By: Siobhan Turner

I was asked about what I was looking forward to most about the presentations and training in London and Hong Kong that are coming up in the next few months.  This seemed like an easy question at first, and then, as I explored it, more and more waves uncovered, so I thought I would write briefly about it, to get my own thoughts straight, and to explore why the trainer might be as excited as a trainee.

The first part is simply that it is very exciting to be given a chance to spread this particular gospel, and to be in a room with people who actually CARE about wine authenticity.  I cannot tell you how much this matters.  I also cannot tell you how frustrated and then angry I get when I come across people who simply don’t care that they are selling fakes.  I examined some wine for a client who does care, passionately.  Unfortunately, hanging around on the periphery was the vendor who was trying to sell it to her.  His reaction was telling – when we told him the wine was fake, his response started at “it can’t be” and moved on to “so what, the buyer will never know”.  In other words, this was someone who was more than willing to knowingly sell a fake product to a client – and, let us not forget, a fake product that the client would consume.  This was someone who would knowingly risk someone’s life for the sake of a sale.  Really?  So the thing I am most looking forward to is, absolutely, being with people who do care, who do think it is important, and who do want to learn.

The second part is being in a room with Maureen, and learning myself.  Yes, I will be one of the trainers.  That is seriously cool.  But make no mistake, I shall also be learning myself, reinforcing and remembering what I already knew, and refining the details.  Practice is always important, and this is a really good chance to practice, and to learn more.  For me, it is a bit like a master class, and who would not look forward to that.

And finally, on a purely superficial note, I have never been to Hong Kong.  Am I excited about going there?  Hell yes!  And if anyone has a favourite haunt or a particular place they think I should visit, I would love to hear that too.