WSET will kick start a week-long celebration in September to mark its 50th anniversary, with a series of events planned for China, its biggest market for both wine and spirits education.
From 9-15 September, WSET will celebrate its milestone 50th anniversary with the first ever global Wine Education Week. London will be the site of a marquee event, where WSET is angling to break a Guinness World Record for the largest ever recorded sommelierie lesson.
Meanwhile in China, starting with Hong Kong, home to its first international office, WSET will host a celebration at The Desk that begins with a tasting of some of the award-winning wines from the Decanter Asia Wine Awards. This will be followed by a fun and interactive class that demonstrates the synergies between components in food and wine and how they interact with each other.
Additionally, in Shanghai, wine specialists and enthusiasts will gather together at ‘Wine Missionary’ for an education session hosted by wine expert, consultant and WSET Certified Educator Terry Xu on food and wine pairing.
Similar launch events will also be hosted at The Tasting Annex in Shenzhen and AWSEC in Guangzhou. Moreover, in Taipei, the Taiwan Wine Academy will explore how wines pair with traditional Taiwanese cuisine. These launches will then be followed up by over 100 events hosted by WSET’s approved program providers in cities across the region, from Xiamen to Xi’an to Nanjing.
China including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan has now surpassed the UK to become the biggest market for wine and spirits education. The country alone contributed 21,986 candidates out of 94,822 candidates enrolled globally in the academic year finishing 31 July 2018.
Additionally, recognizing surging demand for Asian spirits, the education provider has incorporated three key Asian spirits baiju, shochu and soju into the syllabus for the new WSET Level 3 Award in Spirits this year.
WSET CEO Ian Harris comments: “Wine Education Week is a celebration of our mission to inspire and inform wine lovers across the world. With exciting events taking place everywhere from New Zealand to Thailand to Mexico and, of course, our home in the UK, I can’t think of a better way to mark WSET’s 50th anniversary and the progress we have made in wine education over the last half-century.”
Terry Xu added: “As the old saying goes ‘Within books, one can find houses of gold. Within books, one can find ladies as fair as jade’. And I believe that a glass of wine offers not less than that. For thousands of years, wine has nourished the world’s culture, and has been loved by countless writers and artists. Life is short, read more, drink more and learn more.”