Meet the Team
Who are Swig? The clue is in our name - we are for wine lovers not wine snobs. We’re a bunch of misfits looking for undiscovered wines that punch above their weight. We’re all about the pleasure of discovering, drinking and sharing great wine. We are on a mission to discover amazing wines made by amazing people in amazing places. Above everything we love wine and are here to help.
Swig has been championing independent growers since 1997. We work with family-owned producers, the majority are organic or focusing on farming and working more responsibly each year, and we are certified with the Organic Food Federation. We are a small and occasionally effective team united by the love of the odd glass or two with a large platter of fodder. Meet the crew behind the chaos below!
ROBIN DAVIS, Founder
Ever since I started in wine I've loved to make it accessible and fun. I like to take people on a journey to help them discover exciting wines they might not otherwise find.
My mentor got me tasting wines blind, which leads you to think about the taste, not the label, and has led me to some great finds that punch above their weight. It also means we don't just take on famous names for the sake of it, and one of my greatest joys is to discover an up and coming producer and introduce them to customers and see the them flourish.
DAMON QUINLAN, Director of Trade Sales
My name's Damon and I'm an alcoholic. Not really, I just like alcohol. A lot. In almost all its various forms... from sherry to syrah, from cinsault to saki, from barolo to beer, from riesling to rum, and tequila til sunrise. Who knew all those years ago when I had my careers advice meetings to decide which O grades and Higher subjects (I’m Scottish) I should take, that I really needn’t have bothered. You can get a job eating and drinking. And you can travel and meet amazing people with amazing families doing amazing things with grapes, in the most amazing places. Life isn’t meant to be a competition, but if it were, I’d be winning! Based in Brighton, I have a wonderful (extremely patient) wife, Flora, and two incredible children, Nancy Rose, 20, and Remy Jack, just 3 months (at time of writing). When we’re not eating and drinking we enjoy the sea and the horizon and walks across the South Downs... it’s a wonderful part of the world. and friends, lots of friends. Always drink responsibly folks.
NELSON PARI - Italian Wine Buyer
I was born in the Fellini-esque city of Rimini in 1989. I moved to the UK to pursue my studies in Jazz Guitar, and after completing my master's degree at Trinity Laban in Greenwich, I landed a job at 67 Pall Mall. For the past five years, I have been working there as a sommelier, event supervisor, and wine buyer. Swig has always been my favourite wine supplier since those early days!
I frequently travel for tastings and masterclasses between London and various locations in Italy where I run a small, publication called "Verticale," where I explore the potential of aged Italian wines with a group of renowned wine critics.
My favourite wine is 1989 Mouton Rothschild, paired with Miles Davis' Blue in Green.
JAMES BRAYBROOK, Private Client Sales Lead
To me wine is not about knowing absolutely everything or having tried more than the next person. It is about understanding what is in the glass, in front of you. I have been infatuated with wine for as long as I can remember. The mind-blowing process from vine to bottle is something that captures my imagination. I have been lucky enough to spend over a decade of my short life working, living and tasting my way around Australia, more specifically McLaren Vale, South Australia. In which I have had the privilege of working and getting my hand very dirty for small to large producers and learning something new every day. A wise man once said (my Dad), “Every day is a school day in life” and that is certainly right in the wine-world, there is something new and intriguing happening every day.
Personally, for me, the most important part of wine is the enjoyment. To be able to sit back and enjoy a glass of something delicious is a luxury and one we often take for granted. My mission is to encourage people to break the mould and try something new, something different and to challenge themselves, that’s how we make discoveries, right?!
KATE ROBINSON, Private Client Sales
Fresh out of university I joined my local wine merchant in Bath and was hooked immediately on all things wine. After a stint at a well-known fine wine merchant focusing on wines to lay down, I went back to my roots in Bath. Roll on another decade and here I am thoroughly enjoying the delights that Swig has to offer and recommending these absolute gems to private customers. I love it!
I live in the Wiltshire countryside, close to Bath, with my gorgeous family. Life is busy with three young children, but we love finding time to relax with friends, travel, visit the coast and generally have lots of adventures and make wonderful memories.
ANNABEL VIRTUE, Trade Sales
On a camping holiday in France as an 8 yr old, Annabel told the waiter in a local brasserie NOT to add water to her thimble of red wine, as is customary for French children. This was clearly a sign to find a job in the wine industry.
Her wine journey started at Decanter magazine, followed by working for various UK wine suppliers, until joining Swig.
When not cradling a glass of something delicious from the Swig portfolio, Annabel is either on her bike, out rowing or paddleboarding on the river or up a mountain somewhere remote. As long as life is full of great wine, great food and great friends, she’s happy.
WSET qualified, Annabel looks after our on trade customers outside of London.
NICOLE STUBBS, Head of Customer Support
I’m a born and bred South African so I’m sure to recognise a good wine when I taste one. My love of good wine lead me to work in the industry when I came to the UK more than a decade ago, and I’ve continued to grow my knowledge since then. I’m back now after taking a break to give birth to a gorgeous baby girl, and I’m so excited to join the Swig team for a new adventure. My passions in life are family and travelling to new destinations with my hubby to sample new wines and delicacies from different cultures. We saffers are hedonistic by nature and of course we love the sun, but no matter the British weather you’ll find us cooking meat on the braai (that’s a BBQ folks) and drinking high quality wines all year round.
VIVIENNE PLAX, Accounts Administrator
You never know where life will take you - that's the fun of it! After emigrating twice, and a series of careers, I was led to Swig by a 3rd party who said she'd found the perfect job. She left after a year and I'm still Swigging nearly 7 years on. Born and raised in South Africa, I took over from a colleague with the same background, and I now get to practise my limited Afrikaans via Swig's multiple SA wine producers - one of the perks of the job. The other perks are enjoying the fine company of my fellow Swiggites and the fine glasses of bubbles they (occasionally) put before me!