Become a vintage master

Thailand is awash in a sea of wine being and those on the crest of the wave are discovering that drinking wine is not just a symbol of prestige but more for socialising with friends over some food.

Ross Edward Marks, vice-president for Wine, Spirits and Beer for Central Food Retail.

Wine, like whiskey, is meant for drinking with friends, but there is so much about wine, how it's made, where it comes from, and what to it eat with, that many people throw up their hands and simply drink what's cheapest or most recognised or what their friends drink.

Wine should be simple but it can be complicated and it may be what keeps people from diving in to drink more wine or moving away from whiskey. Now, for the first time in Thailand, a proper wine course is available for the public.

The Wine and Spirits Education Trust (UK) is an internationally recognised programme, certified by the UK education system for people in the wine business to learn about their trade. While there are different levels of the WSET, the Level 2 Wines and Spirit certification has been taught in Thailand by Ross Edward Marks, vice-president for Wine, Spirits and Beer for Central Food Retail since 2005. To date, more than 250 people have taken this course in the last seven years here in Thailand.

Marks, the former wine director for the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong and The Waldorf Astoria in New York has been offering this class to its hotel and restaurant partners in an effort to raise the standard among wine professionals here in Thailand. Marks had been asked several times if this course was available for the public and now, for the first time, he has opened this to anyone with a passion for wine and learning. No prior knowledge is required.

All of the courses will be held in the evenings at the Okura Prestige Hotel on the corner of Wireless and Ploenchit roads from 7-9.30pm (dates in box) and the course fee is 18,000 baht. The course includes the WSET Level 2 study pack, all lectures for eight sessions, a chance to taste over 100 wines in a tutored environment and a 50-question multiple choice examination on the ninth session.

Certificates and pins from the WSET will be provided for those that pass the examination. The course will cover all regions of the world of wine, grape varieties, wine making, wine growing, storage, food pairings, service, beer, whiskey and spirits.

To sign up for this course, please contact Ross at