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About Matt Day

MattThis is Matt’s story:

I started my wine career at Majestic Wine (I worked in every London store except Wanstead!) in 1998 and tired of stacking boxes I moved to the Rheingau, Germany in 1999 to work as an apprentice winemaker. On my return, I landed a dream job as tastings manager for the world’s first ever wine website WineToday.com(The New York Times Group) working alongside industry legend Oz Clarke. We were contracted to taste 200 of the best and most expensive wines from a particular region each month and in a short space of time I tasted wines that could take mere mortals a lifetime to track down.

I started writing about wine in 2000 and in 2002 won the UK Young Wine Writer of the Year award. I have since contributed to titles including Esquire, Olive and jancisrobinson.com and have presented wine segments on Sky One, Radio 2 and LBC London. Wine writers are amongst the most spoiled creatures in the world with a life revolving around endless lunches, tastings and fabulous press trips. Unfortunately this millionaires lifestyle is largely (and justifiably) unpaid and after a blissful year it was time to get a proper job.

In 2003 I started working as a wine specialist for a millionaire cataloguing his £20 million wine collection. To store his monster collection he bought a few restaurants in London (Umu and The Greenhouse are now 2 Michelin stars) and New York and soon I was helping to build some of the most extensive wine lists in the world and deal with the teams of testy sommeliers at each venue. This role gave me a detailed knowledge of fine wine, great industry contacts and a love/hate relationship with sommeliers.

In 2006 I moved into PR and have since worked with generic bodies (Champagne Information Bureau, Sherry Information Bureau, Wines of Germany) and companies including Rémy Martin, Laurent-Perrier, G.H. Mumm, Perrier-Jouët, Aldi and Morrisons. Coming up with new angles to interest the specialist press demands high levels of creativity. In 2010 I devised the Mumm & Perrier-Jouët Champagne Assembly, an event to bring together the disparate strands that make up Champagne: wine, gastronomy, lifestyle and luxury. The event won the ‘Best Event’ category at the CIPR Pride Awards 2011 and has been put forward for Pernod Ricard global best practice. For the last 5 years I have worked with Morrisons organizing the biannual press tastings and acting as a consultant to the buying and press teams and helping their external agency Cirkle with anything wine and food related.

Through constant research and experimentation my specialist area has become the art of food and drink pairing. I have worked with many brands including Dark Horse (Gallo), Castello Cheese, Jacobs Crackers, Premier Foods, Peperami and Ferrero Rochet to develop thought-provoking pairings. My proudest moments include Café de Mort for Good Relations/Remember a Charity – a pop-up restaurant fronted by Gregg Wallace serving a menu of potentially lethal dishes including the semi-legal Japanese puffer fish fugu – a first and last ever for the UK. Not forgetting Pork Juice for Peperami – a health drink based on a pigs diet (truffles, acorns, grass) blended with salami – and fronted by Phil Tufnel! I have also worked as an ambassador for Castello Cheese (Arla Foods). My role involved developing innovative recipes and drinks pairings that formed the basis of each annual consumer campaign. In 2015 my pairings were at the heart of a major six week pop-up Castello store in Shoreditch. The role also involved demonstrating in the live theatres at food shows including BBC Good Food, Ideal Home Show, Great Yorkshire Show and presenting to the buying teams of supermarkets including Waitrose.

I am currently the Chief Wine Officer for Corkscrew a wine app that helps consumers find the perfect wine in UK supermarkets and wine retailers. I am Corkscrew’s ambassador, in-house sommelier and co-creator of the OmniPair™ food and wine pairing algorithm. We have just launched the app in California with the rest of the USA to follow in 2020. Also never one to turn down a challenge I am currently working with Kedem Europe, the world’s largest supplier supplier of kosher wine to help them increase listings of Israeli wines in mainstream London restaurants and wine merchants using my unique combination of PR acumen, industry knowledge and chutzpah.

I am based in Forest Gate, but my daughters go to school in Wanstead. I have spent the last 5 years wondering why there isn’t an independent wine shop on the High Street. COVID has been pretty disastrous for many businesses including my own, but on the bright side lockdown has given me the time to get my act together and put my money where my mouth is! Rising phoenix-like from the ashes will soar Daygustation Wines, a friendly shop specialising in delicious wines from small, quality-driven producers at every price point. We will also sell stinky cheese, charcuterie, nibbles, wine/kitchen accessories and interesting beers and spirits. Weekly wine tastings and courses will start ASAP. Hope to see you soon(September 2020) fingers crossed!

For  details here is my full CV:

Education

•    2005-2006 Institute of Masters of Wine (1st year student)
•    2000-2002 WSET Diploma
•    1994-1998 QMW College (University of London) BA Hons French/German

Employment History

Corkscrew – Chief Wine Officer (2016 – Current)

Corkscrew is a smartphone app for iPhone and Android that takes the stress and guesswork out of choosing the perfect wine. Our unique OmniPair™ algorithm, enables us to assign a compatibility score to any combination of food and wine. We have live wine lists for all UK supermarkets and national wine merchants, so app users get recommendations based on the actual wines available in the shop they are in. Corkscrew gives consumers the confidence to experiment with new wines and our research tells us that empowered customers are more likely to spend a little bit more on the right bottle and satisfied customers are far more likely to come back. Corkscrew is therefore an ideal tool to improve customer satisfaction while increasing revenues from wine in the off-trade. Also the app is a powerful marketing tool that allows retailers to deliver promotions, offers and vouchers to a highly targeted audience. I am Corkscrew’s ambassador, in-house sommelier and co-creator of the OmniPair™ algorithm. Corkscrew is now live in California and will launch in Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon in early 2020.

London Wine Academy – Tutor (2004 – Current)

I have been employed by the LWA since 2004 teaching wine courses and running corporate events. I developed the innovative Sensory Masterclass which uses tactile stimuli to bring alive the process of tasting wine. Through my weekly sessions with consumers I have developed a speaking/teaching style that is expert, yet fun and engaging.

Daygustation Limited – Food and Drink Pairing Expert (2006-Current)

I specialise in developing accurate and innovative food and drink pairings. Projects to date include creating drinks pairings, recipes and gastronomic cocktails for Castello Cheese, Ferrero Rochet, Dark Horse (Gallo), Peperami, Aldi, Morrisons, G.H. Mumm Champagne and Premier Foods. In 2010 working for G.H Mumm Champagne I developed the idea of ‘GCMS Food Pairing’? in conjunction with Danny Hodrien (F&F Projects) where we analysed the Champagnes using GCMS (Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry) and then paired the wines with foods having complementary molecules. In 2012 working with Peter Barham Professor Molecular Gastronomy (who works with Heston Blumenthal) and Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias (Casamia Restaurant) I developed the idea of ‘Temperature Controlled Food Pairing’? where the same wine and dish are served at various different temperatures. I also worked with John Williams (The Ritz Executive Head Chef) to develop a ‘temperature’ menu for the launch of the new G.H. Mumm R. Lalou prestige cuvée where the wine was served at 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 degrees with increasingly rich/heavy dishes. At lower temperatures the Chardonnay element is more prominent with warmer temperatures bring out the Pinot Noir.

Morrisons – BWS PR Expert (2016-2019)

Reporting to the Head of Morrisons PR I was brought as a BWS expert to help the Morrisons Press Team and Cirkle the incumbent PR agency. With my strong links to the wine specialists I worked with Cirkle to handle all press requests for wine samples from specialists and consumer media. Also, I worked with the Morrisons Press team to help develop story angles for press releases through analysis of IWC, IWSC and Decanter competition data resulting in extensive coverage and major upturn in sales of mentioned wines. Also I worked with the Morrisons Wine Team to write the Decanter, IWSC and IWC merchant award entries and presentations. Based on these entries Morrisons won IWSC Innovator of the Year in 2017 and IWC Supermarket of the Year in 2016. In partnership with the Morrisons Wine Buyers I coordinated the biannual BWS press tastings managing logistics for the pretasting and main event, determining the range shown, producing the collateral and running the tasting.

3 Monkeys Communications – PR Senior Account Director – Morrisons BWS (2015- 2016)

I headed up the team looking after the Morrisons BWS (Beers, Wines, Spirits) account. I was responsible for the biannual press tastings and was closely involved with all Morrisons BWS award entries. In 2015 Morrisons BWS won the International Wine Challenge (IWC) Supermarket of the Year, The Drinks Business Retail Buying Team of the Year Award and was shortlisted for Grocer Gold Own-Label of the Year Award. As the agency drinks specialist, I ran tutored media house tastings, in-house staff training and was involved in new business pitches.

Artéis & Co Champagne – UK Distributor, PR and Marketing (2014 – 2018)

I was the UK agent of a new boutique Champagne brand called Artéis & Co. Uniquely Artéis produce only vintage champagnes from small batches of mature wines that have been in contact with the lees for between 6 and 10 years. Small volumes allow the wines to be disgorged with low levels of SO2 and wines are all low dosage (2-6g/l). Because the wines are recently disgorged they are mature and harmonious, yet wonderfully fresh and precise. Artéis offer three distinct micro-cuvées: Brut (7,500 bottles), Rosé (3,500 bottles) and Blanc de Blanc (2,500 bottles). I was responsible for the launch and distribution of this new brand with a focus on high-end London restaurants. Within six months I established by-the-glass listings at key restaurants including Bar Boulud, The Angler and further listings at Hawksmoor, Nathan Outlaw and Angelus.

Clarion Communications – BWS PR Consultant –Aldi BWS (2014- 2015)

I was employed as a specialist food and drinks advisor to Clarion Communications working mainly on the Aldi BWS (Beers, Wines, Spirits) account. My roles included work on the biannual press tasting, tutored media house tastings, presenting at consumer shows (Wine Gang Live), copy writing for seasonal collateral and supporting new business pitches.

Arla Foods – Brand Ambassador – Castello Cheese (2013-2016)

I worked as one of the brand ambassadors for Castello Cheese (Arla Foods) employed via Havas PR. I was the drinks expert and each year there was a different celebrity chef. My role involved working with the chefs to develop innovative recipes and drinks pairings that form the basis of the ongoing consumer campaign. In 2015 my pairings were at the heart of a major six week pop-up Castello store in Shoreditch. The role also involved demonstrating in the live theatres at food shows including BBC Good Food, Ideal Home Show, Great Yorkshire Show and presenting to the buying teams of supermarkets including Waitrose.

good relations PR – Food and Drink Consultant (2012-2013)

I was employed by good relations to organise and operate a pop-up restaurant for their Remember a Charity in Your Will client. Cafe de Mort opened for 2 nights in February 2013 serving a menu of potentially lethal dishes including the Japanese puffer fish fugu. I devised the menus, sourced the rare ingredients and organised the staffing of the kitchen and front of house. As ‘curator’ of the event I was also interviewed extensively with appearances on BBC London and BBC Wales.

The View PR – PR Expert – G.H. Mumm/Perrier Jouët (2010 –2014)

In January 2010 we pitched for and won the G.H. Mumm and Perrier Jouët Champagne accounts. We were responsible for running the annual program of activities for trade press, developing on-trade initiatives to drive sales and running the press office. In 2010 we launched The Champagne Assembly, a trade event which brought together the disparate strands that make up Champagne: wine, gastronomy, lifestyle and luxury.  I developed the concept and was responsible for all the creative ideas (lectures, workshops, tastings), organisation and running the event on the day. The Champagne Assembly won the ‘Best Event’ category at the CIPR Pride Awards 2011 and was put forward for Pernod Ricard global best practice

Edelman (Jackie Cooper PR)– Drinks Consultant – Sherry Institute of Spain (2008-2009)

Responsible for all drinks press and on-trade activity/outreach and for implementing the ‘Perfect Serve’ on-trade educational program. I was also involved in running and speaking at consumer events and tastings.

Peretti Communications – Senior Consultant (2006 – 2008)

Peretti gave me an invaluable introduction into the world of luxury PR where I was involved in all stages of the campaign process, from pitching for new business, to writing PR proposals and press releases through to selling-in and delivering on major events and press trips. I led the team on one of the company’s largest accounts the CIVC, the generic bureau for the Champagne industry. Activities included press office, press visits, trade and consumer tastings and managing the educational program.  I was responsible for the Annual Champagne Tasting at Banqueting House, which is the largest of its kind in the world with 80 brands showing over 200 wines to 600 guests. I was also involved with the launch of ultra-luxury, limited edition Black Pearl cognac from Rémy Martin. As well UK tasting events  and dinners I was responsible for organising and leading a luxury press trip by private plane to the distillery in Cognac. Other luxury clients included The Dorchester Collection, IWC Watches and Riedel.

MARC Restaurant Group – Assistant Buyer/Stock Controller (2002 – 2006)

During my time at MARC  my role evolved from wine consultant responsible for controlling a fine wine stock of £15m to that of Assistant Buyer supplying a private members club (Morton’s), two Michelin-star restaurants in London (The Greenhouse, Umu) and two fine dining restaurants in New York (Gaia, A Voce). This position involved developing and managing some of the world’s largest wine lists with over 2,000 bins in each establishment and dealing with the teams of sommeliers at each location. My time with the MARC Group gave me great on-trade insight and contacts.

International Wine Challenge (IWC) – Wine Consultant (2001 – 2002)

Running the tasting floor of the world’s largest wine competition.

WineToday.com (New York Times) – Wine Tastings Coordinator (2000 – 2001)

Organising and facilitating monthly wine tastings in association with Oz Clarke.

Weingut Georg Breuer (Rheingau, Germany) – Apprentice Winemaker (1999 – 2000)

General viticultural and winemaking duties and running multilingual tasting tours.

Majestic Wine Warehouses (London) – Trainee Manager (1998-1999)

Working as a trainee manager as part of their graduate program.

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