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Masterwined: what's your specialist subject?

Hi everyone!

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that we’re a passionate bunch - especially when it comes to wine.

It got me thinking - if you were going on a wine-themed Mastermind, what would be your specialist subject? I bet there’s a very varied range of answers to this!

In the spirit of starting this discussion, I’ll go first:

I’m not particularly an expert when it comes to wine (I’m always a bit in awe of you lot), so this is probably a bit weak, but back in my Member Services days many (many!) moons ago, I used to run Christmas food and wine matching sessions for the staff to help with the many wine advice queries we used to get. So I think that would be my specialist subject - from starters right through to the cheeseboard! :grin:

Can’t wait to hear some of your ‘specialist subjects’!


I would have to go for Bordeaux wines just from the sheer amount of research I have put in over the years for En Primeur purchases.

You’ll never guess :rofl:

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The more I learn, the more I’m aware of what I don’t know.

Also, I’ve forgotten stuff I learned in the past; when I was doing WSET I could name all the German wine regions, instantly name the colour of bottles used for Mosel and - er - the other one.

Name all the Beaujolais cru’s without having to think.

I think if I had to choose a subject it would be South African wine or Grape Varieties - but the latter is a huge subject.


I’m torn here, as there’s always more and more to know.

I’d say the bits I know/love best would be regional Spain and Northern Italy. Not sure which I’d pick between the two though!

As others have remarked, the more you learn, the more you realise how little you actually know.

But if I was put on the spot, it’d most probably be South West France. A criminally overlooked region in most retailers offerings.

(To be honest that could come as an advantage - looking through Cellartracker I’m the unique owner of quite a few bottlings. I could literally make this stuff up and everyone would be none-the-wiser!).


There was a real Mastermind applicant with a very rare specialist subject. After sending off his application and waiting some time he was contacted by a BBC researcher asking if he would set the questions for a forthcoming Mastermind - it was his specialist subject!

BTW - I thought South West France covered Bordeaux :grin:


The geographical region does. But the wine region doesn’t.

As you can imagine, the Bordelaise being the gregarious and empathetic crowd they are weren’t happy for the SW to have to share it’s spotlight with Bordeaux.

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… whilst using SW wines to beef up their own. The bit about their protectionist policies in my French wine scholar book was heartbreaking!

Indeed. And the greatest crime (for me) is that they now pretend that they adulterated with Rhone wines, when it was Tannat, Auxerrois, Fer Servadou, Prunelart etc etc etc that were giving their wines that Bordeaux ‘heft’.

Still, the upside being that there are some absolute gems practically unknown outside the region (Clos de Gamot in any other region would probably cost 5 or 10 times its current price).

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There is a current MW who had his research paper rejected and was told to contact the expert in the area who was … you guessed himself/herself (at least proving that the examiner had no idea of the candidate’s identity).


Specialist subject? Drinking a bottle faster than your friends think is socially acceptable.

(But it would be “The Wines of Italy” if I had to test myself).


I’d say Champagne, but that’s purely because it was my last WSET exam so it’s fresh in my mind. I’m terrible at revising!

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Or of the subject!


Port for me. Proper vintage port, not the brown stuff; tawny, tawny with an indication of age colheita and all that guff.


For the ignorant amongst us, please would you elucidate?

I think a few of us have the time on our hands to learn!

For me… I think anything that does not involve learning lists of producers, regions, appellations, wine names or vintages. So that rules out most stuff :slight_smile:

Viticulture, winemaking, wine science, regulations - that sort of thing is what I am best at.


“I dont know much about wine but I know what I like”