A World of Tasting Methods

Meeting of the Minds
With Andrew Jefford, Barry Smith, Julien Boulard MW, Matthew Stubbs MW, Pascaline Lepeltier MOF
Jun 17 2020

Summary: 

  • What are the main tasting methods and what are their key characteristics? 
  • How do different cultures, languages and sensibilities impact how wine tasting is approached? 
  • Can we envision a more overarching and universal tasting method? 

These are some of the questions we will be addressing in the upcoming Meeting of the Minds on July 22nd.

Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford, speaking from France, will be bringing together a panel of key thinkers, educators, writers and experts in four countries to discuss a world of tasting methods. UK-based Professor Barry Smith not only directs the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Study at London University, but is also founding director of the Centre for the Study of the Senses/CenSes, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists. He is himself a philosopher of language and mind. Sommelière (and former philosophy student) Pascaline Lepeltier MS, speaking from New York, grew up and studied in the French tradition of wine appreciation but has spent much of her working life talking about wine to Anglophones. UK-based Matthew Stubbs MW is one of the wine world’s most experienced and popular educators, and has taught both on his own behalf and for WSET and IMW around the world. Finally, speaking from Nanning in China, comes Julien Boulard MW, one of the most brilliant of recent MW graduates and a wine educator in China whose mastery of Mandarin sees him regularly appearing on Chinese media.

Host & Panelists: 

Andrew Jefford

Andrew, Academic Advisor to the Wine Scholar Guild, has been writing about wine since 1988, notably for The Evening Standard and The Financial Times among other UK newspapers.  He has columns in every edition of Decanter magazine and World of Fine Wine magazine, and is co-chair of Decanter World Wine Awards and vice-chair of Decanter Asia Wine Awards. His books include The New France, Whisky Island and Andrew Jefford’s Wine Course.

Pascaline Lepeltier MS, MOF:

  • 2018 Best French Sommelier
  • Master Sommelier and Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) 
  • Highly qualified and experienced speaker and presenter
  • Managing Partner at Racines (NYC) and Former Beverage Director at Rouge Tomate (NYC)

Matthew Stubbs MW:

  • More than 30 years experience in the wine trade, from importing and distribution to running a supermarket wine department.
  • Master of Wine since 1996, winner of the Bollinger Medal for the best tasting paper and the Listel Scholarship for the best Vinification paper.
  • Actively involved with the Institute as Practical Examiner, seminar lecturer or mentor.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Practical Chair of the MW Education Committee.

Julien Boulard MW:

  • Born in Alsace, Julien arrived in China in 2003 after studying Mandarin at University
  • After completing a Master's degree in International Affairs, he worked for five years for a wine importer in Nanning, China
  • Founder and owner of Zhulian Wines wine school in China, offering both WSET and WSG programs
  • His fluency in Mandarin, both spoken and written, as well as his wine knowledge and experience as a wine educator, enabled him to become a key professional on the Chinese wine scene
  • He is a judge for various wine competitions in China and Hong Kong
  • Read Julien's full interview HERE

Prof Barry C Smith:

  • Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study.
  • Founding director of its Centre for the Study of the Senses, which pioneers collaborative research between philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists.
  • His current research on flavour perception involves collaborations with psychologists, neuroscientists, oenologists and chefs, and he has published theoretical and experimental papers on flavour perception in Nature, Food Quality and Preference, Chemical Senses and Flavour
  • Editor of Questions of Taste: the philosophy of wine for Oxford University Press (2007).
  • Frequent broadcaster, who regularly appears as a sensory expert on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet and BBC Two’s Inside the Factory
  • Presenter of a 10-part series for BBC Radio 4 called The Uncommon Senses
  • Frequent contributor to The World of Fine Wine and for seven years was wine columnist for Prospect Magazine.

Learn More About Wine Tasting:


Meeting of the Minds - A World of Tasting Methods

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