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  • Writer's pictureChris

Buying wines to feature on our tasting sessions

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Put simply, buying professionally requires a process involving: 1. the formulation of quali-quantitative specifications, 2 The generating of alternatives, and 3. choosing amongst them.

Key producers featured at our WSET tasting sessions
Key producers featured at our WSET tasting sessions

When designing a wine list for a restaurant, quantitative specifications usually precede qualitative specifications: What I mean is that issues such as the number of wines to feature on the wine list, the square meters available for storage, the different price points, margins, fixed and variable costs are the first do be considered; then... qualitative specifications are addressed: This is matching the wines with restaurant concept, the theme, the food. The organoleptic qualities of each wines are considered at this time. The result being the selection of the best possible wines within a set of quantitative specifications/ price ranges.

When buying wines to feature on the Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) programs or the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) programs, the qualitative specifications come first. Always.

Every single wine featured on the tasting sessions has a very specific purpose, for example:

Differentiate between a young wine and an aged wine; Compare two wines from the same variety showing the influence of a cool climate and warm climate; Contrast between a Premier Cru level Burgundy and a generic Burgundy; Illustrate the difference between a bulk wine and a premium wine; Display a very good or outstanding example of a specific wine style; Explain two different winemaking techniques... and if the wine does NOT deliver, learners will miss the point. Instead of clarifying a concept, it will blur the mind of learners which may lead to their failure on the final examination: unacceptable! Because the cost of the tuition fee is also an issue for learners, our approach results in the selection of the most affordable wine within a very strict set of qualitative specifications.

Today, we source wines from sixteen different suppliers, and thanks to their support, we are proud to feature wines from iconic producers including: Champagne Palmer. Champagne Philipponnat. Château Coutet. Château d’Angludet. Château d’Armailhac. Château du Cèdre. Chäteau Fieuzal. Château Montelena. Claude Ramonet. Damien Loreau. Domaine Guyon. Domaine Laroche. Domaine Les Roches Neuves. Domaine Orstertag. Domaine Testut. Dr Loosen. Duckhorn. Fleurot Larose. Fontodi. Gonzalez Byass. Grosset. Guigal. Henschke. Katnook Estate. Lapostolle. Lopez de Haro. Maison Deux Montilles. Muga. Olivier Lefaive. Produttori del Barbaresco. Quinta Do Portal.René Rostaing. Royal Tokaji. Saarfeilser. Salomon Estate. Seven Springs Vineyards. Stéphane Ogier. Vega Sicilia. Vieux Télégraphe. Yann Chaves. Zind Humbrecht.

To learn more about wine, check out our upcoming WSET and WSG courses.

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