Meet the team behind Warlingham Wines. We’re a family run business based in Norfolk. We love what we do and want to convey that to you, so here’s a little insight into the team.


Meet John Tisshaw aka. The Boss

This interview gives you a glimpse of the man behind Warlingham Wines.


What is your role at Warlingham Wines?

I am the Boss, well apparently! Technically the Managing Director but I seem to do everything from that to making the tea! We are a small family firm and I would not want anyone to do something I would not!

How long have you worked for Warlingham Wines?

Just over 8 years, I started the company back in September 2009. Our first day of trading was 1st October 2009.

What is your favourite aspect of the job?

Working with people, I have always worked with what is normally referred to as the Public, first as a Police Officer and now with our customers. Working with wine is also up there!

What is your favourite wine that you sell, that you drink yourself?

This is a really tough question as drinking wine is a whole-body experience, a wine that is great when you’re on holiday on a Tuscan Piazza, where you are chilled and its 30 degrees does not seem to taste the same on a cold wet November night in England with horizontal rain! I think that my favourite white is probably the Simmonet – Febvre Chablis, Premier Cru Fourchaume. As far as reds are concerned the Brunello di Montalcino takes some beating.These are very expensive wines; the question should be what are your best value wines? Then I would suggest the white would be Seresin Momo Sauvignon Blanc, from Marlborough,  full organic at only £12.00 and the red is the Salcheto Chianti Colli Senesi at around £14.00. This wine is unfashionable and organic, the wine maker needs to work really hard to sell this and that includes keeping the price down!

How many different wines do you think you have tried during your time with Warlingham Wines?

Gosh, literally thousands. We attend around 3 or 4 professional tastings a year plus visit a couple of vineyards to meet the owners.

What is your favourite thing about working for Warlingham Wines?

We are a small family run business and we have loads of fun doing this. As our slogan states. Our company runs on love, laughter and prosecco! I want to keep it this way.

Do you want to expand the business, and if so, how?

Warlingham Wines has grown steadily since we started, sometimes by design and sometimes by accident. We started of working with private cliental, this then expanded to Farmers Markets and County Shows. We have subsequently worked in to providing bars for events and developed a great web site. I would like to provide bars for parties and weddings etc. We have Slush machines for alcoholic slush drinks, The Champagne Vodka is popular, I would also like to see the web site working harder, we are very keen on price so just need people to visit the site and realise we offer great wine, great service and great prices.

What advice would you give to someone looking for new wines to drink?

This is simple:

1 – Find an Independent wine merchant. Make sure that they know all the wines that they carry, if we have a fault it is that I only sell wines that I like!
2 – Explain to the boss what you are looking for and why, i.e. Roast Beef Sunday Lunch for the family or its our anniversary so something romantic, we are having.
3 – Be brave with your choice and bank balance. A good wine merchant will not sell you bad wine (you may not like the flavour)! You decide what you can afford but it is worth spending
a bit more on a special occasion to impress and understand what you get with better wine!
4 – Take the time to prepare the wine properly, after all this bit is free! Make sure it is the correct temperature, decant the reds. Even a cheap red will taste better if decanted. Controversially some old whites benefit from decanting, just experiment.


Meet Samantha Tisshaw aka Keeper of the Pennies

Sam is John’s wife and joined the business when she and John got together.  Recently sworn in as a JP, Sam takes no nonsense behind the bar and keeps us all in check, although no one listens to her! Often goes AWOL at events and can be found where they’re selling chips and claiming “I’m just checking the quality”.   Read Sam’s interview and get to know more about her.

What’s your role at Warlingham Wines?

Financial Director – Keeper of the pennies, busty bar maid.

How long have you been working at Warlingham Wines?

Five and a half years.

If you were having a romantic dinner for two, what’s on the menu including the wine?

Fois Gras with toasted Brioche – glass of Tokaji

Beef Wellington – Bottle of Amerone

Chocolate Soufflé –  Sauternes

Cheese Board – Pink Port

Your stranded on a desert island, what wine can’t you live without?

Italian Ripasso

Do you feel your knowledge of wine has greatly increased since becoming a member of the Warlingham Wines Team?

Very much so.  John has taught me to love what I drink and that food matching makes a difference.  I also spent three days in London at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and gained an NVQ level 2 in Wine & Spirits.

When did you last buy a bottle of wine that wasn’t from Warlingham Wines?

I bought a very special bottle of Eiswein as a Valentine’s Day present for John.  It was a very rare bottle and something we tried together on our first trip to Australia in 2012.  It held some very special memories for us.

Warlingham Wines also sells some great local spirits, such as gin and vodka. What’s in a perfect G&T?

I love my gin, especially the Black Shuck, but I have to confess I’m a bitter lemon kind of girl.

If you could only drink one colour of wine for the rest of your life what colour would it be?




Meet Ray Martin, the finest gopher ever to roam the land.  He goes for this he goes for that, he’s the runner, the stacker the packer and the tracker! Ray is an invaluable member of the team.  He looks after the stock and that’s a really important job. There’s nothing Ray can’t do to improve production or make the bar staffs’ life easier.  In fact Ray invented a special lid holder for the slushy lids.  There’s no end to his talents.

What’s your role at Warlingham Wines?

Warehouse man, delivery driver and event stock controller

How long have you been working at Warlingham Wines?

Five and a half years.

Have you turned into a wine connoisseur or do you still like the occasional pint?

I wouldn’t say connoisseur, but I have gone from a total non-wine drinker to finding wines I like and being open to trying them however you can’t beat a pint of Guinness!

How many boxes of wine do you think you’ve lifted since working at Warlingham Wines? Thousands!

Would you make a good barman?

No, I’m better as part of the organising and back up team

Can you tell the difference between the Black Shuck Gin and the Norfolk Gin?

This is something I can definitely do… Gin is my spirit of choice and Black Shuck with its Norfolk Botanicals is my favourite. I don’t really like spices, so I don’t enjoy the cardamom in the Norfolk Gin


What do you enjoy about being on the Warlingham Wines team?

I love the camaraderie and the way we work together as a family and how that family has grown.


It’s a Saturday night and you’re watching TV, what are you drinking?  

A cup of tea!

Meet Kathy Martin The Mother of all mothers of Warlingham Wines.  As a long standing JP, Kathy takes no prisoners when it comes to keeping order at the bar.  She is brilliant at keeping those at bay who may have sampled a little too much of our wine.   Always ready with a smile and a “How can I help you?” Kathy is a great person to have on the team.

What’s your role at Warlingham Wines?

Everyone’s mum! and the most glamorous barmaid.

How long have you been working at Warlingham Wines?

Five and half years.

Can you tell the difference between a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon?

I certainly can and even more so since I completed my NVQ level 2 in wines and spirits.

Did you seek to try new wines before you started working at Warlingham Wines, or did you stick to your favourite?

Yes I always liked to try new things but I have to admit I always seem to go back to my favourites, Rioja, Shiraz and Pinot Grigio

What’s it like working on the Warlingham Wines Stand at an event?

In a word…. Brilliant !

Do you like to pair your wine with your meal when you eat out?

I’m not so worried about pairing wines when I’m out as I drink what I like but I do understand more now how a wine can change with food.

What’s your idea of a perfect weekend?

Sitting with my feet up reading the paper and spending quality time with my family and not feeling guilty that I’m not working.


Who would you like to be stuck in a wine cellar with?

My daughter Sam

Meet Ryan Tisshaw, the youngest member of the team.  Ryan likes to make a star appearance at some of our events up and down the country.  An aspiring young actor, he’s a great character to have around and he’s super helpful.  You might spot him either singing whilst he stacks or dancing whilst he packs!! Ryan is fun to have around, although like all budding stars he does like his 40 winks under the bar!

What’s your role at Warlingham Wines?

The wine expert and the real boss!

How long have you been working at Warlingham Wines?

Nearly 6 years

Have you ever tried any of the wine?

Yes of course…. I love going to wine tastings

What’s your favourite thing about working for Warlingham Wines?

Getting paid and staying in Premier Inns all over the place and I get to spend time with Nannie and Grandant and Auntie Fred

What’s your favourite slushy flavour combintation?

Strawberry and Raspberry… I invented a mix of the 2 called Ryan’s Moonlight Slush

Can you name any of the wines that Warlingham Wines sell?

Rose because it’s my favourite but I know lots about Pouilly Fume and Sancerre because I can tell the difference between them and Gosset Champagne because lots of the famous chefs like that one… my dad gave John Tarode a bottle for his 50th birthday when we worked with him.

Do you think you’d like to work for Warlingham Wines when you’re older?  

No because I’m going to be a famous actor but Warlingham Wines will supply all the wine for my film star parties in Hollywood

What’s your favourite event to work at?  

I love going to Rochester at Christmas and Essex Food and Drink in the summer.