Wine education spreads far and wide

jancis_graduation2014.jpgI recently retired. No, not from wine writing. I can’t imagine ever quitting the magical world of wine voluntarily, says Jancis Robinson, former president of WSET, who comments on the growing popularity of wine education around the world. Left: Ian Harris, CEO of WSET pictured at the 2014 Awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall

I have just retired from an honorary and rather inspiring position. Earlier this year my three-year stint as honorary president of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust came to an end. My duties were far from onerous. All I had to do was spend an evening each year on the stage at London’s historic Guildhall handing out certificates and awards to the Trust’s most successful students – almost 200 of them. Most of them have passed the WSET’s most demanding exam, the Diploma, and they come from all over the world for this graduation ceremony.
Each year I have been more and more impressed by the sort of people who have been prepared to put themselves and their nearest and dearest through this pretty challenging test, involving serious blind tasting and a great deal of swotting, just one level down from the super-scary Master of Wine exams.
I have noticed that over the last few years the proportion of bankers-turned-wine students seems to have rocketed – perhaps because of the trend, not welcomed by me, to view wine as an investment vehicle. But there are also many successful business people of different persuasions, academics, lawyers, hospital administrators, scientists and researchers, as well of course as those with full time jobs in the wine trade.
It is quite extraordinary how popular wine courses have become and, thanks to a large degree to the drive of Ian Harris, the WSET is without doubt the global leader in wine education. Last year nearly 50,000 people in 17 languages in more than 50 countries took one of their courses and they are hoping to reach 60,000 wine-loving students this year.
Excerpted from Jancis Robinson’s column in Sommelier India April-May 2014. For more subscribe here
Select institutes conducting WSET Courses
Institute of Wine and Beverage Studies
A-79, First Floor
Ashok Vihar, Phase 2
New Delhi 110052
Contact: Gagan Sharma
Tel: +91 96500 46655
KBR School of Wine
95 Mittal Chambers
Nariman Point
Contact: Sanjay Menon
Tel: +91 22 6145 9400
Nashik Vintners Pvt Ltd
3rd Floor, ‘A’ Wing,
Todi Estate ( above post office)
Sun Mill Compound, Lower Parel
Contact: Sovna Puri
Tel: +91 22 6721 1900
Tulleeho Portals Pvt Ltd
116 A, 3rd Floor
Shahpur Jat
New Delhi 110049
Vikram Achanta
Tel: 0091 11 417 682 53

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