LIVE FROM 1PM: Lunch with a Buyer: Matthew Horsley, Tuesday 28th April 1-2pm

While our Buyers are currently stuck at home, unable to traverse the world looking for great new wines for us, we’ve been enjoying the opportunity to get to know them a bit better! This is the fourth of our informal lunchtime Q&A sessions.

Thank you to everyone who attended our Buyer’s Lunch with @Toby.Morrhall - if you missed it and would like to catch up, please have a read of the thread here: Lunch with a Buyer: Toby Morrhall, Tuesday 21st April 1-2pm

**For our next Buyer’s Lunch, we are very pleased to announce that we will be joined by our trainee Buyer @horsleym! **

Lunch with a Buyer: Matthew Horsley, Tuesday 28th April, 1-2pm

Matthew Horsley is our trainee Wine Society Buyer, having worked in our Buying department since 2017, and currently works with England, Greece, Hungary and Accessories.

On Tuesday lunchtime, Matthew’s joining us for a Q&A - perhaps you’d like to ask about Matthew’s journey to becoming a trainee Buyer, to find out how he is getting on with the Master of Wine course, or maybe you’d like to know more about Matthew’s initial experience with his first buying regions? Join us for an hour - maybe even bring a glass of something along - for a fun discussion about all things wine!

How to take part

Please send us your questions in advance, by replying to this topic - or just log in to the Community before 1pm on Tuesday and there’ll be a ‘LIVE: Lunch with a Buyer’ topic where the event will take place. The chat will be in written format - like a regular topic here.

We hope you can make it along! Who’s planning on joining us for lunch?

  • I’ll be there!
  • I can’t make it, but I’ll send a question in advance.

0 voters


My question would be:

Have you ever drunk a still table wine from England that has come remotely close to the quality of a comparably priced (£12-15) white wine from the classic wine producing areas?*


Are there any plans to explore more Xinomavro fine wines? The Rapsani was incredible to taste. I would love to see what other fine wine equivalents are available in the region, probably from grapes most of us have not experienced before.

Also, would the wine society ever consider an own brand tie-up with Schott or Riedel etc for a super cool range of glassware?


Hi Matthew. I am a property lawyer looking to change careers. I have completed WSET Levels 2 & 3 and hope to start the Level 4 Diploma next year.

How do I get some practical work experience and please can you explain how you started? Any tips would be great please.


Hi Matthew
Hope to join you next Tuesday. Having missed out on a trip to Athens and environs in mid April would be interested in some suggestions for what i have missed out on!
Have enjoyed ‘white on grey’ in my most recent order from you.
Sarah Buchan


Thank you all for your questions for @horsleym so far! Please keep them coming if you have more :slight_smile: Looking forward to having him join us for this event tomorrow!

How about some Greek wines that are NOT Xinomavro? Agiorgitiko? Whites like Robola, Malagousia or Vidiano? Light reds like Limniona or Vlahiko?


How about Xinomavro that isn’t Thymiopoulos! :laughing:


What are some different options for training up my palette? Tasting across one region or comparing regions within one tasting?


What’s your view on accessories Matthew? Anything in particular you’d like to focus on?

Also what’s the handover like between buyers? Looks like you’ve picked up a couple of beauties off @Freddy, how detailed was the briefing on your new remit?


Anything new, exciting, surprising to look out for from Hungary in TWS line up?


With wine now being grown in a few different UK regions, are there noticeable differences in terroir and taste across similar styles of wine?

What are the longer term UK prospects for varietals with climate change?


I would just like to repeat my question from a previous lunch around the Bock Cuvee. I had this last year and I thought it was lovely, are there any plans to include this as part of the society offering - I know I wasn’t the only person who was interested.

On top of that I would just like to reiterate my love of the Thymiopoulos wines and would be keen on an increase in the greek range which I am sure would be very popular.



My question would be when buying, how do you maintain the Society’s excellent quality to price ratio? i am always amazed at the quality of the more modest bottlings, especially when compared to supermarket offerings.


Hi Matthew, a couple of questions from me:

  1. I’ve really enjoyed hearing about your MW course, but wondered if you could say a bit about what drew you into the wine world in the first place?
  2. What single thing has surprised you most about your first buying trips?
    Thanks so much!

Some great questions in advance for Matthew, thank you all!

This event will be starting at 1pm today, when @horsleym will be online to answer your questions - please check in and let us know you’re here!

hereSarah Buchan


Hi everyone! Thanks for your questions! Has anyone got a glass of wine with them for this AMA? I’ve grabbed a bottle of The Society’s English White 2019 which has just been released - it’s delicious. We blended it earlier this year with Martin Fowke at Three Choirs. Plenty of crunchy gooseberry and hedgerow aromas. Perfect with the homemade vegetable quiche i’m currently tucking into! :slight_smile:

I’ll do my best to answer everyone’s questions in turn. If there are any more please post them and i’ll do my best to answer them now/by the end of the day.



Hi @AnaGramWords, thanks for the question.

Absolutely. Camel Valley’s Bacchus is a wonderful expression of the grape – packed with elderflower and zingy citrus fruit flavours and I think very reasonably priced given the quality and quantity produced. Same with Albourne’s Estate Blend which is a really well put together wine (a blend of pinot blanc, pinot gris, ortega, bacchus and chardonnay) and has a much richer, rounder, leesy character that would appeal to those that enjoy Muscadet Sur Lie or grüner veltliner.

Each time I go to Wine GB trade tastings the quality does get better but, more encouragingly, it’s more consistent. Yes there is the occasional stinker and the odd £35 chardonnay that’s spent 12 months in new oak, but all trade tastings have their extremes.

I hope to buy wines that reflect England I think these wines (amongst many others in our list) do just that. They’re honest wines that speak of where they’re from.


I’m glad you like the Rapsani – Apostolos is an incredible winemaker and I can’t wait to go out to Greece and visit him once this all blows over! I’m working hard to get my head around what’s a fairly new country for me in terms of wines but xinomavro is certainly something I’m keen to shout about and Apostolos is one of the flag-bearers.

The thirst for Xin from Members over the last few months has been insatiable. The Jeunes Vignes has done an amazing job at welcoming people to the variety (and to Greek wines for many) and our sales over the past few weeks alone are out of this world. I’ll be doing my best to source some more premium examples that show the different sides of this delicious grape - there’s clearly demand for it! We have a Premium Greece Fine Wine List feature in the pipeline but understandably this has been put to one side for now. We have a few wines already confirmed for this but there are a few spaces to fill and I’m hoping to get a one or two more Xinomavros in there (I may have already found one…).

As for other grapes in the region, Rapsani PDO is pretty much entirely dedicated to Xinomavro so can’t promise much there but I’ll be doing my best to find great, high quality examples of lesser known varieties from across Greece.