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Published:  23 July, 2008

Harpers' feature writer Neil Beckett has become the first beneficiary of a new sponsorship which comprises financial backing and work experience with Sainsbury's buying team. Sainsbury's has decided to sponsor a Master of Wine student in their second year of studies and chose Beckett, who last year won the Rouyer Guillet Cup as top trade graduate in the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma, as well as the Geoffrey Jameson Memorial award and the Vintners' Scholarship. Sainsbury's, with four MWs in its wine department, began its selection process in May. Beckett was selected after being shortlisted for Sainsbury's by the Institute of Masters of Wine. Beckett intends to use the financial backing to fund travel to South America and to purchase tasting samples to aid his study. He will also have the opportunity to attend wine tasting sessions with the Sainsbury's team.