About: Andy McCallion

In the real world, I am a professional academic, a scientist, who loves wine and the opportunities this provides to enjoy family, friendship, food and travel. I grew up in N. Ireland during what was euphemistically termed “The Troubles” in a family that of Teetotalers. I began to explore wine as an undergraduate, and fell in love with the grape during part of my my graduate studies spent in Paris

My exceptionally paternal Parisian mentor saw it as his responsibility to educate us (his trainees) in all issues of importance - this meant science, wine and food. This experience continues to prove important in my professional and personal life. Currently I work as a professional academic by day, for a major medical school and I write about wine at night.

My naive pursuit of great grape juice resulted in my being introduced to fellow enophiles - now friends - who generously share(d) with me from their years of experience and collecting. They introduced me to great wine and great truths - Among which, a wine cannot be considered truly great until opened and shared with friends! They stoked the fire within, to seek to expand my wine experience and share with others whether early or late in their wine journeys.

For the last few years I have provided wine advice to friends in the local retail wine industry on their wine selections (tasting and reviewing prospective stock), and dabbled in public commentary through Twitter and CellarTracker. Although, I never thought I would find anything more than an echo chamber, I have felt embraced by generosity of the wine world and its willingness to allow me to contribute.

I am passionate about wine as an experience. I like to be able to understand reviews by others and try to use language that creates a genuinely accessible impression of my experience of each wine. You will find this often includes food and friends.  I think my concept of wine and its place in home and friendship may reflect my European experience and heritage, where food, wine, friendship, laughter and debate coexist daily.

Importantly, a wine does not need to be highly rated or expensive to be enjoyed. It need only be an honest and appropriate complement for the context. However, in the growing and ever more complex marketplace, I hope that I may do a little to highlight and share some positive experiences that perhaps you will find helpful in selecting wine for your table.

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