If you listened to my episode of the podcast, you have a general idea of how I came to meet James Cluer. James is a Master of Wine and the founder of Fine Vintage, which served as the Approved Program Provider for my WSET Level 1 class.

WSET Level 1 served as a huge boost to my confidence in the early days of my wine career. While James wasn’t the instructor, his team members made for a great day that would prove pivotal in my wine career. It was this early experience that would lead me to take WSET 2 and WSET 3.

I was fortunate enough to spend some time with James, and I was floored when he made the remarks that opened this episode. If a Master of Wine knows a fraction of a percentage, what chance do “regular folk” have?

Well, James lets us know that there are plenty of ways to get wine educated and become an expert.

Before I turn it over to James, one quick note. I had some technical difficulties when recording this interview, so the audio quality is low. That said, the content is great. If you can bear with it for the first moments, you’ll be glad you stuck around for the entire interview.

“I would generally guess that I might know less than 1% of what there is to know about wine. In fact, I can guarantee you, I know less than .0001% of what there is to know about wine.  I would say I have the general idea, frankly.”

James Cluer

Listen to James Cluer’s Interview

Check back here on July 29 for the re-release of my interview with James Cluer.

About James Cluer

James Cluer MW began his career in the wine trade in 1988, working for an importer in Hong Kong. After attending a number of tastings he got the wine bug, and took his first WSET course at age 18.

After University in Vancouver, he headed for Bordeaux and landed an apprenticeship at Milhade et fils. He worked the vintage, picking grapes, managing the fermentations, and doing the barrel work. He started to learn about wine from the ground up.

A few years later James was still at Milhade but now in charge of global exports to 18 countries. He traveled the world meeting buyers, visiting other wineries and making contacts with key players in the wine industry. He also began seriously studying wine and in 1997 completed the WSET Diploma.

In 1998 James enrolled in the Master of Wine (MW) program. To prepare, James began working vintages at wineries in Australia and California, and touring most of the world’s wine regions. Eleven years later, he became a Master of Wine.

Fine Vintage was started in 1995. The company operates in a variety of sectors of the wine industry. 

Fine Vintage now has 10 WSET schools. In January 2012, Fine Vintage was  awarded The Riedel trophy for WSET Educator of the Year, which is the highest honor amongst wine schools.

Connect with James Cluer

Published by Brian McCann

Brian McCann started his wine journey out of luck, faith and confidence, and often times the complete opposite of all those things. Ultimately, he left his 9-to-5 and found himself in wine. His heartbreak grape is Syrah.

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