alma mater's Alumni Relations team, around 100 graduates now working in media met in The Langley in Covent Garden, a venue with a cool, retro style (according to its website), and therefore eminently suitable for media types such as myself.
It's certainly more interesting to talk about; however, the fact remains that, at least at this stage, wine writing remains a hobby rather than something than that will pay the mortgage and school fees - even if it is a hobby on which I spend rather more time than I should.
Somebody asked if I was planning to review the wine that was being served. I wasn't, but for the record it was a typically crowd-pleasing and above average Languedoc red - perfumed, fruity, balanced with a good finish.
As seems inevitable at these sorts of events, it was served a couple of degrees too warm and was a touch flabby as a result - the canapés were all wrong, too; fried spring rolls and red wine are not a match made in gastronomic heaven. But it was a networking event for media types and not a wine-appreciation evening.
Now, although I work in a client-service business, mine is not a client-facing role so I am not used to schmoozing and generally prefer writing about wine to talking about myself. However, I sought out a couple of fellow freelance journalists (i.e. people who actually make a living out of writing rather than mere dilettantes) and talked to them about getting published and writing in general.
I learnt a lot, and am especially grateful to one freelance art writer who patiently answered my questions about whom generally to approach and which aspects of writing to focus on; whilst thanks must also go to my university's Business School for organising the event and inviting me.
I am seriously considering asking to be put down as "Wine Writer" for the next event - it gives instant instant credibility as more or less everyone is interested in wine and social media, even if it in my case it is akin to a pimply teenager who only plays guitar in a garage band claiming to be a rock star.
The Langley - http://www.thelangley.co.uk/
Leeds University Alumni Relations - https://alumni.leeds.ac.uk/