About Me

SW Pic 2013

Drinking Outside The Box is the blog of renowned wine writer Simon Woods. Since abandoning a career in computer systems design in 1988 to indulge his two hobbies, wine and writing, Simon has been co-coordinator of the annual International Wine Challenge, a columnist for The Financial Times ‘The Business’ magazine, editor of the award-winning annual Which? Wine Guide and a contributor to numerous magazines.

He was voted International Online Wine Columnist of the Year prize at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards 2010 for his work on this web-site . Launched in June 2009, it offers a unique combination of tasting notes, rants and videos, and attracts a growing worldwide audience. Simon is also an in-demand presenter, able to speak on a wide variety of subjects with authority, passion and humour (if you’re interested in hiring him for a tasting, click here).

His books include ‘I don’t know much about wine but I know what I like’, which received the Gold Label Award for Wine Book of the Year at the Prix du Champagne Lanson, and ‘Vine to Bottle’, which was chosen as the Best Book on Wine in English at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. When not travelling the world tasting wine, he lives in the Pennines near Manchester with his wife Jill (a fan of Grenache & devoré), daughter Isabella (The Smiths & Sorted Food) and son Alexander (Arctic Monkeys & playing guitar).

What others say about Simon

“Simon is an amazing story teller and flits between wine tales, tastings and analogies with the same pace and sense of abandon as Billy Connolly doing stand up.” Eats, Drinks and Sleeps website

“…a genial, down-to-earth British wine writer, and his blog at simonwoods.com is approachable, even fun” – The Sunday Telegraph

“Your event was perfect – just the right tone and I could tell people were having a really good time” – Sonia Stevenson, Artistic Director, Lichfield Festival

“Simon Woods was an excellent presenter; knowledgeable, amusing and entertaining. He did an excellent job of engaging us with the subject” – John Husain, Barceloneta Group

“Simon’s writing style is lively, interesting and balanced. He’s jokey without being forced, and critical without being an iconoclast. Best of all, he talks good sense” – Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak.

“His humorous approach to wine education makes him one of the nicest and funniest wine journalists in the UK.” – Roger Jones, chef/proprietor of the Michelin-starred Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

“To get away with writing a book [I Don’t Know Much About Wine etc]  like this – hip and aiming to puncture many bits of wine myth and snobbery – takes a writer who is able to simplify rather than dumb-down, and who has the nous to chop his way through the thicket of politics and reverence that surrounds the subject. More than anything else, it takes a writer who really knows his stuff – well enough to forget much of it, and boil wine truths down to a simple, but concentrated essence. Simon Woods is just the right man for the job, and his track record gives him the necessary authority.” Tom Cannavan wine-pages.com.

“We were led through the wine tasting by wine writer and speaker Simon Woods. I have to say that Simon was a very interesting speaker, very knowledgeable and truly passionate about the wines he was describing. If they had been awful, I’m sure his entertaining way of describing them would have made up for it completely.” Rudy Millard, Guide2Bristol.

“Thanks for the super presentation of Portugal at the Celtic Manor in Newport. What a refreshing way to present and took a lot of the stuffiness out of proceedings” – Neil Cammies, Media Wales.

“The book [Vine to Bottle] is…well written, anecdotal without being over familiar, breezily authoritative without tending to ‘talk down’ – and this is a difficult stylistic feat to achieve – entertaining and informative. I recommend it to anyone interested in wine, particularly those anxious to expand their knowledge without having the feeling they are being lectured, as well as drinkers who are more knowledgeable about wine. It is one of the best books of its kind I have encountered.” – Malcolm Gluck, Superplonk.

“Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed your recent evening at the Tame Valley Tennis & Squash Club, your presentation was most entertaining and informative. We would have no hesitation in attending any future occasions or recommending your events to others.” – Catherine Young, Saddleworth Office Solutions.

His humorous approach to wine education makes him one of the nicest and funniest wine journalists in the UK.

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