Bacchus rules OK

20 06 2012

Buy Bacchus wine from Britain

Bacchus, the signature grape for still dry English white wines. Not just prettily floral like an English summer garden, the wines judged at this week’s competition showed that it is capable of real concentration and excitement. Taste enough of these and you will spot this varietal just as easily as Sauvignon Blanc. It could catch on in an equally addictive way! Spread the word…

The white sparkling wines are world class and so now are the rosé sparkling – Laurent Perrier watch out as English rosé sparkling is cool and trendy!

The results will be announced very shortly.

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The MW versus the Wine MBA

13 06 2012

I lectured on the Wine MBA at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester for four years and I passed the MW in 1994, so I have a pretty good view of the differences in the two qualifications.

Here is a quick summary:

– the MW with its low pass rate is still the most prestigious qualification
– the MW is harder to pass. You have to get 65% on all papers whereas the passmark for postgraduate level is 50%.
– not sure of the cost of the MW these days but the Wine MBA is £9000 for 15 month course (ending with 25,000 word dissertation)
– the MW is focused solely on wine, once you have it it is difficult to do anything else
– the Wine MBA is much broader and the skills are more transferable
– MWs have more technical knowledge but not as much commercial

When I worked at Waitrose (famous at one stage for only wanting MWs as buyers) I remember a new boss saying how rare it is to get people who truly combine wine knowledge with commercial skills. It is often said that having an MW doesn’t necessarily make you a good businessman/woman. In reality this depends on an individual’s background and experience. A Wine MBA will give the business skills and a good level of wine knowledge but not to the same standard as an MW.

The MW can get you to Director level in a wine company but in a supermarket it could well limit your progression to Head of the wine department due to its specialist nature. So it depends on your ambitions.

There is a lot to be said for doing both. Papers 4 and 5 in the MW exam would certainly be a lot easier once you’ve done the MBA…