Sunny Hodge


Diogenes the Dog - Wine Bar and Café in Elephant & Castle


Founder & Director

Sunny Hodge, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from UCL, has seamlessly blended his love for science with his passion for hospitality, emerging as a prominent figure in the world of wine education and innovation.

With an insatiable curiosity for unraveling the mysteries behind food and wine, Hodge embarked on a career dedicated to exploring the intersection of science and hospitality. He has become a trailblazer in redefining wine education, focusing on its scientific underpinnings and functionality.

In late 2024, Sunny is slated to release his eagerly awaited book, "A Cynic's Guide to Wine." This groundbreaking work promises to dissect the intricate science behind wine, from its origins in the soil to its impact on our sensory perception. By debunking wine myths through a scientific lens, Sunny aims to revolutionise how both novices and experts approach and discuss wine.

Throughout his career, Sunny has lent his expertise as a consultant to various wine and hospitality projects. He has also become a respected commentator and wine personality, contributing to esteemed publications such as the Evening Standard, The Times, The Guardian, and Monocle Radio.

Committed to giving back to the industry, Sunny serves on the Steering Committee for The Drinks Trust charity and mentors aspiring professionals in wine and hospitality. He is also involved in promoting diversity within the drinks industry through his role as a mentor for Drinklusive, a drinks diversity initiative.

Sunny’s entrepreneurial spirit shines through his ownership of two acclaimed wine bars, Diogenes the Dog and Aspen & Meursault. These establishments, known for challenging the conventional norms of wine culture, integrate science and education into their service model. Diogenes the Dog, inspired by the Greek philosopher Diogenes, prides itself on offering lesser-known, quality wines from around the globe in a welcoming and educational environment. Meanwhile, Aspen & Meursault, opened in 2021, focuses on natural and low-intervention wine production, fostering meaningful connections between consumers and their food and drink.

Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, Sunny honed his hospitality skills at prestigious establishments such as Gaucho Restaurants, where he was recognised as 'Host of the Year.' He also played a pivotal role in the opening and management of Margot, a Tatler award-winning Italian restaurant in Covent Garden, and contributed to the training and launch of The Fordwich Arms, a Michelin-starred establishment in Kent.

In a testament to his expertise and industry recognition, Sunny's commitment to excellence was further underscored when he was recently shortlisted for the prestigious London Wine Fairs Wine Buyers Awards: On Trade Multiple Venues 2024. This esteemed nomination reflects Sunny's standing as a leader in the field and underscores the impact of his innovative approach to wine education and hospitality. As anticipation builds, all eyes will be on Hodge as he awaits the results, set to be unveiled at the London Wine Fair in May. This nomination serves as yet another milestone in Hodge's illustrious career, reinforcing his position as a driving force in the wine industry.

Sunny Hodge