WINE tasters on a new course in Chester will be seeing double... even before their first sip.
The event at the Pitcher and Piano, on St John Street, is the first to be run by identical twins Mark and Richard Winnington.
The young entrepreneurs, aged 24, have just established the Cheshire Mersey Wine School, billed as an “independent wine education company”, to offer tastings and courses in the area.
Their new venture is part of a rapidly growing franchise called localwinesschool.com – a UK-wide network of independent wine schools providing evening tastings.
Richard said: “We want to bring a contemporary, fresh twist to wine tasting – and to get rid of any notions of these events being intimidating, formal experiences.”
The brothers’ love of wine stemmed from a trip to Italy in 2010, when they visited Franciacorta, a regional vineyard specialising in sparkling wine.
They both achieved places on Majestic Wine’s graduate management scheme, based in separate branches, where they gained Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) qualifications and honed their retail skills.
Mark, a graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, worked in Majestic’s Kendal, Birkdale and Macclesfield branches, while Richard, who studied hospitality business management and events at Sheffield Hallam University, worked at the Clitheroe, Macclesfield, Chester and Ashbourne stores.
Mark said: “At Majestic, we most enjoyed hosting tastings, interacting with customers and talking about hundreds of different styles, grape varieties and regions. We decided to look for a new challenge this year which would enable us to work for ourselves and create our own tasting experiences.
“We found localwineschool.com when browsing online, and thought it presented an ideal opportunity to do what we love most – talking about and tasting wine – within a fun, relaxed environment in the area we know best.”
Richard added: “We’re really looking forward to bringing more people into the wonderful world of wine and wine tasting. Few hobbies are as much fun as learning about wine, and it’s a great pleasure to go out and open up this world that many people find confusing and complicated, so that this fantastic product can be enjoyed and understood by anyone with an interest in it.”
The ‘introduction to wine tasting’ event at the Pitcher and Piano is the twins’ first event and will start at 7pm on Friday, July 18. For more information visit www.cheshiremerseywineschool.com