James has spent the last 20 years in France, moving steadily up the ladder in the
world of wine, awarded the coveted Master of Wine diploma in 1993 and currently
contributing editor for England's leading wine magazine, Decanter.
James was on the staff of Steven Spurrier's original venture, a Paris wine shop
called Caves de la Madeleine, lectured at its wine school, l'Academie du Vin, and
waited on tables at the adjacent Blue Fox Wine Bar. He hung out with editors from
the International Herald Tribune and entrepreneurs like Drew Harré, founder of the
popular Così chain of sandwich shops and wine buyer for l'Ecluse wine bars. He worked
in wine cellars in Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Languedoc and Australia. And he studied
for the rigorous Master of Wine examination, completed successfully by one or two
candidates a year. (There are barely 200 Masters of Wine in all.)
A prolific writer, he lives in a farmhouse in the Entre-Deux-Mers, east of Bordeaux,
making regular forays to vineyards, tastings, and lecture halls around the world.
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