A local wine enthusiast is embarking on a radical career change as he launches the county’s first independent wine education company,

Gary Carter, from Shrewsbury, is launching Shropshire Wine School, offering an exciting range of tastings and courses for those who are keen to learn more about wine.

Used to travelling round Europe working in a €billion multinational business, this new venture will bring Gary back to his home town of Shrewsbury to begin his own personal wine business adventure on a very local scale.

Shropshire Wine School is the latest addition to the successful and rapidly expanding www.localwineschool.com family – a UK-wide network of more than 25 independent wine schools established in 2000 in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The school will offer tastings at all levels from introductory evenings to 8-week courses, and Saturday wine experiences including Champagne and lunch. Food and wine matching workshops as well as unique wine tasting experiences for corporate and private clients will also feature at the school.

Gary will also, in 2018, be bringing professional wine training to Shropshire as the region’s only provider of WSET courses. Demand for these courses, the world’s leading wine qualification, is growing internationally as bars and restaurants recognise the need to offer professional training to their staff. The courses are also popular with wine enthusiasts wishing to attain a professional wine qualification.

Gary was first inspired to learn more about the world of wine by local wine personality Robin Butler. Gary said: “Opening the wine school will be a fitting tribute to Robin, my close friend and mentor, who sadly passed away recently.”

He added: “We aim to help customers navigate the sometimes confusing world of wine and encourage them to discover new wines. All of our events are designed to be fun and informative with a focus on enjoying wine with like-minded people in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.

“Shrewsbury is a beautiful town with a thriving local food and drink scene and Shropshire Wine School will be seeking to complement and support local businesses wherever possible.”

The wine school will operate from rooms in the beautiful Lion Hotel, a Grade 1 Listed 16th Century Coaching Inn & Hotel in Shrewsbury. Located in the heart of the historic town, the venue combines stunning 16th Century architecture with a warm and friendly character.

The school opens its doors in February 2018, but places will be available to book on www.shropshirewineschool.com from 1 December 2017, in plenty of time to buy a very special Christmas present!

For further information about Shropshire Wine School, visit www.shropshirewineschool.com, email info@shropshirewineschool.com or call Gary on 01743 624021 or 07411 652651.

Follow the wine school @Shropswines on Twitter and Facebook.

Gary’s Top 5 Wine Tips

1) Experiment! There are literally thousands of wines available to us here in Shropshire. We have far more choice than consumers in large wine producing countries such as France or Italy that overwhelmingly sell their own domestic product – we have the entire world to pick from. We also have our own vineyard at Wroxeter too – www.wroxetervineyard.co.uk

2) Spend a little more than you’re used to. In a £5 bottle of wine there is almost £3 which is just tax. Step up to a £7 bottle and the tax is still only around £3, so you’ve got a lot more wine for your money.

3) Buy wine from places where you can ask the staff about the wines they sell. Local independent merchants such as Tanners and national specialists such as Majestic have knowledgeable staff who are happy to help.

4) Be wary of ‘was now’ price promotions on big brands in supermarkets. Most of these price promotions don’t really offer value for money. Bide your time and wait for the ‘25% off everything’ periods that they all run, and THEN buy the wines that YOU want at a bargain price.

5) Join The Wine Society. It’s a not for profit on-line retailer owned by its members, and all wines at all price levels are good value.