Simon Haywood

Wine Category Controller

Having acquiring an Ecology degree from London University, which I wasn’t quite sure how to use, I took a part-time job at Oddbins. This initial temporary job has since led to a thirty-year journey into the world of wine which has been hugely enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed studying for the WSET Diploma, when you are really interested in something it doesn’t seem like work.

These days I look after the production of the wine list, the 2015 list was my thirteenth in a row, producing such a large and highly visible document can be challenging. The up-side is the contact I get with the new wines, learning about them and communicating this to a wider audience.

Recently we renewed our trademark for Wine Expression®, our iconic classification of different wine styles. As I am a passionate advocate of simplifying and demystifying the way we communicate the differences between wines, developing Wine Expression®  ranks highly as one of my most enjoyable projects.

Why do you love the On-Trade?
Visiting restaurants inspired me to both learn to cook and develop my interest in wine’s part of the dining experience. I cook something new almost every week and finding a vinous partner is part of the experience. I am constantly inspired by what is happening in the On-Trade, for example I have just built a wood-fired clay oven at home as a result of tasting ‘real’ pizza.