A wine expert with 20 years’ experience in the hospitality and drinks sector is to relaunch a wine school in the Thames Valley.
Alex Stevenson is the owner and head tutor of the newly relaunched Thames Valley Wine School. As the biggest independent wine education company in the region, it offers a calendar of wine tastings and courses for those looking to develop their interest in wine.
Alex has spent the last twenty years as a buyer and beverage manager in the hospitality and drinks sector. In that time, he founded TheDrinkSchool in London, and achieved a Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) diploma. He is also a WSET certified instructor.
He said: “I have always been impressed with the Local Wine School as they were a competitor of mine and so I approached them with regards to setting up a school in the area. I’m delighted to be launching my first class in September and building the school, not only to offer wine classes and education but to also put on beer and spirit training as well.
“With Thames Valley Wine School I will be offering a fun, friendly, informal environment to help locals better understand their wine. No previous tasting experience is necessary, and my courses will allow people to discover some fantastic wines and improve their confidence when buying it in shops and restaurants.
“We’ll be covering a brilliant variety of topics, from food and wine matching experiences to New World discoveries, and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
Events on offer initially will range from single-evening introductory sessions through to eight-week courses aimed at both beginners and more experienced sommeliers. In the future, Alex plans to introduce more speciality courses and WSET classes. He will also hold food-pairing events, along with themed and seasonal ones.
The first event, an introduction to wine tasting, will take place at The Corn Stores in Reading on Tuesday 6 September. The event will include the tasting of three whites and three reds and customers will be able to learn about some of the key grape varieties, the main wine-making techniques and which countries are best suited to wine production.
Attendees will also be taught how to pair wines with food and how wine pricing is decided, as well as being introduced to a lexicon of wine-related terms.
Chris Powell, owner of the Local Wine School who Alex franchised Thames Valley Wine School from, said: “We are delighted to welcome Alex as the new franchisee for Thames Valley. His experience and knowledge make him an ideal candidate to run wine classes and courses and we’re looking forward to watching the business grow”.