Meet the Members: JayKay

Continuing our journey of meeting as many of the members as possible, today we meet a member who joined in November but has already become a very active participant in many different conversations, has shared some wonderful wine humour and, it turns out, can face down an 18-wheeler truck to keep hold of her Champagne

Meet the Member: @JayKay

As usual, we ask a short set of standard questions, and get each interviewee to answer some ‘fun’ questions that give us an insight into them particularly.

I’d love to hear from all of you at some point, and I will be in touch, but if you have a burning desire to introduce yourself, please send me a message to let me know.

Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end as it is always nice for the member who is willing to be open like this to know that others are reading their interviews.

Tell us very briefly about yourself, and what fills your average day

I turned 60 last September and took early retirement from a job at Southampton University about three years ago. To celebrate my retirement we took a long road trip taking in the Mosel, Alsace, Lake Garda and Pouilly sur Loire. In order to burn the empty wine calories our daily routine includes exercise classes, mainly indoor cycling, and gardening. It also involves some volunteering with a local charity, visiting lonely elderly people for a hour to give them some company. We enjoy the occasional MOOC (free online courses) and I practice my hobby (see below).

How long have you been a member of The Wine Society and what made you join?

I’ve been a member since December 1993. My parents gave me and my husband membership as a Christmas present that year. We’d already started to explore different wines with a local independent Wine shop and had joined a wine tasting group set up by a local wine expert my parents knew. So it was a great progression. One of the best presents we’ve ever received!

What would you say is your favourite wine style or region, and what do you pair it with?

This is very difficult as I love so many different styles and colours of wine! If absolutely forced to choose then judging by our “cellar” (a small pantry with no windows or source of heat) then it would have to be mature left bank red claret. We don’t eat a lot of lamb but there is a fantastic Delia Smith recipe for lamb and flageolet beans that is a great match, and for my 60th the pairing was lamb shank with 2004s of Pavillon Rouge and Alter Ego, both second wines.

If you had to list your major NON WINE-RELATED hobby, what would that be?

I started to learn the saxophone about nine years ago and I now play in a couple of local amateur groups. I wish I had started to learn earlier because I really enjoy everything about the sax: the sound it makes (yes even me!), the music making with likeminded people, the social aspect. All good fun. It has helped me to explore jazz music which I had previously not really listened to.

What was the last gift that you gave someone (that YOU chose and bought)?

I bought my mum a chicken made of metal for her garden. She lives next door to an egg farm so it seemed appropriate and she loves it.

Tell us something that you’ve done that you are pretty sure no-one else in the community has done (yet)?

We were in a car crash while on holiday near San Diego some years ago, wiped out by a large truck. Amazingly we survived with only minor injuries and the two bottles of Dom Perignon rose champagne in the boot had survived intact when we went to the wreck yard to reclaim them the following day!

Your house is on fire – which bottle would you save from the burning building?

(no cheating - this must be a bottle in your possession at the moment)

Our one remaining bottle of 1990 Chateau Leoville Barton, last of an EP case.

If you had a £100,000 cheque to give away to an organisation, who would you give it to, and why?

I’d give it to a charity called Reprieve that campaigns against the death penalty and represents victims of miscarriages of justice on death rows around the world plus those still incarcerated without charge in Guantanamo Bay. Getting justice (as opposed to state sponsored murder) should be a fundamental human right.


I’m very glad to get to know you better @JayKay.

I am very interested to hear that. We gave my father a saxophone for his 70th birthday (a few years ago) and he loves it so much he’s working through the grades and is joining a local band to make it more social and varied too.

He’s become such a committed player he’s recently had to “upgrade” to a soloist instrument and it sounds lovely. What do you play?

Thanks so much for replying, and also for taking up the question about the charity. Your choice is very interesting (I’ve added a link for those interested).

1 Like

Hi @JayKay - lovely to ‘virtually’ meet you! :blush:

Sounds like you do some pretty amazing charity work - I love the sound of Reprieve, thank you so much for highlighting this fantastic organisation. More power to you!

Can you tell us a bit more about the kinds of online courses you’ve taken? I’ve been plodding through a few courses on the amazing FutureLearn which has a fantastic range of options! :sunglasses:

1 Like

I play the alto sax. I started on a student Yamaha model which stood me in good stead as I learned the ropes. I spent some of my retirement lump sum upgrading to a Selmer Reference 54. It is a pro level sax and really much too good for me. But it is my “forever” saxophone and it gives me great pleasure :saxophone:

1 Like

Hi Laura, yes I’ve taken a few Futurelearn Courses too. Inspired by a holiday on the Ayrshire coast and visiting Robert Burns birth place I did a course on his poetry and songs. Also ones on Hadrian’s Wall, Ancient Rome. Also did a couple of music ones on Coursera. I just see what appeals to me at the time. Not seen anything on wine yet though.

@JayKay Ooh fascinating - I haven’t even heard of Coursera so I’ll go and look that one up now! Blimey, from the looks of it there’s endless options there!

I’ve also just discovered Khan Academy this weekend thanks to a friend sending me this free course of The Art of Storytelling which is given by the guys at Pixar Animation Studios. It’s part of a series of Partner Content where various institutions provide free mini-courses, such as NASA, The British Museum, Stanford School of Medicine etc. I’m really interested in this one I just found from Wireless Philosophy which has various philosophy learnings. You’ve got me all fired up for learning again, thanks Joy! :slight_smile:


Thanks for the Khan Academy link Laura. Looks great!

Just signed up for Inside Opéra on Future learn, as recommended by my sister in law.