London gastropub owners Tom and Ed Martin have launched a wine training scheme for their pub managers in a bid to improve staff knowledge and to help boost sales.
The duo's ETM Group, a former Catey winner, runs eight pubs across the capital including the Botanist on Sloane Square, the Empress of India in Victoria Park and the Gun in Docklands.
They have initially selected 10 managers to participate on the course, which is based on WSET (Wines and Spirit Education Trust) curriculum at intermediate and advanced levels.
Classes will be focused on specific subjects including learning about regions of origin, grape types and wine styles, understanding terroir, different appellations and food matching. Each class will also involve tasting five or six different wines.
The course will also examine wine management, including the selection and storage of wines, tailored to each of ETM's eight sites, in order to organise and maximise staff knowledge and sales.
The budding Wine Ambassadors will be tutored by Masters of Wines and experts from various international wine-growing countries and vineyards.
Paulo Brammer, ETM Group's beverage operations manager, will be analysing each candidate's performance during each session and they will be expected to pass each exam at no less than 70%. If they get two consecutive fails they risk losing their place.
Ed Martin said: "We already take wine very seriously at all our pubs and restaurants, but we want to give our managers something to get their teeth into that will not only teach them new things, but help them and their colleagues do their jobs better with the prospect of some great prizes as an incentive to do well.
"Pubs are still seen as second-rate wine retailers when compared with restaurants with professional sommeliers - wrongly in my opinion - but this will hammer home the fact that wine in our pubs is not just an afterthought."
By Daniel Thomas
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