These sites, feeds and courses will teach you all you need to know about the world of wine.

Every year on 25th May, wine lovers across the nation have an extra reason to raise a glass: National Wine Day.

It is a day to bow down in homage to the humble grape; to be thankful to those ancient peoples for fermenting it and turning it into wine.

Alexander Fleming – the Scottish physician who discovered the world’s first effective antibiotic – couldn’t have put it better when he said: ‘Penicillin cures but wine makes people happy.’

Let this be the year, though, that you dedicate yourself not just to drinking wine but also to its study.

Here, we show you how. Bottoms up!

Jancis Robinson




Often cited as the UK’s top wine critic, Jancis Robinson has a weekly column in the FT, writes on her own website each day and has a hand in choosing bottles for HM the Queen’s cellar. When she became a Master of Wine in 1984, she was the first person outside of the wine trade to do so. Pour yourself a glass and get lost in her website. She has also launched a glassware range that the cognoscenti rave about. You can buy it at Borough Kitchen. Visit the website here.


Wine Cellar Door




This wonderful app – winner of the GWG App of the Year 2021, among plenty of other awards – exists to help wine lovers engage with English wine. Set up by a couple of friends who met while working together at VisitEngland, the app shares details of English and Welsh vineyards, opening hours, tasting notes and more, all under one digital roof. The energetic, regularly updated blog is a pleasure, too. Visit the website here.


Olly Smith




Positively draped in prizes, Olly Smith hosts his own podcast, A Glass With, appears frequently on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, has written six books and is YOU magazine’s wine critic. His website says: ‘With his extensive knowledge of all things booze, the only thing Olly is more enthusiastic about than a glass of the good stuff, is sharing it as widely as possible.’ Head straight to it for access to his many pearls of wisdom. Visit the website here.


London Wine Academy




Established in 1993, ‘to make the world of wine more accessible to you in a friendly, professional, contemporary and non-intimidating way’ the London Wine Academy
is an excellent place to study. One-day weekend workshops include a two or three course lunch with wine pairings. Evening wine-tasting classes cover all the main grape varieties. Meanwhile, at £269 for two people for four sessions, the Wine O’Clock Webinars are also worth considering. Visit the website here.


Will Lyons




The Sunday Times wine critic, Will Lyons, has a mere 4,000 Instagram followers. You will agree – once you’ve checked out his perky posts, which are woven through with wine tips – that he ought to have more. He was devoted to his art from a young age. At school at Bradfield, he was a member of the wine-tasting society. At university in Edinburgh, he was President of the Wine Society. He has worked for the best wine merchants: Justerini & Brooks, Lea & Sandeman and Berry Bros & Rudd. Before he joined The Sunday Times, he wrote for the Wall Street Journal. What Lyons doesn’t know about vino ain’t worth knowing. Follow him here.


Northern Wine School




The Northern Wine School is another great place at which to get to grips with grapes. When its founder, John Callow, worked at Majestic, he found that the bit he enjoyed most was teaching customers about wine. ‘Helping people to be more confident, more curious and more passionate about wine just felt great,’ he says. Check out its tasting events, courses, study guides and gift options. Visit the website here.


Vinography




This US wine blog is among the most widely read on the internet. Alder Yarrow, who lives in Oakland, California, launched it in 2004, when he realised that he was the guy all his friends turned to for wine advice. Vinography features wine and sake reviews, restaurant reviews, editorials, book reviews, wine news and coverage of wine events. A global audience laps up the new content that appears daily. Visit the website here.


Vivino




Now for some real fun. Once you try this naughty little trick, you’ll never look back. Next time somebody brings you a bottle of wine as a present, you can scan its label with the Vivino app to find out everything you want to about it (including how much it set your kindly friend back). The brilliant website is the world’s largest online wine marketplace, and the app is the most downloaded wine app. Visit the website here.

By Becky Ladenburg
May 2022

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Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.

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