Jonathan Ray

Spectator Wine School: a roaring success

Spectator Wine School: a roaring success
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We’re half way through our first ever eight-week Spectator Wine School. And since I had no part in the planning of it, I don’t feel in the slightest bit embarrassed saying that it’s been a huge success. Indeed, if there’s a more congenial night-school than ours, learning about wine in the Spectator’s boardroom with some of the UK’s leading independent merchants, pray lead me to it.

Our seven partners host one evening each and we’ve had James Franklin of Corney & Barrow teaching us how to taste; Adam Holden of Berrys’ on Burgundy; Esme Johnstone of FromVineyardsDirect on Bordeaux and Robert Boutflower of Tanners’ on Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Yesterday, we had Yapp Bros on the Rhône, Loire and Alsace. Everyone gets a glass of fizz when they arrive and by the end of each two hour session (Adam’s lasted three hours – something of a lock-in – so seductive were the burgundies on show) we’ve learned lots, drunk plenty (the spittoons are rarely troubled) and met affable like-minded folk.

The final session (hosted by Pol Roger) promises to be hugely entertaining, not only because of their fine fizz but also because The Spectator will be presenting graduates with their hard-earned certificates.

This initial course was an instant sell-out and plans are already afoot to repeat it. If you want to join us, stay tuned for details.

To register your interest in the next course please email

Written byJonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray is the Spectator's wine editor.

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