Meet your buyer | Pete Sherwood
It takes a special kind of person to be a Mofo Wine Buyer. Someone with the palate to pick out the wines you’ll love from an ocean of options, and who’s looped in with the producers you need-to-know from Oregon to Central Otago, Barossa to Burgundy. Pete’s that person; here's what makes him tick.
I think about where the wine fits into the drinker's life. Can I see it on somebody's coffee table surrounded by pizza boxes? Or in a glass next to them while they tend the BBQ?
What I love about the job: I've always been fascinated by the wine business as a whole, from grape to glass. Getting to deal with producers, importers, agents, buyers, tasters, and drinkers daily is a bit of a dream come true for me. It’s really inspiring to be a daily witness to this enormous industry full of passionate people coming together to produce and deliver something great that speaks to place and time.
What makes a wine good enough for the ‘fo: A lot of wine commentary hides behind subjectivity and Your-Mileage-May-Vary, but here’s a hot-take you can bank: all good wine has acid. It’s the first thing I look for. Is it present? Persistent? How well is it stitched into the wine? Then I start to look for how the rest of the wine is built around that; the fruit profile, the weight of the wine, what else of note and intrigue is lurking in the background (or leaping out of the glass).
In a less literal sense, though, I think about where the wine fits into the drinker's life. Can I see it on somebody's coffee table surrounded by pizza boxes? Or in a glass next to them while they tend the BBQ? Wine is about who’s drinking it, and I try to consider them as early as possible in the buying process.
Because we have a large, loyal following we can take those large holdings that are gathering dust, turn them into cash for winemakers, and unmatched deals for mofos. It’s genuinely a win-win.
The wine I'd love to see at Vinomofo: More of anything from the US to be honest: pinot noir, riesling, chardonnay, cabernet (and friends). For whatever reason I think we have a bit of a dark cloud over US wine production in Australia, but there’s no denying they’re producing some amazing wines. Often when we look beyond our own backyard (and our neighbour’s in NZ) we go straight to Europe, but the rest of the New World has so much to offer. I think the wines of the US are soon to be highly sought after in our domestic market.
How we get a fair deal for producers: Wine isn’t just pressing grapes and pulling corks. There's a whole operational and logistical dance that must go on and often the dance partner is fickle weather or, worse, market trends. The result is that regardless of quality not all wine finds a home. Often it will end up sitting in a winemakers shed rather than on the shelves of your local bottle-o. That’s where we step in. Because we have a large, loyal following we can take those large holdings that are gathering dust, turn them into cash for winemakers, and unmatched deals for mofos. It’s genuinely a win-win.
The first wine I got drunk on: I can’t honestly remember, but I bet my folks can. It came out of their modest collection (unbeknownst to them) and I’m told it was quite precious. Sorry mum!
Pete and our buying team source all the wines at the ‘fo, but pssst... here’s what they’re recommending as the pick of the bunch. See our staff picks.