“Thirst” for education in Asia

There is an unquenchable thirst for more knowledge of the world’s wine regions among Asians.

According to Jennie Mack, managing director of the Asia Wine Service & Education Centre, there is still room to grow wine education in the region.

In an interview with the drinks business, Mack said there was “still a lot of potential in Asia for education” and a “thirst” to know more from her students and greater knowledge surrounding wine as just a drink.

She highlighted that there is now a fast growing fine wine storage industry developing in Hong Kong as collectors become more aware of the importance of cellaring wine, with accreditation for these sites taken very seriously.

She explained: “These companies must apply for accreditation and prove that their facilities are secure and have the right temperature and humidity controls. They’re doing very good business too.

“Each personal vault is like a little apartment for wine, filled with Pétrus and Lafite, it makes you realise that here are some seriously rich people here in Hong Kong and that there are some very sophisticated systems in place.”

Although courses on Bordeaux remain popular, Mack also noted the delight many found in tastings of Spanish wines too. Mack – who has a background in education and European languages – has also designed courses to complement those of the WSET by teaching pronunciation and flavours.

Mack said that by dealing with pronunciation that Asian people find more difficult or with aromas and flavours such as gooseberry or cut grass which are largely alien to people who live in an environment as built up as Hong Kong, she thought that it helped the students “feel more confident and helped with their exams.”

Accredited to teach WSET courses all the way up to and including Diploma – the only such one in Asia – as well as courses from the International Sommelier Guild, L’Ecole du Vin and The Wine Academy of Spain, the AWSEC teaches up to 90 students everyday of the week – including weekends.

Mack says that she is need of more teachers as the eight she currently has are not enough.

“I’m looking for more people,” she said. “If anyone wants to relocate to Hong Kong they’ll have a job here.”

2 Responses to ““Thirst” for education in Asia”

  1. Ron Andes MV says:

    In the near future the Dutch Wine Academy will also launch a complete education programme in Asia, according to the SWEN standard. For specialist work in in the trade it will be possible to attain the title of Magister Vini, inspired on the world leading standard of Master of Wine. I predicted two years ago the Chinese thirst will not be for wines only, but the more for knowledge what to drink.

    • Rocky Wang says:

      Hi Ron Ades MV,

      I’m high interested in the Dutch Wine Academy and education programme, please let me know the details?

      Thanks.

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