Richard - life before Grog
Set up Grog in May '99 after having worked for Oddbins (remember them? Sadly bust) for 10 years, latterly in Edinburgh as a branch manager and staff "Product" Trainer. R has the wset Diploma and has done the first year Master of Wine. He is also a wset Approved Tutor. A far-too-keen drinker & taster, as friends (& wife) will testify, with a fondness for anything decent made from grapes...R has what is termed in the trade a "commercial" palate ie. he likes what most people like. Motto: "Let's not take life too seriously", & has the record for the heaviest bottle bank in his street.
Janice - life before Grog
Behind every great man there’s a great woman. If it wasn’t for Janice the rest of us would have no wine to sell, no money, no fuel to put in the vans, no vans to put fuel in and so on and so forth. Allegedly sat down for a sandwich once. Has worked for Grog since September 1999.
"Red" - life before Grog
Red (also know as Ian) was Oddbins' "Van man" in Edinburgh for 10 years (where Richard originally gave him the job) until sliding across to join Grog in 2004. Red only has his level 2 wine exam but his road knowledge is Encyclopedic. In his limited spare time he likes to pretend he’s Elvis. His blood is made from 90% Chardonnay. Red & Janice recently discovered they stood in the same Edinburgh queue for a Status Quo concert 40 years ago. Aspires to enter "Pop Master" on Radio 2 (specialist subject Elvis?). He travelled to Graceland in 2014 for research purposes (twice). He saw Woody Allen (still alive, just) in New York in 2017 & was so excited. He goes to New York twice a year to pay hommage to where John Lennon was shot and visit strawberry fields garden in central perk.
John B - life before Grog
Can you believe it? John worked for me in Oddbins about 20 years ago, then he ran the Grog Bar in Rose Street for 7 years, then Wildfire restaurant for a couple of years & then decided to rejoin the fold! He still looks SO baby faced (Alcohol is a preservative after all). John apparently runs the Grog Bottle Shop.
Gary - life before Grog
Sleek, silent and stealthy like a Ninja. Highly organised and efficient. Was at School with Red but we don't hold that against him. If you look at him for too long you turn into a goat. Has a morbid, muttering, mumbling dislike of staircases (like most delivery folk). Since 2004 in Grog? Crumbs, how time flies.
"Chris" - life before Grog
Big bloke, beard (mostly). 6 foot 4 inches & 18+ stone & can carry 8 cases of wine at once. When I say 18 stone, I mean 20 stone, he put on 2 stone after his month in Argentina (Argentina now has a shortage of red wine & red meat). Played rugby for the Indian national team along with his brothers although all 3 hail from Jersey. Don’t dare call him ugly. Chris has a degree in Geophysics & is a qualified snowboard instructor. Probably the most overqualified van driver on the planet. Almost as hairy in the flesh as his picture would suggest. Disappears for all of January snow surfing every (& I mean every) year; even in 2019 with babies in tow!
"John P" - life before Grog
General Sales Bod & DIY expert. Bought a state of the art racing bicycle which doesn't have brakes, pretty good in Holland me thinks, Edinburgh?! ..strange he doesn't use it much. John is half sales, half warehouse, but all man. John is a thinking man's man. So much thinking that he now has his wine diploma level 4 WSET. Also spends time thinking about doing DIY on his yacht in Monaco or Skiing in Val D'Isere, Avoriaz, Les Gets or the Dolomites. In Grog since 2006.
Davi B - life before Grog
An Ecosse-Brasilian with many a year’s experience soaked in the wine trade. With Italian paternal & maternal grandparents who separately emigrated from Italy (from different regions) to Brasil, he has an excellent gastronomic pedigree. After a trial for Hearts he decided that Scottish football didn’t live up to his Brasilian expectations.
Clare - life before Grog
Clare has her level 3 (with distinction - no less) & is studying for her level 4 diploma in wine. She cycles to work & occassionally doesn't fall off (no wine involved). She has enormous experience working in various restaurants around Edinburgh & can pronounce "Gewurztraminer or Hárslevelű " effortlessly (go on, go on, test her!). Clare is a brand new Grogger - she started in 2016.
Simon - life before Grog
An oddly chirpy Teesider who was formerly known as an artist after 4 years at the Edinburgh college of Art. Simon loves a drop of wine most minutes of the day and tends to know slightly more about what he’s drinking than the people who made it. He will pontificate at length on many things including wine, art, cycles, mountains (athletic rather than aesthetic), Middlesbrough, Ridley Scott (who was also from Middlesbrough). 2003 vintage Grogger. Motto "Pass me the red"
Heather - life before Grog
A tactical drinker (she likes to plan her drinking and eating out loud) with a taste for all the finer things in life but not the bank account to match. Rumoured to be an excellent cook... (hint hint). A 2006 vintage grogger. Heather is an industrious part-timer these days and appears to enjoy the adult interaction. Obviously we aren't talking about Simon then.