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From fashion model to creator of Wine Car Boot

After 10 years travelling the world as a fashion model Ruth Spivey made the unusual move into the food and drink industry, having always been a passion of hers

Ruth Spivey Wine Car Boot

Ruth is now combining her experience of working at Michelin starred Arbutus and Wild Honey with her expert wine knowledge to create an edgy, one-of-a-kind event; Wine Car Boot.

I asked how she got to be where she is today as a food and wine expert and event organiser from being a fashion model.

“After 10 years of modelling, I made the somewhat unnatural move into restaurants. Wine exams followed and I’ve since worked for the independent merchant Bottle Apostle, importer and supplier Decorum Vintners and as buyer for The Rushmore Group.  During my time at Rushmore, I co-produced all the Tweat Ups in 2012 with Jonathan Downey and organised the wine Chile Stand Off in March 2013.

“Since then I have been freelance: hosting tastings and workshops (Toast Festival, Flight Club @ Climpson’s Arch) launching Wine Car Boot, running Street Vin  – my pop up wine bar currently at Street Feast in Dalston and consulting on restaurant wine lists.

For Wine Car Boot, Ruth has brought together London’s best independent wines shops and is encouraging visitors to “Taste their way out of the supermarket”. The line up of top wine merchants who will be offering samples and selling their favourite wines include Bottle Apostle, Borough Wines, Planet of the Grapes, Noble Fine Liquor, Roberson Wines, Sweet Thursday and Wine Chap.

The venue will also be serving up some of the best street food around, including culinary delights such as fresh pasta from The Cooking Cooks, fish and chips and crab rolls from Fin & Flounder, tacos from Breddo’s and the brand new Bao, with its Taiwanese steamed buns. Finish off with a strong coffee and a custard tart from Terrone.

The first ever Wine Car Boot takes place on September 1st in Netil Market, London Fields E8. Tickets costs £15 and include: 10 samples, a wine bottle carrier (to fill up with bottles to take home) a specialist Govino outdoor tasting glass and a bag of Portlebay Popcorn Kracklecorn to snack on. Visitors can top up with more tasting tokens, as well as having the opportunity to buy whole glasses and bottles of their favourite wine and place orders.

Ruth explains why she came up with the idea:Having worked in an independent merchant, I know there are still plenty of people who don’t feel confident enough to go in and shop. So I’m taking the wine to them - in an unstuffy location (a car park), all together, all on one day, outside, with some decent food and a bit of music.

“I’m lucky enough to go to hundreds of tastings, and know how to source wines that aren’t easily available to the public. I could take a friend to a trade tasting, they might find some wine they like, but it’s unlikely they’ll ever see that wine again.

“From a guest point of view it’s a fun afternoon, tasting lots of wines, eating food and hanging out. You can get to know some new 'local' wines and give yourself more choice in the future. There’s a lot of good wine out there, much of it as affordable as anything in the supermarket.  Public tastings do exist, but none that are especially fun!

“Wine Car Boot doesn’t separate wine from food, people or music.  It supports local businesses, a sense of community, and quality driven products. 

So what are her plans for the future if the event goes as well as expected?

“After I’ve got the first one under my belt and if it’s a success, I hope to take Wine Car Boot to different areas of London or other cities - the idea being that each one is for the local shops in that area,” she says.

Ruth be contacted on as well as”

30 August 2013