Just the other month I gave an extremely favourable review to a de-alcoholised wine from Oddbird, a line of “liberated from alcohol” wines imported by a nascent Ontario company called Clearsips.

As it turns out, Clearsips is the brainchild of an old wine business friend of mine, a smashing fellow called David Thompson of Vintage Trade (a company he now runs in parallel with Clearsips); I used to purchase a fair bit of wine from him back in the day as I really appreciated his palate, Rudi Rabl’s terrific Austrian Kamptal bottlings in particular.

After re-evaluating the role of alcohol in his life, deciding to quit drinking, and spending a few years exploring the possibilities of a non-alcoholic supply business, he founded Clearsips with his wife Margaret, a certified recovery coach.

Objectively, I have found the story of David’s personal/business journey to be an absolutely fascinating one, and hence I present Part One of an extended interview exploring the birth of Clearsips.

In this first segment we discuss how he got to where he is today, his thoughts about the recent growth of the sobriety/sober-curious movement, and the surprisingly wide demographic he has found as a customer base over Clearsips’ nine months in business.

Look out for Part Two next week.