WSET hosts record-breaking tasting

Last night in London, The Wine and Spirit Education Trust hosted the largest-ever-recorded, sommelier-led, wine and food pairing masterclass.

Olly Smith (left) and Virgilio Gennaro hosted the record-breaking tasting in London last night

Although yet to receive official recognition from Guinness World Records, with more than 330 people in attendance last night, the WSET-organised session has comfortably beaten the previous event of its type, which saw 309 participants gather in Brussels on 11 December last year.

Yesterday’s masterclass was held to launch WSET Wine Education Week, which itself has been instigated to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the WSET in 1969, the largest global provider of wine and spirits qualifications.

Hosted by TV wine personality Olly Smith and consultant sommelier Virgilio Gennaro, the pair provided an insight into the art of matching food and wine, guiding participants through a tasting of four wines with four foods chosen to represent different senses, from salty to sweet.

The event was held at The Kia Oval, London SE11, and sponsored by The Wine Society, which provided a Saumur Brut from Gratien & Meyer for the stand up drinks reception and four wines for the tasting, which were, in the order they were served:

  • The Society’s Chablis, 2017 (£14.50)
  • Foresco Umbria, Barberani, 2017 (£9.95)
  • Niedermenniger Riesling Kabinett, von Kesselstatt, 2017 (£11.50)
  • The Society’s Exhibition Sauternes, 2015 (£20)

Olly Smith commented “It’s been a pleasure to be involved in raising more than a few glasses this evening to kick off WSET’s Wine Education Week. I’m firmly of the belief that learning about this wonderful drink can help you appreciate and enjoy it even more, and our Guinness World Record attempt is the perfect way to launch the exciting programme of events that’s taking place across the globe in the week ahead!”

The London event was part of a 24-hour global food and wine pairing session to mark the start of Wine Education Week. Launch events took part across the world at 6pm local time in 24 countries beginning with Auckland, New Zealand and ending with California, USA.

Full details about WSET Wine Education Week and the complete list of events taking place can be found at

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