree and masters level at Oxford University, and is now working on her WSET Diploma. She is also a keen sportswoman, having earned a full Blue as a cox for the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club.
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Andy grew up in freezing cold Edmonton, Canada. He studied professional communications in university before working in hospitality and restaurant management. An avid traveller, Andy eventually landed on moving to the UK and began working as a sommelier in London. Andy is taking wine education through the Court of Master Sommeliers. In the Spring of 2022, he moved to Oxford and joined the Oxford Wine Company. Andy works between the three Oxford shops.
Tom joined The Oxford Wine Company in 2020 as a Shop Manager. Before joining us, he spent his career working in hospitality management, at venues as diverse as a Paris nightclub and much-loved Oxford Gastropub The Trout. Tom studied at Oxford Brookes University, where he achieved a degree in English Literature and a masters in International Human Resource Management. He has also spent time living in both France and Italy where he taught English. Tom holds the WSET Level Three in both Wines and Spirits. He takes an active role in building the OWC spirits range, as well as organising our events programme.
Recent blog posts:
Mark Warde Aldam
Mark is originally from a farming background, but decided that life behind the wheel of a tractor was too anti-social. Two harvests in Saint-Émilion after leaving school sparked a serious interest in wine. Itchy feet led Mark to travel extensively throughout the Alps, Colorado and Switzerland as well as Australia, Southeast Asia, Mexico and India, working a multitude of jobs just to keep travelling! Mark joined Majestic Wine in 1986, where he stayed for 18 months before heading back to Australia to do a vintage at Penfolds. After a long journey over land back to the UK from Australia, Mark re-joined Majestic where he stayed for almost thirty years. He joined us at OWC in 2017, spending his time working in our Botley Road and Turl Street shops.
Min Yee Tseu
Min Yee’s background is in strategy consulting. She graduated from Merton College Oxford with a Masters in Biochemistry, and after graduating spent time working with firms in Hong Kong, London and New York before taking a career break. Min Yee had been a wine lover for some time, and during this time embarked on the WSET Diploma. A stint spent at Château Méaume in Bordeaux gave her some practical experience before she returned to England and joined The Oxford Wine Company as a Shop Manager. She remains part of the retail team but also now works in Corporate and University Sales, and passed her WSET Diploma in 2022.
Tom started his wine career in 2008 at Majestic Wine. While there, he completed his WSET journey up to Diploma level and managed two stores. In 2013 he moved to Fine and Rare where he sold fine wine to both trade and private clients. Tom joined The Oxford Wine Company in 2015 as part of our trade sales team, and now manages a range of accounts in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, London and more. Having spent time living in France, Tom loves the travel that the wine trade offers, and he has visited many producers and regions. When not travelling to new places, he relishes the opportunity to build relationships with his customers and make sure they have the perfect range of wines!
After studying Economics at Southampton University and taking a year off to travel to Asia and Australia, Tim joined the BBC’s Drama department. He rose through the ranks and spent twenty exciting years producing a range of shows filmed in the UK and around the world. Having had a lifetime’s interest in wine, Tim decided to begin WSET studies in 2018. During this time he joined the OWC retail team. This led to further responsibilities overseeing part of the company’s trade sales portfolio, managing accounts in and around Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Now alongside both of these roles, Tim is embarking on the challenge to develop his skills as a wine educator to share the world of wine more extensively!
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Charles Reardon Smith
Charlie was born in London and lived there until the age of four when he moved to the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales. He won a Royal Navy Sponsorship and studied Politics, Economics and Social Administration at London School of Economics and Goldsmiths College, University of London. He served a number of years in the Royal Navy before settling in Teddington South-West London where he worked in IT sales for a number of years and worked for one of Britain’s most successful Software start-up companies “Autonomy”. In 2001 he moved back to Cardiff and fancied a change. This turned out to be delivering for a small Cardiff wine merchant where he got his first WSET exams. In 2007 Charlie joined The Oxford Wine Company where he heads up sales in South Wales.