This video of the Wine Talks British Business podcast is with Jamie Waugh who is the head of wine at Fortnum & Mason’s in London. After university Jaime's first job was at Oddbin’s, before working at Percy Fox, Corney and Barrow and finally OW Loeb, where after selling wine into Fortnum and mason Jamie was offered the job of selling wine for Fortnum’ and Mason. He has been with Fortnum and Mason for over 11 years now and 5 years as buyer.
Fortnum & Mason was founded in 1707. The range of wines, spirits and sparkling wines reflects their longevity, with nearly 1707 in the cellars, of which 164 wines are bottled under the Fortnum’s label. The Fortnum’s collection represents over 60% of wine sales, which is a rare thing in retail.
Jamie believes that Fortnum and Mason’s customers seek a sense of pleasure, and he is confident that they offer something special. He buy’s wines from the more traditional regions such as Haut Medoc from Chateau Charmail in St Estephe, to the relatively undiscovered, including Avesso from Anselmo Mendes.
Champagne remains Fortnum and Mason’s most important wine.They are very proud to work with producers who don’t label for anyone else, such as Louis Roederer, and they were delighted to serve their Champagnes at the Chelsea Flower show.
Further stating that ‘We are particularly proud of buying some wonderful small parcels. For example, we bought the entire UK allocation of Paul Dethune’s wonderfully decadent Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Champagne: 1200 bottles of exquisite bubbles.’
Jamie is one of a long line of Fortnum’s head wine buyers, that stretches back to 1707. There is a tradition at Fortnum’s that the wine buyers – like good wines – mature with age in the cellars, and, thus, Jaimie has been in my role for just over a decade, and look’s forward to many more happy years of tradition and innovation in Piccadilly.