Newsletter August 2016
  The Institute and Study Programme

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High pass rate achieved for the Stage 1 Assessment of the MW Study Programme

Students on the MW Study Programme have received their results from the Stage 1 Assessment. In June this year students took the Stage 1 Assessment in London, Sydney and San Francisco. Over 70 percent of those students passed and have been invited to move to Stage 2 of the Study Programme.

This year’s high pass rate reflects the calibre of students currently in the MW Study Programme. We are seeing more applications to the Study Programme year on year, and only accept the brightest and best people from the international wine trade. Over the last two years we have raised the pass mark for the Stage 1 Assessment and changed the admissions criteria, to make it tougher to get on the Study Programme. These changes were made to ensure that candidates have a greater possibility of becoming a Master of Wine. Find out more here

Study Programme Wines 2015/2016

Study Programme Wines (10).pngWe would like to thank all those who generously supplied wines to the 2015-16 Study Programme. The wines were featured at over 30 Course Days in London and at five residential Seminars in Adelaide (Australia), San Francisco (USA), Rust (Austria), Bordeaux (France) and Berkshire (UK).

Both the Course Days and Seminars were attended by MW students from 35 countries, and led by over 60 Masters of Wine. The wines were used for practical tastings and mock exams which guide students’ preparation for both the Stage 1 Assessment and the MW Examination. The supply of the wines for the Study Programme ensures the Institute can continue to offer a rounded experience to students on their journey to becoming a Master of Wine. View the wine list here.

Student experience and satisfaction survey

Porto.pngThe Institute recently surveyed both Stage 1 and Stage 2 students to gain insight into their experience and satisfaction over the last academic year. The full report and the Institute's responses are available in the Student Area of the website. Go to Student Area > Study Programme. We were delighted that 92% of Stage 1 students and 80% of Stage 2 students either 'agreed' or 'strongly agreed' with the statement ‘I was satisfied with my experience on the Study Programme this year’. Added to this, 100% of Stage 1 students and 94% of Stage 2 students would recommend the MW Study Programme to an eligible friend or colleague. 

Council elections

Council (1).pngAt this year’s Annual General Meeting on 14 September 2016 there will be an election for four places on the Institute’s Council. The posts are open to ALL Members and are a great opportunity to contribute to your Institute. There is no bar to geographically distant MWs, as some of the six annual Council meetings are held on the phone, and travel expenses are paid for ones which take place in London and elsewhere. Full details of how to apply are available in the Member area of the website, go to Institute Governance > Committees > Council. You will need to send the nomination form, plus a supporting statement to Sarah Kirkpatrick by Sunday 21 August 2016. 

AGM notifications

We are very keen to send all notifications, documents and resolutions for the Institute’s Annual General Meetings to Members electronically. If you haven’t already done so, we would appreciate receiving your permission to do this. As you know we have a very small team in London and to send such notices by post is time-consuming and costly. We would be HUGELY grateful if you could let us know by email whether you are happy to:

  1. Receive an email notice of the Annual General Meetings.
  2. Receive a link to the relevant documents on the IMW website.


Education and Examination Board

In addition to the Council Elections, the Education and Examination Board has three open slots for co-opted members to serve a one-year term. The term runs concurrently with our academic year from one year’s AGM to the next. EEB is inviting anyone currently involved in the Study Programme, either with the education or examination processes, to put themselves forward for membership for September 2016 to September 2017. Full details are available in the Member Area of the website, go to Institute Governance > Committees > Education and Exam Board. If you would like to be considered for one of the open positions, please email Olly Chapman with the required evidence by 19 August 2016.

MW Study Programme – Survey for MWs

If you are interested in supporting the MW Study Programme, this survey aims to identify areas where you could become involved. MWs already involved in the Study Programme find it a beneficial and positive commitment, allowing them to interact with a wide range of people from the global wine community and taste a variety of wines used in the Study Programme. If you are interested in being involved please complete the survey here by 31 August 2016.

Executive Office away day

Team photoIn July, the Executive Office enjoyed a productive away day to look back over the last year and to plan for the year ahead. With all the team in the UK for the first time in a year, the team spent the day at Ridgeview Wines which, after a long day of strategy and planning was finished off with a tour of the winery. Image from left to right, Olly Chapman (Head of Study Programme and Development), Penny Richards (Executive Director), Emily Robinson (Australasian Administrator), Marianne Crocker (Education Officer), Daleen Halford (Finance Manager), Sarah Kirkpatrick (Marketing and Communications Manager), Charlotte Dean (Finance Assistant), Camilla Fitzgerald (Events Officer), Robyn Wheatley (Examination and Research Paper Officer) and Nancy Johnson (North America Administrator).

Marketing Advisory Group

As part of the long term strategy and planning for the Institute, Sarah Kirkpatrick, Marketing and Communications Manager plans to form a Marketing Advisory Group with Members from all over the world. If you have an interest in marketing and communications and are keen to share your knowledge and expertise, please send an expression of interest to Sarah. The group will include no more than 10 people with at least one Member from Europe, USA, Australia and Asia. 

Events and trips

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Australian Chardonnay Pre-AGM tasting – 14 September 2016, London

There are still tickets available for the pre-AGM tasting which will feature 30 Chardonnays from Australia, including established and emerging names. The wines have been selected to illuminate a hot topic in Australia; has the search for restraint led to market-unfriendly austerity, or has the reaction against the bold, ripe styles of the 1990s led to generally greater complexity, terroir expression and age-ability? Come and see for yourself! Tickets for MWs are £30.00 and £40.00 for MW Students. To book, please email or call +44 (0) 207 383 9130.


Minerality Seminar – 11 October 2016, London

Copy of Minerality FB (1).pngThe highly anticipated IMW Minerality Seminar is almost sold out. Don't miss the opportunity to see Prof. Alex Maltman, Dr.Wendy Parr and Richard Smart share their views and expertise on minerality. The panel will explore the consistency and consensus of minerality that is becoming available through research, geology aspects, wine components and sensory analysis. To book a place, please email or call +44 (0) 207 383 9130.



MW Trip to Washington and Oregon states – Spring 2017

Washington and Oregon StatesA draft itinerary has been released for the MW trip to Washington and Oregon states. The trip will take place from Saturday 29 April to Saturday 6 May 2017. There are 45 spaces on the trip. All costs on the ground including transport, accommodation and meals will be covered by your hosts. Please note that your travel there and back is at your own expense. To sign up for this trip, please email by 5pm on Monday 29 August 2016. Once signed up the Institute will (as with all trips), collate all of the names in a hat and select them at random. The lucky ones will be informed by Friday 2 September 2016. As with every trip, an administration fee of £100.00 is required as confirmation of your attendance on the trip.


40th Anniversary of the Judgement of Paris tasting 

40th (1).pngTo celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Judgement of Paris tasting, the Institute brought together Marcus Notaro of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Matt Crafton of Chateau Montelena to present five vintages. Taking place at Christie's, the tasting provided inside information about the philosophy of the wineries including the changes they have undergone over the decades. Nancy Gilchrist MW shares her experience of the event, including background to the famous 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting. Read more 



Kenichi Ohashi MW, IWC Personality of the Year 

Kenichi Ohashi MW was the winner of the 2016 IWC Personality of the Year. On receiving the honour, Kenichi spoke of how special it was for him to become a Master of Wine. Sam Harrop MW (pictured with Kenichi, Tim Atkin MW and Charles Metcalfe) presented the award to Kenichi at the ceremony in July and shares his speech below:  

'Our Personality of the Year is someone who has single-mindedly clawed his way to the pinnacle of wine stardom and in the process has brought his first love ‘sake’ to the top with him. As a third generation distributor of wine, sake and local spirits, we could argue wine and liquor was in his destiny. But I think it’s safe to say he has busted out of the box by uniting the world of sake and wine globally and in the process raising appreciation and publicity for both. A Sake Expert Assessor and Master of Sake, he most recently achieved the esteemed Master of Wine qualification, all whilst travelling the world like an Energiser Bunny campaigning for sake. Loved by all who meet him, he is a tireless connector with the ability to bridge cultures like no other and despite his newfound rockstar status in Japan he remains incredibly modest and generous with his time. His authority is indisputable; his energy is inimitable, our IWC Personality of the Year... THE Kenichi Ohashi MW'. A video of the speech and presentation is available here on the IWC You Tube channel


Breaking the wine glass ceiling

DMeiburgMW.pngDebra Meiburg MW explores the changing roles of women in the wine industry in her column for the South China Morning Post. From the more traditional roles in sales and marketing, increasing numbers are now working as sommeliers, winemakers, critics and educators. Meet the women who are breaking the wine glass ceiling, as critics, makers and more.


Another major award for the 4th Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford.pngThe fourth edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson MW with Julia Harding MW, has been awarded the Grand Prix by international wine organisation OIV. This outstanding acheivement come two months after the edition won a James Beard Award in the US. Congratulations to Jancis, Julia and all contributors on this impressive recognition. You can follow news and reviews of the 4th Oxford Companion at



An Australian gourmet picnic by plane

TimWildman.pngThe Australian Telegraph went on a fly-and-dine adventure with Tim Wildman MW last month. Soaring over Melbourne, Tim explains his philosophy behind Vineyard Safaris, “It doesn’t get much more special than flying from one landscape to another, sampling the best food and wine. But I also want my guests to meet the people behind the products.” Read the full article here.



Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany's Noblest Wine 

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Bill Nesto MW and his wife Frances Di Savino have written their second book: Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany's Noblest Wine. The book will be published in September. For more information about the book, including a review by Nicolas Belfrage MW, visit the University of California Press website.




Assyrtiko Masterclass

Yiannis.pngYiannis Karakasis MW with Peter Barry of Jim Barry wines presented a series of trade masterclasses in Sydney and Melbourne recently. The masterclass Assyrtiko: From Santorini to the World, included Assyrtikos from Santorini, mainland Greece and Clare Valley.




The World of Fine Wine subscription offer - for MWs and MW Students

World of Fine WineThe World of Fine Wine magazine kindly offers discounts to MW and MW students. A 15% discount on a one year subscription and a 25% discount on a two year subscription is available. These discounts apply to all countries and may also be used for subscription renewals and digital subscriptions. To apply your discount go to and enter the code IMW9 to save 15% discount on a one year subscription and IMW25 to save 25% on a two year subscription. If you need any assistance call +44 (0)203 096 2606 or email 


Master of Wine consultant opportunity

DiningsDinings restaurant in London is looking for a Master of Wine to create a wine list that is sympathetic to modern Japanese cuisine. They are looking for wines to run alongside their famous Sake list. Dinings is a contemporary Japanese Restaurant with European culinary influences. It has seventy covers and targets guests who are looking for an alternative to Zuma, Nobu and Novikov. If you would like to help Dinings select their wine list, please get in touch with Nicolo Sandrini, Restaurant Manager.


Supporters, partners and awards


Santa Rita Estates 2016 South American harvest and vintage update

SantaRita.pngBoth side of the Andes have been affected by untimely rain this year producing one of the most ‘oenologically challenging’ vintages in recent times, particularly in Chile. Eduardo Alemparte, Director of Vitiviniculture at Santa Rita Estates, a Major Supporter of the Institute, gives his report and commentary on the situation.

‘It was known from the outset that the season would be influenced by the El Niño Current, which dominated the vintage with significant delays in grape development. This finally culminated in abundant precipitation in the central zone which was especially concentrated in Casablanca, Rapel, Maipo and Colchagua Valley. A record amount of very heavy rain fell specifically between 14– 17 April, a key red grape picking time in this year’s vintage. The result has been a challenging year with red varieties being hardest hit resulting in decreased yields. Santa Rita Estates did however manage to harvest all of their whites grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Limari Syrah along with some of their high quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère before the rains hit. Read more here


Lallemand Oenology seminar

Lallemand.pngFrom 28-30 June 2016, Lallemand Oenology, a Supporter of the Institute, held a two-day seminar for 15 selected wine professionals including six Masters of Wine; Joanne Ahearne MW, Cees van Casteren MW, Barry Dick MWSam Harrop MW, Norrel Robertson MW and Dirceu Vianna Junior MW (pictured with host Jesus Madrozo). The seminar discussed wine microbiology and biotechnology and latest advances in research and development were presented by Lallemand R&D and technical teams. The research covered low alcohol yeast, low SO2/H2S yeasts, the use of inactive yeast to reduce SO2 levels and O2 scavenging properties, the role of wine bacteria on the sensory profile of wines, and inactive yeast used in vineyards. The seminar was held in Villabuena de Alava in La Rioja, Spain at the charming Hotel Viura and included a tasting and a visit at Contino winery under the warm hospitality of Jesus Madrazo. The seminar was followed by a one-day conference attended by over 400 Rioja winemakers in Logrono, organised by Lallemand, Spain. Commenting on the yearly event Lallemand Oenology said 'The participation of MWs brings a new perspective on the potential of wine research to improve and maintain wine quality'. 

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In June this year, Colin Anderson MWDavid Burns MWJohn Clevely MW and Charles Minoprio MW met for lunch to share a bottle and good times. Here Colin shares how the idea for the outing came to fruition...and how the wine faired. 

"I need someone to help drink this special bottle."

"Really? I've got a few, too, and I was thinking just the same."

"Who else haven't we seen lately ?"

We could easily think of two more MW friends who lived locally, and the perfect party formed. Eight people is the ideal number to share a bottle, and particularly if there are multiple bottles involved. So far, so good. But where, and when? The beauty of email is speed and all recipients being on the same page. The biggest dining room was instantly offered, and as speedily accepted. The end of June was the perfect time for 'La Grande Bouffe'.

Veuve Clicquot Gold Label 1976 was a good start, with a bottle of Gosset 2004 standing by in case of corkiness. Deep gold, mature nose, finest mousse, the wine had softened into the archetypal old-landed Champagne that you hope for, and seldom find. (A+)

Crab Timbale

  • J.J.Prüm Wehelener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 1989. Deep colour, showing age but still nicely balanced, long end. (A)
  • F.E.Trimbach Clos St. Hüne Riesling 1992. Paler, still young & lively. Powerful Riesling concentration and fruit. (A)

Boeuf Bourgogne

  • Chambertin Clos de Bèze, L.Jadot, 1990. 'La mise d'un fut a été réalisé dans 300 bouteillesanciennes. Celle-ci porte le numéro 129 er a été offerte à Monsieur Charles Minoprio'.Therefore unique in the proper sense. And we were drinking the only bottle in the world. Still a young colour, but closed and un-moving. We hoped it would open, but it looked at us a trifle sullenly, as if it had just been woken, yawned and refused to play. [Reader, you should have seen that yawn. Pretentious, moi ?] (B++)
  • Chambertin Clos de Bèze, L.Jadot, 1985. Sweeter, more open. Rich fruit, balanced, long. (A++)

Several Cheeses
Same two wines, same vineyard very evident, long discussion, same conclusion.

Lemon Posset

  • Ch. Rieussec 2007. Rich gold colour and style. Admirable in every way. Long, subtle finish. (A+)
  • Ch. Rieussec 2005. Younger colour, a lesser wine but still fat and elegant. (A)

The least of the wines was still fantastic, the collection as a whole - remarkable. Decided to keep the Borges Verdelho 1940 for another day.



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