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Woods woos budding wine buffs with wine school

Published:  16 August, 2018

Simon Woods, wine writer and author of ‘I Don’t Know Much About Wine But I Know What I Like’, has bought the Manchester Wine School with a view to bringing his down-to-earth educational approach to an ever-wider number of fellow Mancunians.

Woods, who has been writing, talking and consulting about wine for 30 years, including a stint at the FT and as editor at Which Wine Guide, told Harpers that he sees this move as a natural development, building upon the increasing amount of communicating about wine that he has been doing in recent years.

“Over the past few years, I've found myself doing more and more presenting to a variety of audiences, both trade and consumers, so this was a logical next move,” said Wood.

The Manchester Wine School was founded in 2009 and is part of the UK-wide Local Wine School (LWS) network of 27 outlets, with this northern outlet most recently being run by Lisa Moreton.

Woods said Moreton had done a “fantastic job” developing and growing the School during her four years at the helm, and that he is looking to build upon that success by drawing on his extensive network of contacts in the wine world.

“I’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a series of tastings in Manchester for a number of years, and when I heard that Lisa was interested in selling the business, it seemed like the right opportunity at the right time,” said Woods.

Asked about his approach to spreading the word about wine, he added: “My goal is to help normal people drink better wine, and what I want to do is not so much educate them as inspire them to want to know more, regardless of whether they're a novice or a Master of Wine in waiting. I want my tastings to be packed with paid-up wine enthusiasts rather than with a set of unsmiling robots who can recite the 1855 classification.”

As with all schools in the LWS network, Manchester Wine School runs a programme of tastings of wines, spirits and beer for both trade and consumers.