Welcome to BenFranksWine.com
Hi all! Thanks for visiting my brand new website, BenFranksWine.com.
I have always loved wine. I have wanted to be a journalist even more. I spent a great deal of my time at University teaching my peers (as President of JournoSoc) that the only way to succeed in journalism – unless you’re really pretty awesome at it – is to specialise. I spent so much time offering the advice it seems it took me quite a long time to come around to the idea I should probably adopt the advice myself.
In 2014, I was over the moon to be offered a guest writing position at Peppermint Bars; it was the road to something new as my first paid journalism work. I had written for local press and, despite having an incredible amount of admiration for what they do, found writing day-in, day-out about news that didn’t interest me just sucked. But I loved talking to people. I loved the stories. I loved the pressure of deadlines, the writing, the by-lines, all of it. So when I bagged the (sort of) job with Peppermint Bars I knew what I wanted to do full-time.
Lucky for me, I had already been working in wine retail for three years by the time I had this epithany. Even luckier, perhaps, is I’d been drinking the stuff since I was about 12. Alright, it was the odd sip here and there of my parents’ Jacob’s Creek Grenache and so on, but it was still delightful to pretend I could taste berries above the rich alcohol that makes a 12-year-old’s insides jump out of their eyeballs. When I got to about 17, working with Waitrose for the first time and chucked literally in the deep end of the world of wine, I started to come around to the idea of drinking it again. So when I turned 20, I did the only logical thing a student at University does who spends far too much time writing on the internet not to: I pitched to my manager at Waitrose Bath that I would review a bottle of wine every week, if they could spare a bob or two.
Thankfully, my manager was incredibly supportive. In a little under a year, I have been swallowed by wine and it’s delightful qualities – just as I had been enticed by the incredible variety of beers when I was 18. I fell in love with Pinot Noirs, Shiraz, Cab-Sauvs and, finally, this year, white wines too. Thanks to Waitrose, and mostly the fantastic people I work with, my family and friends, I’ve been motivated enough to spend a sizeable amount of money to do my first WSET exam.
I’m playing it safe to begin with. WSET Level 2 will introduce me, I think, to what I already know. But I’m doing it with Clifton Wine School who have quite a nice reputation, so I’m confident I’ll learn a great deal anyway. Besides, it’ll be quite nice to mix with some other wine-o’s and see what the deal is. I’ll let you know how I get on.
I’ve launched Ben Franks Wine so I can share with you my tastings, journey and learning. There’s plenty of wine people out there and the community is hugely welcoming, so if I don’t quite fit your tastes, don’t be put off. If I do, however, welcome to my journals. Go comment and join in, if you like. It’s free, just register.