Jimmy Smith (Owner & Head Tutor)
"The team all are so keen and I'm sure that is in no small part to your enthusiasm in teaching. Thanks again for what has been an invaluable training but also team building excersise with these core staff who now have a real connection." Andrew Lundy, Vino Wines WSET Advanced Course, March '10
Jimmy has been working within the wine industry for 11 years with the past 5 years as a WSET-qualified tutor and assessor. In the past four years alone (2007-2011) he has educated over 1250 students through the WSET Intermediate and Advanced certificates. In addition to these more formal qualifications Jimmy has held hundreds of informal and corporate tastings across the UK focusing on the learning and enjoyment of wine, whisky and beer. Jimmy has been running West London Wine School since January 2010 and is a regular judge at the International Wine Challenge.
Its the all-important infectious enthusiasm and passion for the world of wine that enables Jimmy to communicate to his audience without the use of confusing (& boring!) technical facts often detailed in wine tastings. For feedback comments on Jimmy's tastings please scroll to the bottom of the page.
"At West London Wine School we teach people about wine by concentrating on the flavours and aromas of the wines. We focus on the taste profile of each wine explaining the characteristics of the grape variety, the climate, and the winemaking, and show you with maps and photos where they came from and how they are made. We explain why they taste like they do and ask and listen to what you think about the wines. Its all about a taste trial and error through tasting and learning."
The evenings are, above all, fun & entertaining with a relaxed atmosphere - no previous wine tasting experience is required. The best & most enjoyable way to learn about wine is comparing the tastes of different wines side-by-side. We take this to another level with our Sherry & Tapas tastings, where we explore the principles of matching food & wine with practical demonstrations of how different food elements combine with differing styles of wine.
Quentin Sadler (WSET Tutor)
Quentin has been a wine educator since 1995 and continues to get a thrill from introducing people to new and exciting wines, broadening their horizons and surprising their palates. Above all he believes that great wine always has a story and the wine educator’s job is to tell those stories. Prior to that he enjoyed a career in the wine trade, managing wine shops, selling to the trade, hotels and restaurants, buying, marketing and a great deal of tasting. Quentin passionately believes that wine is nowhere near as complicated as some people fear and delights in explaining it to interested people.
He has been a regular judge at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles wine competition and the South African Michelangelo International Wine Awards. Quentin is a member of The Association of Wine Educators, a member of The Circle of Wine Writers, an Associate of The Institute of Wines & Spirits, a member of FIJEV and a Wine & Spirit Education Trust Recommended Tutor.
Cherie Agnew (All-Round Tutor)
From the age of 15, pruning vines in the freezing Marlborough winter, to today, Cherie has been involved in the wine industry.
During and after studying Psychology at Canterbury University (New Zealand) she worked in a variety of restaurants and wine bars in Marlborough, before moving to London in 2005.
With the world of wine available in this amazing city, she moved into the retail sector and became a branch manager for First Quench Retailing. Managing stores from the leafy suburbs of Richmond and Barnes, to the bustling streets of Marylebone she eventaully became a Wine Rack Wine School tutor and customer service trainer.
As well as tutoring at West London Wine School, she is a duty manager at Union Market in Fulham where she can unleash her passion for food, as well as wine.
She is currently studying towards my Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma, which she aims to finish in June this year.
"Cherie was a wonderful teacher" (Nicole Harris, June 2011)
"Cherie was a super tutor - really knowledgeable but encouraged participation & made it really fun & interactive" (Vanessa Buckley, June 2011)
The West London Wine School
Our 8 week courses offer an opportunity to focus week by week on a region, understanding the wines using our learn-by-taste principals. Our 4 week courses offer a more detailed look at a topic (e.g. New/Old world wines), country or grape variety. In all of our courses we talk about aromas, tastes, and flavours rather than technical winemaking details. This is the best format for those looking to learn a wee bit more about the wonderful world of wine.
As we do not sell wine - we can show you where to buy the best wines locally and at the best prices - there is no pressure and no sales pitch at the tastings, you just relax and enjoy the presentation and the wine! We work closely with local independent wine merchants to bring you the best tasting & most interesting wines they have to offer. (Often with discounts exclusive to the West London Wine School which you can take advantage of!).
Our guests come by themselves, in couples, and in larger groups, everybody is welcome. It is also a great way to meet people with the same interest in tasting & learning about wine.
The West London Wine School area covers areas to the west and south-west of London; from Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham to Chiswick, Hammersmith, Richmond and Wimbledon and into the home county of Surrey including Kingston, Twickenham, Hampton, Cobham and Weybridge. We currently have one venue situated in Fulham with excellent transport links from all across London and Surrey (via Clapham Junction).
All of our Evening Tastings (7pm - 9pm) include minimum 6 wines, a small amount of tasting food, comprehensive tasting notes on the selected wines, plus a tutored tasting - with Digital projection equipment & DVDs/Maps/Slides. Professional ISO tasting glasses are also provided.
"I really enjoyed the experience. The evening was presented in a relaxed but informative style, and the hosts were able to answer any questions that were raised. It was a great ‘fun evening’ and a splendid way of learning about wines as well as getting to know my work colleagues. The wine tasting quiz was an awesome way to structure the evening and just added the right element of good-hearted competition. Thank you and I look forward to the next event." (Helen Cole, Pricoa Whose Wine Is It Anyway June 2011)
We are accredited by & work in partnership with the Bordeaux l'Ecole du Vin to offer the highest-quality Bordeaux tastings
We are accredited by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) to offer Levels 1 through to 3.