4 November 2019 Newsletter
  The IMW & the MW study programme

Coordinator roles

CoordinatorFollowing an email to all MWs on behalf of Caro Maurer MW, Admissions Committee Chair and Debra Meiburg MW, Education Committee Chair, a reminder that you have until 15 November 2019 to express your interest in the following MW study programme coordinator roles:

  • Wine Coordinator
  • Stage Two Bordeaux (France) Seminar Coordinator
  • Stage One and Two Adelaide (Australia) Seminar Coordinator
  • Assignments Coordinator
  • Member of the IMW Admissions Committee

The roles and the relevant application form can be found on Education Committee and Admissions Committee areas of the website (requires MW login). Your application should detail why you believe your experience, both professionally and with the MW study programme, would be a good fit for the role. It would also be helpful to include details on your existing commitments and how you would be able to devote the relevant time required to fulfil the role in question. A decision for each role will be made by the Christmas break.


New syllabus 

SyllabusDuring the 2018-19 academic year, the IMW’s Education and Examination Board (EEB) initiated a review of the MW study programme syllabus.The process included a wide-ranging consultation with input from members and more specifically the exam teams. The over-arching questions EEB sought input on were:

  • Which elements of the current syllabus are most relevant to achieving ‘mastery’ in support of the IMW mission?
  • Which elements should be added?
  • Which elements should be deleted?

The revisions should be considered as an evolution and an update on the previous version; the structure and the way the syllabus is being examined has not changed. For the most part, the changes ensure the syllabus remains contemporary, but also that syllabus is clear (to both native and non-native English speakers), consistent, complete across all sections.The new syllabus has been introduced for the start of the 2019-20 academic year and the 2020 examinations will be based on this revised syllabus.


Upcoming events

Annual Claret tasting (2015 vintage)

Claret tastingDate: 5 November 2019
Time: 0930-1400
Location: Vintners' Hall, London
Availability: Full capacity

We are looking forward to seeing you at our annual Claret tasting tomorrow. The 2019 event will showcase the 2015 vintage of the Grands Crus Classés from the Médoc, Pessac Léognan, St Emilion and the top Pomerol estates, including most of the First Growths and their Right Bank equivalents. The annual walk-around tasting is a rare opportunity to review one vintage of Bordeaux two years after bottling and compare wines of the highest quality across all Bordeaux’s top appellations. 



Annual awards ceremony 


Date: 5 November 2019
Time: 1730-2100
Location: Vintners' Hall, London

Availability: Full capacity

Following the Claret tasting, we can't wait to welcome the 2019 vintage of Masters of Wine at the annual awards ceremony. Just a reminder that if you are attending the Claret tasting during the day you will still need to have RSVP'd for the awards ceremony.



Amarone: Dried grapes seminar

AmaroneDate: 20 November 2019
Time: 1000-1200
Location: IMW HQ, London
Availability: Waiting list only

This seminar takes you on a journey from vineyard to glass focusing on viticultural practices - Pergola versus Guyot, key characteristics of different grapes and sustainability. Panellists Luca Speri, Giacomo Boscaini and Marilisa Allegrini will also discuss technical elements of the Appassimento process, changes in VA and phenolic compounds and how this impacts vinification techniques. The seminar will be supplemented by a tasting of 13 wines, one from each member and will showcase wines from 2001 onwards.



Dry Champagne masterclass

ChampagneDate: 5 December 2019
Session 1: 1000-1200
Session 2: 1400-1600
Location: IMW HQ, London
Availability: Waiting list only

For this Dry Champagne masterclass we have invited four great Champagne producers to share their views and wines. With Brut champagnes receiving increasingly low dosages and the driest champagne categories Extra Brut and Brut Nature gaining foothold, Champagnes have become drier than ever. But dry Champagne is not an easy style to master as dosage offers many benefits.

Guests will have the chance to purchase a signed copy of Essi Avellan MW's upcoming book, the fourth edition of The Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wines, at a special price (£100 for those with MW or MW student tickets; £130 for those with general admission tickets).



Previous events - MW reviews 

Read Richard Bampfield MW's review of the recent VDP tasting in London, Charles Curtis MW's report from the ever-popular annual Champagne tasting in San Francisco and John Casson MW writes an overview of the 21 Club Lunch, also held in London, on the IMW blog here.


MW trips

Trentodoc trip review by Christopher Burr MW

TrentodocA report extract from the recent MW trip to Trentodoc by Christopher Burr MW. "The group’s overall impression was of a passionate wine region making, almost without exception, fine sparkling wines, with variety and interest. The three most interesting factors differentiating these wines from other fine sparking wines made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and occasionally Pinot Bianco including Champagne and Franciacorta, was the effect of altitude from the Lake Garda sites at around 200 metres above sea level, right up to the highest vineyards at 700 metres. These high-altitude wines whilst in no way unripe have a freshness and precision due to wide diurnal temperatures."



Greece trip review by Steve Charters MW

GreeceA report extract from the recent MW trip to Greece by Steve Charters MW. "One of the most exciting discoveries was unknown or unexpected grapes making interesting and often gorgeous wines. A gewürztraminer from Evia of all places. Preknadi (the ‘freckled grape’ – a great marketing line there) with weighty stone fruit character. Moutara from Thebes, and the lovely cherry and plum aromas of the red grape vlahiko, with overt acid and light weight. Crete - this was another unexpected discovery. I think many of us had been looking forward to Crete, but with limited expectations for the wines. But across the board the wines were generally cleanly made, with quite precise fruit characters."


Member news

Champagne Bollinger welcomes Lindsay Pomeroy MW, Madame Bollinger Medal winner 2018

LindsayEarlier in the month Champagne Bollinger was delighted to welcome the 2018 IMW Madame Bollinger Medal winner, Lindsay Pomeroy MW, to the House in Aÿ in Champagne. The visit was hosted by Etienne Bizot, President of the Bollinger Family Group (SJB) and Chairman of the Madame Bollinger Foundation, and Andrew Hawes, Managing Director of Mentzendorff and Secretary of the Foundation.

Not open to visits from the general public, the trip to visit the House of Bollinger has historically been an important part of the Medal winner’s prize. They and their family are invited behind the scenes of the great Champagne House to discover the vineyards, history and production methods behind the iconic Bollinger cuvées.



A new edition of the world’s leading work on Champagne and sparkling wine - Essi Avellan MW

EssiEssi Avellan MW and Tom Stevenson will publish a fourth edition of Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine this month. The previous three editions of the encyclopedia have been considered the reference for sparkling wine for the past 20 years. A country-by-country guide, from the finest Champagnes to the lesser-known sparkling wine producers in China and Russia, the updated and extended edition takes you to six continents and to all countries where serious sparkling wine is produced. More than 2,000 producers from around the world are rated on a 100-point global scale with an in-depth analysis of their history, method of production and style of wine.

The book will be published on 14 November 2019, priced at £200. Essi is kindly offering a special price to MWs and MW students of £100, and for those with general admission tickets to the Dry Champagne masterclass in London on 5 December 2019, a discounted price of £130.



Arne Ronold MW

ArneCongratulations to Arne Ronold MW who has received the OIV Award for Italiensk Vin, a book on Italian wine which he co-authored with fellow Scandinavians Thomas Ilkjær, Paolo Lolli and Ole Udsen. Hosted by H.E. Mr Juan Salazar Sparks, the 2019 OIV Awards ceremony was held at the Embassy of Chile in Paris. A total of 11 awards and nine Special Mentions were given out by the international OIV Jury. View the OIV press release here.




John Salvi MW - The Count of Wine

John SalviJohn Salvi MW has recently published a new book, which he is hoping fellow members will find "an amusing and hedonistic read". The Count of Wine traces John's life history and is linked to the changes that have taken place over 60 years in the world of wine. Many of these years John spent in Bordeaux, where he was closely linked to Chateau Palmer and the companies that own it. The book is followed by anecdotes and stories about wine, food and personalities that weave the rich tapestry of wine. The book is described as, 'A lively irreverent, amusing and highly readable tale by a gourmand and gourmet imbued with a lifetime passion for wine and food.'



Liz Thach MW - Luxury Wine Marketing

Liz ThachLiz Thach MW has published a new book with Peter Yeung called Luxury Wine Marketing - the Art and Science of Luxury Wine Branding. The book's description states, 'Little has been written about the world of luxury wine marketing, explaining how a wine brand can enter that special realm. This book helps to demystify the process by describing how to craft, implement, and maintain a luxury wine brand. Beginning with a definition and history of luxury wine, the authors then explain the unique business model and consumer segments for luxury wine, before outlining industry best practice in the building of luxury wine brands. Each chapter is supplemented with a vignette of a successful luxury brand producer, and provides beneficial advice on the long-term vision and passion that is necessary to create a successful luxury wine marketing strategy.'



Vincent Larvan MW
1923 to 2019

VincentIt was with great sadness that we learnt of Vincent Larvan MW's death in October. Vincent became an MW in 1957 and was the oldest Master of Wine, celebrating that fact with us in April 2017 when he officially opened our headquarters in London. In November 2017 we honoured his 60th year as an MW at the annual awards ceremony.

Vincent served in the Royal Navy in World War II and in 2016 received the decoration of a chevalier from the Legion d’Honneur for his role in the D-Day landings. From 1946-1983 Vincent held various executive positions in Bass plc. He was a former Chairman of the then Wine and Spirit Trades’ Benevolent Society and former Master, at The Worshipful Company of Distillers.

Vincent helped incorporate the IMW in Companies House, and like so many of the earlier members put in place the structure that helped make the IMW develop into the organisation it is today.

A funeral service was held for Vincent at St James’ Church, Birkdale, Southport on 25 October 2019, followed by a reception at The Royal Birkdale Golf Club.


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