Cefinn Sirens - Helen McGinn

This month we were lucky enough to travel down to our August Siren's home soil in Brockenhurst and spend an afternoon with the truly fabulous author, writer and presenter, Helen McGinn (aka The Knackered Mother) at her favourite hang out, The Pig in The New Forest.

We had so much fun styling our latest Autumn 23 arrivals and talking all things wine, fashion and careers with Helen, surrounded by the beautiful interiors and setting of The Pig in The New Forest - all while enjoying some delicious food, of course!

How would you describe what you do you do professionally?

I realise this sounds like I’m making it up, but I taste, talk and write about wine for a living. I know, it’s a ridiculous job.

How did you get into this industry?

I joined a wine society with friends at university as a means of drinking wine as cheaply as possible but soon realised I was fascinated by the subject. I managed to get a placement with a large supermarket and then literally door-stepped the boss of the wine department until he gave me a job. I then spent almost a decade as a wine buyer, travelling the world and sourcing wines.

What’s been a major career highlight for you?

Seeing one of my wines (an own label champagne) beat all the big names in a Which? Magazine blind tasting was quite something and my first ever live television experience as a wine expert was a pinch me moment. But the biggest of them all was getting my first publishing deal for what’s now called The Knackered Mother’s Wine Guide. It meant I could combine two of my greatest loves, namely wine and writing.

Anything exciting coming up you can tell us about?

I have just finished writing my fourth fiction book and it comes out early next year. It’s set in Greece and unsurprisingly there’s a fair bit of wine involved.

Best advice you have been given personally & professionally?

Trust your gut and tastebuds.

What do you look for when shopping for clothes?

Quality, comfort and longevity.

Any tips for petite styling?

Buy cropped trousers! They’re usually the perfect length on me.

How did you hear about Cefinn?

I saw a woman I’d never met wearing a beautiful dress once and went and asked her where it was from. In fact, I think I grabbed the back to check the label. It was from Cefinn.

What is your favourite piece from Cefinn?

Currently it’s the green linen Salone dress. I’ve worn it countless times this summer and whenever I wear it, someone always asks or grabs the back to check the label!

What do you love about Cefinn?

I wear the clothes rather than them wearing me if you know what I mean. I just feel completely comfortable in them.

Quick Fire Questions

Quick Fire Questions

Rose, white or red?
Depends on my mood, food and the weather! But if I had to choose, it would be something with bubbles.
Favourite chef?
Angela Hartnett.
Favourite supermarket to buy wine from?
Impossible to choose! They’re all so different.
Wine top tip?
Buy from lesser-known countries or regions to find really good value.
TV or writing?
Heels or flats?
Dresses or seperates?
It use to be seperates always, but Cefinn dresses are changing my mind!
Patterns or plain?
I usually go plain but love a pattern too.
Pockets or no pockets?
Pockets, always.