Freelance wine writer, wine broadcaster, wine educator, wine consultant and judge.
Dublin based Master of Wine Martin Moran, married with two children, is a freelance wine writer, wine broadcaster, wine educator, wine consultant and judge. He is the London born son of an Irish family, but now, since 1995, a proud resident of Ireland, the birth place of his parents.
Heard regularly on Dublin’s NewsTalk 106-108 FM, he writes for magazines and various trade magazines as well as producing “Wine Republic”, an annual guide to wine buying in Ireland.
Martin, currently writing a book on Australian Shiraz for publisher Hardie Grant due for release in early 2008, also acts as a consultant to Irish fine wine importers and as export consultant to exporters of boutique Australian wines to world markets. He is a lecturer for the British Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses run by the Irish Wine Development Board.
In his youth in London, Martin was seldom exposed to wine. His family were non (wine) drinkers. Fortunately, at 24, he was offered a job in a London wine bar as barman. This was his first exposure to the potential relationships between food and wine. Already interested in food and flavours, his love affair with wine had begun. Wine was a revelation – so many styles, such infinite variation, so many wine/food combinations and possibilities.
He studied wine formally and attained his WSET Certificate. Next, their Higher Certificate provided him with further stimulation. In 1984, he spent the year travelling the wine lands, including a vintage as a cellar hand in the Hunter (Australia). Upon returning to England, still working in the wine trade he resumed formal wine studies, passing the WSET Diploma exams later that year.
The research was paying off. Soon followed the decision to try for the Everest of wine qualifications– to graduate from the British Master of Wines exams.
To this end, he decided to gain further experience in as many areas of the grape-to-glass chain as possible. There were stints in vineyards and wineries in Southern England, Bordeaux, Bergerac, Beaujolais, Alsace, and again, returning to Australia, with Hardy Wines at Reynella. Add in stints in retail with Nicolas, then later Oddbins in London, and Park Avenue Liquor in New York.
After ten years of studies and practical experience in the wine trade he found his holy grail -graduating Master of Wine in 1994. This was the key to his relocating to Dublin, something he had longed to do for many years.
In Dublin, he was immediately employed by Gilbey’s, then one of Ireland’s largest independent liquor importers, and Martin spent the next five years as their Wine Development Manager. This involved managing a top quality portfolio of international wines, wine buying and selling, new brand development involving designing, sourcing and blending wine ranges, staff and customer education programs, quality assurance, writing price lists and just about everything else that was involved in Gilbey’s Wine portfolio.
In 2000, he took the big step from being an employee to become a self-employed consultant, to allow more time to expand his writing, consulting educational and judging activities, which now take up all of his professional time.
Martin has judged wines for many years as a Super Juror and Panel Chairman at the London Wine Challenge. He also has experience in judging New World wines, in Australia at Rutherglen (2003) and at the “Great Shiraz Challenge” (2005); and in South Africa at the Michelangelo Wine Awards (2004).
For a number of years now though he has written and broadcast regularly about wine including for Food and Wine, The Evening Herald and Newstalk FM and RTE1 TV. During that time he was shortlisted for awards as the Glenfiddich ‘Best Wine Writer in the UK and Ireland ‘ and the Le Cordon Bleu ‘World’s Best Drinks Writer’
He currently writes a weekly column in The Sunday Times Irish edition and has also in recent years been international judge at the Melbourne and Canberra Wine Shows.