Discover the South West, arguably one of the most mysterious and least well known regions of France. With over 130 grape varieties and 29 different appellations it is home to a fascinating array of varieties wine styles. In this session we will concentrate on the area to the North and East of Toulouse covering the appellations of Gaillac, Marcillac and Cahors. If you want to know the difference between Malbec and Fer Servadou or Mauzac and Loin de l’Oeil sign up for a voyage through this fascinating corner of France.
Matthew has more than 30 years experience in the wine trade, from importing and distribution to running a supermarket wine department. He passed the Master of Wine exam in 1996 achieving the Bollinger Medal for the best tasting paper and the Listel Scholarship for the best Vinification paper. He has been actively involved with the Institute ever since, either as Practical Examiner, seminar lecturer or mentor.
Since starting his own wine education business in 2008 the majority of his time is spent teaching and sharing his extensive knowledge of wine.
He has been a mentor to many MW students over the years and continues to help them fine tune the tasting skills needed to succeed in the Practical exam.
He is now a regular on judging panels for wine competitions, Panel Chair for the International Wine Challenge and co-President of the Sud de France Top 50 in China. Matthew is also the current Practical Chair of the MW Education Committee.
The best way to make sense of French red wines is to simply start tasting them. France offers the perfect red wine for every occasion—from steak frites on Monday, to boeuf bourgignon with the in-laws on Sunday, and everything between.
Many of France’s best red wines are labeled with the name of the wine appellation, rarely by grape variety.
If you’ve ever felt completely overwhelmed while browsing an French wine section, knowing just a few key wine names will help keep your shopping trip focused and ensure that you have the perfect wine to drink at a moment’s notice.
Southwest France (Sud Ouest) is best known for what it isn’t. Frankly, and unfortunately, it’s not widely recognized at all. With an accompanying eye-roll, I must report that many people have asked me – quite genuinely – “where is Southwest France?”!
Let’s get positioned on the map. Sud Ouest is the deepest rural France, la France profonde. “In terroir terms, it’s a big area and rather difficult to generalise about, but most of the high-quality vineyard zones…owe their existence to the slopes created by rivers coming down either from the Massif Central, or from the Pyrenees. The overall zone is the Aquitaine Basin, and almost all of the soils…have been developed from sedimentary rocks of various kinds, or by the action of the rivers themselves.”(1)
The Wine Scholar Guild is offering a 5-days study tour to the Southwest wine region of France on October 16-21, 2016. Instruction is provided by famed wine journalist and Southwest expert Andrew Jefford.
While we think every wine lover and Francophile should take that tour, here are 7 great reasons to tour Southwest France: