Knackered Mother header

I’ve been talking to some of the ladies who bring something special to the world of wine. Helen McGinn calls herself the Knackered Mother, which you can believe when you see how many plates she’s spinning…


From supermarket buyer to author, columnist, blogger and tv presenter Helen’s approach to wine as one of life’s small pleasures means it never gets taken too seriously.

I knew Helen when we were both in our previous existences, she was a wine buyer for a supermarket and I worked for an agent who sourced wine for them. One of my jobs was organising events and it was always a given that if Helen was coming, you were going to have fun. Unlike many of the other buyers she didn’t take herself too seriously!

Now, both of our world’s have changed. Helen is on the other side of the wine buying fence (sort of) and writes about life as a busy mum recommending wines that she wants to drink. Once again her sense of fun as the ‘Knackered Mother’s Wine Club’ means that her ‘what’s in my fridge now’ resonates with people and inspires them to try something new.

You called yourself the ‘Knackered Mother’, but you’ve published a book, won loads of awards for your blog, have a slot on TV, write wine columns and always seem to have a project on the go, as well as family, dogs etc! How do you manage it all and how tired are you really?

Properly knackered! But that’s par for the course with kids, I think. I’m lucky to have lots of family support too. I like to think of it as organised chaos.

Wine is obviously a big part of your career and in your life. What do you think wine represents for you and your readers?

As much as it’s about how delicious wine can be, it’s also about sitting down with friends or family and spending time catching up over a glass or two. Definitely one of life’s small pleasures.

Have you ever had a wine ‘eureka’ moment (that moment over a glass of wine where you make a decision or realise something that goes on to change things for you)?

Yes, when I went freelance about 6 years ago. I suddenly realised I could be in charge of what, when and how I work. At first, it was terrifying but now, I just wish I’d done it sooner.

Which wines are you enjoying right now?

After doing a dry January, pretty much everything… mad Italian whites and Argentinian reds are doing it for me at the moment. Oh, and I’m still thinking about an organic champagne I tasted last week.

Helen McGinn

What’s next for you?

Lots more writing: as well as the usual blog, newspaper and magazine columns, I’ve just started writing a novel. And I’ve got a really exciting project for the blog that looks set to happen this year – more to come!

What advice have you got for other women out there juggling lots of priorities and people who want to do something like you are?

Just do the best you can. And if you’re thinking about starting a blog, do it today.

Where does your Mum feature in your world?

I live two minutes away from my mum and see her or speak to her pretty much every day. Given that she lost a son (my little brother died 14 years ago aged 25) I’d understand if she never wanted to get out of bed again. But she lives life to the full and has time for everyone. She’s completely amazing.


You can read Helen’s blog The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club online or buy the book (it’s great!).  You can also find her online on twitter @knackeredmutha.

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