Julian Brind MW dies

Julian Brind MW has passed away after suffering a heart attack on Sunday, 19 December.

julian-brind.jpg Brind was a consultant at UK retailer Waitrose, having worked for the store since 1971.

Brind entered the wine trade in 1964 as a management trainee with Brown and Pank Wine & Spirit Co of Watney Mann Breweries.

He passed the Master of Wine exam in 1970 and in 1971 he joined Waitrose as central buyer, where he remained for the rest of his career, eventually becoming head of buying for wines, spirits, beers and soft drinks.

Brind was also active in the academic side of the industry and in his career acted as chair of the MW Panel of Examiners, chairman of the Institute of Masters of Wine, ombudsman to the Circle of Wine Writers and in 2002 was elected president of the Wine & Spirit Association.

"Julian was instrumental in evolving the Waitrose wine department and was also in charge of both beers & spirits and soft drinks during part of his tenure," said a statement from Waitrose.

"Julian was a true gentleman and his incredible knowledge of wine combined with superb retail acumen made him a charismatic figure who was respected throughout the industry.

"He laid the foundations for our wine business which for many people remains the benchmark in the industry and resulted in numerous industry awards and accolades for the team – which continue today.

"Although retired, Julian still worked with Waitrose on a consultancy basis and came in weekly to taste and check wines for quality control/positive release.

"He will be sadly missed by both his Waitrose colleagues and the drinks industry. We are saddened at the loss of an inspirational man, a dedicated colleague of many years and a great personal friend. Our thoughts are with his family at this time and everyone whose lives he touched."

No Responses to “Julian Brind MW dies”

  1. Keith Grainger says:

    So sorry to hear this sad news. Julian was not only a brilliant taster, an adventurous and canny buyer but also a true gentleman. His vision and passion created and developed at Waitrose the most diverse and exciting of all the multiple grocers’ lists. He will be so missed.

  2. ALLAN CHEESAN says:

    How sad and what a tragic loss of one of the real gentlemen in our industry.
    I knew Julian from my early days in the trade so many years ago and he was always the nicest bloke , intelligent , fantastic palate and a great competitor who we we all admired.
    I will miss bumping into him at various functions and the trade and world are a sadder place after Sunday.My thoughts are with Charlotte , children and grandkids

  3. J Michael Cox says:

    A massive shock. One of the trade’s most courteous, and friendly wine leaders – and one of the fittest. I shall miss him hugely.

  4. Neil Courtier says:

    What a shock! Julian was on top-form at the ‘recent’ Waitrose press tasting that I attended. A gentleman of the wine trade, who was ‘the face’ behind the brilliant team at Waitrose. A great loss – he will be missed at the IWSC too. My condolences.

  5. Alan Mayne says:

    Sorry to hear the sad news.
    As people have already said, one of the gentlemen of the wine industry.

  6. Godfrey Spence says:

    This news is a real shock. Julian certainly was, as both Michael and Allan have said, a gentleman of the wine trade, always courteous to everyone. I got to know Julian well in recent years at the IWSC, where he was one of the best panel chairmen you could hope for, maintaining discipline in the room while always acknowledging the panel members views and expertise.


  7. ravi singh says:

    Very sad news. He created and leaves behind a legacy at Waitrose which shall all remember and continue to savor. The trade has lost an icon.

  8. MIKE HOOTON says:

    I had the privilege of knowing Julian for nearly forty years and his sudden death came as a great shock to all who knew and respected him.

    His knowledge of wines and the retail trade in general was second to none and his courteous manner gained to respect of everyone.

    Our thoughts are with Charlotte and the family at this sad time.

  9. Willie Morrison says:

    I was very sad to learn from the Telegraph obituaries of Julian’s premature death. If memory serves me correctly, he was only the 80-somethingth person to pass the MW exam. I knew him throughout the 1970s as a cheerful, amiable Territorial Army colleague, whose talents were early put to good use as regimental wine member. Our nickname for him, because of his soft-spoken manner, was The Padre, bestowed I think by an Irish colleague. Julian’s TA service was probably not so well known. I served with him at Central Volunteer Headquarters Royal Corps of Transport, first at Bedford, later at Grantham, from the time we passed our probationary officers’ course until we both passed our captain – major promotion course, after which I transferred to another unit. I rang him up a few years ago, had a genial conversation and intended to get in touch again – but we all know the old adage about the road to good intentions!

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