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Wait, my palate isn't jaded!

Even if it were, I hope I'd be able to help!

So, the idea behind the company started when I was working in my previous corporate life in Hong Kong. In 2008, the Chief Executive (the equivalent to the PM in Hong Kong) at the time was a very keen oenophile. He decided in his wisdom that what Hong Kong really needed to do, was become the Asian centre of the wine trade.

So, pretty much overnight, Hong Kong reduced all tarifs and tax on importing wine. To 0%. From 40%. That's quite a loss of revenue to the government, but it was almost certainly made up for by the boom in wine trade shows, business profit tax and all the other bits and pieces that come from a growing market.

Within a few years, 300 separate wine businesses were set up, ranging from genuine London institutions like Berry Bros and Corney and Barrow to apartment operations for people who just wanted to cash in.

One thing to bear in mind in all this is that Hong Kong is nothing if not ridiculously varied - there are some insanely wealthy people there, and also a huge amount of poverty. Needless to say, the wine market was almost exclusively geared up for the upper end, with a smattering of very cheap thrown in there too.

So for a paid-up wine fan like me who was interested in trying lots of things, but couldn't quite reach the scales of a top-end Burgundy every week, it was pretty frustrating. And upon visiting my first trade fair in November 2012, I realised just how much amazing wine could be had from lesser known regions or varieties in that mid-price range.

In April 2013, then, Jaded Palates was born. Of course, the name itself means something - come to me if your palate needs refreshing! But also there was the Asian "jade" connection which was important to me, as Hong Kong was where I grew up.

We left shortly after to take on the wine-making dream. When the opportunity came up to purchase this store in Chagford, there were so many possible names out there, but only really one that I kept coming back to.

Jaded Palates for me is still so meaningful - it is the name of the first business I ever set up, and my passion for showing off wines with a difference still holds true: every one of the wines I have in store has been carefully tasted and chosen, some of them even with my fair hands involved in the making.

As for the the logo? Well, I was lucky enough to go to school with an incredibly skilled artist, Stephen Reed ( I went around and around in circles with an (also very talented) graphic designer, but it wasn't quite capturing what I wanted. My wife (yet another very talented person - sigh, thank god I'm surrounded by them!) suggested I ask Steve to do some sketches of vines, as that was really where I had been spending so much of my time for the past 3 years.

He agreed, and the result is what you see today. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was completely perfect. I sent it back to my graphic designer to incorporate into the final logo, and he summed it up brilliantly: "grungy elegance". It conveys the simplicity, beauty and mystery of a vineyard, which I also think shows up in the best wines.

Thank you to Steve, Jonathan, my first business clients in Hong Kong, and of course my wife for helping to bring this part of the business to life.

I hope you like it too.


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