The third and final “Colour of Wine” instalment was held on 30th September by Be Inclusive Hospitality to profile four further professionals in wine and drinks. Co-ordinated by Mandy Mason (@comewinewith_me), a BAME in Hospitality ambassador, the four panelists had backgrounds in restaurants, wine training, sommelier and apprenticeships. Several topics were discussed, in each case drawing on personal experiences.
Mags Janjo (@magsjanjo) has been in wine for 13 years and saw the recent downturn from COVID-19 as a reason to leverage his contacts and set up a business importing wine. He admitted to being a “happy cider drinker” as he entered his twenties, but was always into science at school. When working on the floor at Waitrose, his first introduction to wine came through a training opportunity to learn more about the supermarket’s cellar. Making the connection to chemistry and biology during his wine training was natural. Alongside launching his wine importing business, Janjo has a WSET Level 3 qualification and is working through his Masters of Wine.
Shane Jones (@shane_d_jones) has a WSET Level 4 and oozes enthusiasm for his interest in wine and sake. Wine (and sake) isn’t Jones’ first career - he has worked as an economist and property investor in the past but wanted to try his hand. His entry into the sector came in 2012 when Jones became a wine advisor in a local shop, a position that came as a result of self-learning. Most recently, Jones has been sponsored by Decanter Magazine to follow Janjo and pursue his Master of Wine and follow.
Fikayo Ifaturoti (@scrumptiousnerd) is now a sommelier at 67 Pall Mall having spent 2.5 years in the industry. Pharmacy was her initial degree which she practiced in London and Sheffield before coming across her first Michelin experience and the role of the sommelier. Once working in the sector, Ifaturoti had the difficulty of having to ask permission to have braids while at work, as well as the sometimes uncomfortable social settings that come with working in a smart Mayfair venue.
Louie Rodrigues (@corkingwine) has been a communications consultant in wine for the past year. Her mum was influential during her upbringing, though preparing for tastings with energetic group of 50 were new to her. Rodrigues soon found that by making wine accessible and relatable, she could convince people to take the drink more seriously. Rodrigues has come across the difficulty or being over-sexualised and underestimated as a result. She recommends that more diverse imagery should be used in the industry’s communication, signalling not just entry level roles but the scope for career and executive positions.