Tel:01993 882 440

Michael Palij, Master of Wine


Directed by Michael Palij MW, one of only 338 Masters of Wine in the world, WineMatters has been running passionate and informative wine courses In Oxford and around the world since 1994. Thousands of enthusiastic individuals have already enjoyed learning more about wine in a friendly and informal environment with WineMatters.

Whether you're an amateur wine enthusiast, currently in the trade, or considering a career in wine, there is a WineMatters course for you.

WineMatters is an Approved Programme Provider (APP) accredited by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Most of our students choose one of their internationally recognised qualifications but we also offer Masterclasses, Sales and Service courses for the Hospitality sector, and Corporate Events.



Free Launch Day At Quod Restaurant

Winematters is delighted to announce that not only is it launching the new WSET Level 3 course but also adding Level 1 to our portfolio of courses.

This will make us the only APP in the region to offer Levels 1 to 4.

To celebrate this we are holding a free launch day at Quod Restaurant, Oxford for members of the on-trade in Oxford. We will have a presentation from Mike Best of the WSET including a short wine tasting. There will be a buffet lunch provided for attendees and the chance to ask questions and meet others interested in our courses.

The launch is on Monday 5th September from 11am to 2pm.

Please RSVP to


WSET Level 1

Award in Wines and Spirits

The WSET Level 1 course is perfect for someone with absolutely no prior knowledge of wine or its service. It is also ideally suited to someone starting out in the wine service industry or looking to form a base of knowledge from which to build.

By using our senses of sight, smell and taste we will explore the main styles of wine and learn how to accurately describe them. On top of developing these basic skills we will learn the simplest mechanics behind food and wine matching.

For more information on the syllabus please click her

Format: Full Day
Sessions: 9am-5pm
Dates: 3rd Oct 2016 
Cost: £150


WSET Level 2

Award in Wines and Spirits

With no prerequisites, the WSET Level 2 is the perfect course for absolute beginners.

It assumes no prior knowledge and starts with the basics of wine tasting and production before embarking on a merry trip around the world’s major grape varieties.  WineMatters rounds this course off with our famous food and wine matching session. You will come away with a firm grounding in wine appreciation and the course also makes an ideal gift for that special person in your life.

For more information on the syllabus please click here.

Format: Evenings
Sessions: 8 x 2hrs + Exam
Dates: 13th Sep 2016 - 8th Nov 2016
Cost: £425

WSET Level 3


Although there are no formal prerequisites for this course it builds naturally on the material covered in the WSET Level 2 and we would recommend completing that course first. 

There is a clear focus on developing an effective tasting technique together with learning about the factors behind the world’s great wines. 

If you’re not in the trade, this is all you’ll ever need to navigate with confidence in every wine shop and restaurant in the land. For more information on the syllabus please click here.

Format: Evenings
Sessions: 14 x 2hrs + Exam
Dates: 12th Sep 2016 - 19th Dec 2016
Cost: £700

WSET Level 4

Diploma in Wines and Spirits

This is the WSET’s flagship qualification and WineMatters is delighted to have been teaching it in Oxford since 1994. Michael also teaches Diploma students around the world, including Hong Kong, Australia and Japan.

It is a two-year programme designed for those working in the trade and is regarded as the benchmark qualification in the industry.  No matter what your occupation, the WSET Diploma is the global benchmark for the drinks industry.  It is a significant undertaking but those who gain the qualification are well-placed to take up senior positions in the drinks industry. For more information on the syllabus please click here.

Format: Day Release
Sessions: 16 x 8hrs + Exam
Dates: Sep 2016 - Jun 2018
Cost: POA

Piemonte - a Nebbiolo Masterclass Tasting Now Sold Out



Barolo and Barbaresco: no one would dispute that Piemonte is home to some of Italy’s greatest red wines. The only real competitor would be Tuscany and the rivalry between these two regions has many parallels with France’s old sparring partners, Burgundy and Bordeaux. 

Although Nebbiolo has been planted in north-west Italy since at least the 15th century, it is only from the 1850s that Piemonte (and really only Barolo) was considered to be a region with any viticultural potential. It’s easy to blame the Italians for the nation’s squandered talent but in this case it’s probably easier to thank the French for recognising quality when they saw it. In any event, after a few wars, revolutions and false starts, the wines of Piemonte are now changing hands at prices that rival Bordeaux, if not quite Burgundy.

I’ve been travelling to this particularly enchanting corner of Italy since the early 1990s and have watched its steady gentrification. The renovation of derelict buildings, the arrival of smart hotels and eateries, and the profusion of boutique wineries all speak of an area very much on the rise. Wines which we struggled to sell 20 years ago are now on allocation only.

Having imported Piemontese wines for so long, it’s no surprise that a reasonable number of decent bottles have found their way into my cellar. On November 11 I am proposing to open a number of these with a group of just ten friends at The Nut Tree, a Michelin-starred pub near Oxford.

There will be no shortage of great vintages of Barolo and Barbaresco. From 1971 to 2010 we will look at the evolution of Nebbiolo from the perspective of changing climate, fashion and fortune. But we’ll also explore Dolcetto, Timorasso, Barbera and Cortese, all from the region’s greatest producers.

Although the wines will be the star of the show, the timing of this Masterclass is most fortunate in that it coincides with the International Truffle Festival in Alba and I shall have just returned from Piemonte, armed with a clutch of the world’s most expensive foodstuff, tuber magnatum pico. White truffles and Barolo: my mouth is already watering! Mike North, the Nut Tree’s exceptionally talented head chef, will once again design an eight-course menu specifically to complement both the wines and the truffles. 


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