On Monday night I was at the historic and very beautiful Guildhall in the City of London to witness this year's awards ceremony for hundreds of successful students at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
One of the most successful Diploma graduates was Tim Jackson, a frequent and knowledgeable poster on our members' forum, and it was this online conversation with him that propelled me to publish this little film of WSET president Hugh Johnson's introduction, complete with Australian joke.
I must admit that I had thought in advance that it might be rather boring to sit for 90 minutes watching people collect certificates and prizes, but in the event I was riveted by three main things:
1. The sheer numbers that Majestic wine warehouses put through the WSET and how well they do.
2. How impressive it was that so many students had travelled so far, notably from Canada and the US but also from all over Europe, to collect their awards.
3. And mainly by the sheer diversity of people prepared to put themselves to considerable effort and expense to take these wine exams. We had lawyers, masses of bankers, health officials, academics and even people who said their chief interest was in passing wine exams. Almost as inspiring as the Open University degree ceremony I once attended where some graduates were in their seventies and even eighties.
You can find out much more about wine education here in our rich Resources section.