Welcome to Mark O’Neill’s Wine Blog

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I am a Northern Irishman now living in Valencia, Spain. It was in London where my career in wine began almost 30 years ago and where I gained the prestigious WSET Diploma.

I still get a real buzz when I discover a new wine and this was the catalyst for TheWinePlace.es, an online store offering wine lovers in Spain the opportunity to enjoy carefully selected imported wines.

My business is divided into two parts; TheWinePlace.es, importing wines to Spain and Verde Marte, which specialises in producing Spanish wines for export.

I share my passion for wines through my media work with weekly columns for the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.  Sharing my experiences and ideas on the world of wine with the readers.

Also, I broadcast weekly with a radio wine programme on Levante Radio and have other collaborations with Forbes Radio Spain and CV Radio, Valencia.

I am also a WSET Approved Programme Provider offering courses to professionals and wine enthusiasts, cursos.thewinplace.es. My objective is to introduce a global perspective for those working in the wine business while providing wine enthusiasts with the confidence to explore the world of wine.

When not talking about wine you will find me on the golf course, struggling to keep my handicap in single figures, currently 6.7. Cooking is my secret passion, nothing fancy just tasty dishes for my partner Patricia and my children Carlos and Olivia.   In the kitchen you will find me with headphones on listening to a Spotify playlist of my favourite artists.  To relax I read… my favourite books and authors are as varied as my choice in wines.

More about me

When did you start getting into wine?

When working as a waiter in London, Dorchester Hotel among others, it was fun to taste some decent wine that I couldn’t afford and from there got into the wine business.

Best thing about your job?

I am lucky, I have two roles one working with Spanish wineries producing wines for export and the other, The Wine Place working with my network of contacts worldwide to bring really good wines here to Spain.

Favourite dinner party guests?

Oscar Wilde, Margaret Thatcher,  Titian, Charles Dickens, Gandhi

Favourite City in the world?


Something about yourself that you really don’t want to tell us?

Don’t know, ask my kids

What expression do you say a lot?

I am told that I say ‘Jesus Christ’ and ‘Bloody Hell’ and ‘Bollocks’, quite frequently

Favourite bands?

Rickie Lee Jones, Van the Man, World Party, Blue Nile, Bruce, Bon Iver

Where would you rather be now?

At this moment I would quite like to be playing golf at El Saler.

Wine Tips and Curiosities