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Why Choose Us

High quality wine education in Oxford and surrounding area

The UK is drinking more wine today than ever before. In fact, since WineMatters started offering wine courses in 1994 consumption in the UK has more than doubled. We can’t claim to be the reason for the enormous rise in popularity but it is certainly true that we were one of the first companies devoted to high-quality wine education.

Learning About Wine

Today, consumers have more choice than ever when it comes to learning about wine.  Some courses are just a couple of hours long, others involve opening fabulously expensive bottles.  Prices vary accordingly and so it’s important to know what you are getting.  Wine Matters holds the following to be true:

  • The wine industry has more than its fair share of snobs: we spend a considerable amount of time demystifying the arcane language of wine and we focus on teaching tasting techniques because this is the part you can’t learn from a book.
  • The opposite of snobbery is not ignorance: we are well aware that the world of wine can be intimidating, especially for beginners, and our courses are fun, interactive and informative. Learning needn’t be hard work.

Different Approach to Learning

Over two decades we’ve tried a number of different approaches and sat in on countless competitors’ courses. The formula we have developed works:  our students learn and they are engaged in the process.  In addition, we have a few aces up our sleeve and the following summarises what makes WineMatters different:

  • The school was founded in Oxford in 1994 by Michael Palij MW, one of only 390 Masters of Wine (MW) in the world. The title ‘Master of Wine’ is the wine trade’s top title and considered by some to be the world’s most difficult exam. Michael passed when he was just 29. WineMatters is unique in that we guarantee that you will be taught by a Master of Wine for the critical ‘Introduction to Tasting’ session, which is the first of every course. This means you can have absolute confidence in the quality of your tasting tuition - the aspect that many students admit is the most daunting of all.
  • Michael’s reputation and unique approach to teaching have won clients around the world – literally. Sydney, Hong Kong, and Barbados are just three of the many places where WineMatters has a presence. 20 years’ experience and a global reach give our courses a take that few can match. More than just anecdotes it brings a unique commercial perspective that sets the theory in an industry context. Of course, Michael doesn’t take all the sessions personally but every WineMatters tutor was originally a student and all hold the WSET Level 4 Diploma (one step down from the Master of Wine).
  • We want you to love wine as much as we do and we leverage our unique relationships in the industry to bring you world-class wines on each and every course. There have been guest appearances from classed-growth claret, Grand Cru Burgundy, exclusive Napa Cabernets, rare sherry, and vintage Madeira. We can’t guarantee what will be served on your course but we can guarantee that each and every bottle has been carefully selected by Michael to showcase what we think makes wine so endlessly fascinating.

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Wine tasting courses in the heart of Oxford