About James King
I got the wine bug in 1993 in my last year at Edinburgh University when I went on a University sponsored trip to Alsace and compared Alsatian and German wines for a week. This lead to me joining the very successful company of Majestic Wines, UK in 1994. Whilst learning the business I studied and passed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma Exam in 1996. My sense of wine adventure and an Australian passport lead me to the country of my mother, Australia, where I spent 7 amazing years, working in a winery as a cellar rat and then with Montana Wines (Brancott in the USA) in Sydney, Australia.
The next stage and adventure in my wine life lead me to Los Angeles, USA, in 2003 with my American wife whom I met in Sydney in 1997.
In 2003 I set up a small wine importing business and a private client wine club. This allowed me to purchase old and rare wines and also special deals from distributors for my private clients. In addition I started wine tasting events and wine education for private clients and corporations. The importing introduced me to the retail store, The Wine House, whom I sold wine to and then started working part time for.
In 2007 I setup the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program at the Wine House. The WSET has been a huge success for the Wine House enhancing its already impressive reputation as one of the best retail stores in the country for Wine and Spirits Education. I educated over 300 students for WSET Intermediate level 2 and WSET Advanced Level 3 and two colleagues to become WSET educators as well.
With the success of the WSET program I was asked to join the French Wine Society in 2009. I became one of the first French Wine Scholar Educators. Then after studying in the regions of Rhone and Burgundy I was awarded the Master Level Educator Accreditation for Rhone and Burgundy.
I also developed and delivered the lecture on the region of Burgundy at the French Wine Society Conference in October 2009 to over 80 attendees (Allen Meadows was the speaker in 2008).
In 2010 I have:
- Launched the French Wine Scholar Program for The Wine House (January 2010), one of the first ‘schools’ in the USA to teach the French Wine Scholar Program and the Rhone Master Level Program.
- Conducted training seminars in Calgary, San Francisco and Los Angeles for the annual North American West Coast Burgundy Wine Board’s (B.I.V.B.) Tastings in February 2010.
- Selected to be a wine judge at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (largest wine competition in the world) in March 2010.
- In May 2010 studied in Bordeaux and was awarded the International Bordeaux Wine Educator Accreditation.
- Then in May 2010 I introduced the Sake Service Institute Sake Adviser Certificate Course for the Wine House to much acclaim hosted by one of the few Certified Sake Educators in the USA, Toshio Ueno.
- In August 2010 the Napa Valley Wine Educators Academy.
- Finally, in late 2010 the Italian Sommelier Association of California will be hosting classes at the Wine House. This after suggestions and meetings between myself and their board that an introductory level certification is what the trade and the consumer needs.
- It is my aim that starting in the fall of 2010 I will be able to bring the WSET and French Wine Society to Houston and then the Sake and Italian Certifications in 2011.