Originally from the Chicago area, I have spent most of my adult life living in France, the UK and now Lugano, Switzerland. For over 20 years, I have been fortunate to call the wine world my work home.
While working at the Université de Nice as an English lecturer, I changed career paths after participating in several tasting courses at Burgundy’s Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne (BIVB). The inspirational experience led to a 4-month full-time professional course at the renowned Université du Vin de Suze-la-Rousse in France’s Rhône Valley, earning the diploma, “Sommelier Conseil”.
The knowledge and experience I accrued launched me into a position at Christie’s auction house in Beverly Hills, California as a wine specialist. Here, I spent four years procuring, negotiating, estimating, authenticating, educating on collection strategies and tasting from some of the most renowned wine collections.
A move to London, England led to roles as marketing manager for Fine & Rare Wines, one of the country’s top wine dealers as well as wine buyer for Goedhuis & Co., an award-winning fine wine merchant, renowned for its Burgundy and Bordeaux list, whose offices reside in both the UK and Hong Kong.
Over the past 15 years, I have sourced wines and exclusive labels from producers across all categories, focusing on classic wine regions of Europe, particularly France and Italy, as well as a number of New World countries. All the while, I was developing a vast network of contacts along the way. In addition, I have composed considerable amounts of marketing material, including en primeur wine brochures, email offers, website content and innumerable tasting notes.
Outside of commercial projects, speaking and inspiring others about wine has been one of my most enjoyed activities. So over the years, I have organized and hosted wine tastings, dinners, tasting trips to wine regions, educational wine courses, and count the WSET Educator certification amongst my credentials.
When time allows, I participate as a wine judge in such competitions as Decanter World Wine Awards (London, UK), Bacchus International Wine Competition (Madrid, Spain), The Balkans International Wine Competition (Sofia, Bulgaria), Mondial des Pinots (Sierre, Switzerland) and Vinitaly’s 5 Star Wines (Verona, Italy).
After having completed additional professional tasting courses at University of California – Santa Barbara, University of California – Davis and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, I embarked on the Master of Wine. After many years of hard work and study, I finished all elements of the program in 2014, following the successful completion of my dissertation of original research, “An Investigation of Whole Cluster Fermentation in Pinot Noir in the Côte d’Or.”
Today, I am one of only 5 Masters of Wine residing in Switzerland amongst the 409 Masters of Wine worldwide.
-Robin Kick MW