On Friday the 8th of January we are back after our short break, with the third episode of our talk show “Cellar Talks” welcoming James Flewellen, educator in wine and the creator of a great learning tool; Wine Maps. Learn more about our guest in this short introduction.
Dr James Flewellen is a biophysicist, award-winning wine writer and educator based in London, UK. James learned his trade in taste during his doctoral studies through the University of Oxford Blind Wine Tasting Society, of which he was the President from 2010-2012. During his term, he represented Oxford University at many international blind tasting competitions – twice winning the prestigious ‘Top Taster’ Award in the annual Varsity blind tasting match against Cambridge University and captaining winning teams in competitions throughout Europe. Reporting on the 58th Varsity Match in the Financial Times, Jancis Robinson MW described him as “…the most impressive taster of the lot…”. James’s ‘day job’ sees him investigating the biomechanics of HIV and the immune system at the Francis Crick Institute.
James holds the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wine and Spirits and is a judge for the International Wine Challenge. He has set out to clarify the complex and hard-to-navigate world of wine for both novice and experienced tasters. His approach? He applies his scientific training to wine education, illuminating concepts of taste, tannin and terroir in an approachable, entertaining manner. Next to all of this James is a writer and co-authored the original Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting, which won the Gourmand Award for Best Drinks Education Book in the UK, and placed second in the world. His wine writing has also been recognised with the Wine Travel Award by the Millésima Blog Awards in 2019.
About the Wine Maps
Grape varieties, wine styles, soil types, effects of rivers and oceans, the weather… Once you start getting into it, there is a lot to get your head around to understand a wine region. There is also a lot of information out there, online and in books. There is a lot of good information – but it can be dense, overly detailed, sometimes expensive, and possibly out of date. There is also a lot of bad information – simplistic, inaccurate, or just plain wrong.
In 2020, James launched a new way to learn about wine – infographic wine guides. For many months James has been working on a new way of presenting this information in as clear, concise and simple a manner as possible – without compromising on the detail. His innovative guides cover the wine regions of France and are designed for wine lovers and wine students alike. They present a wealth of information on a wine region in a clear, concise and elegant manner.
The sets consist of a series of study guides that cover the wine regions of France. They are rigorously researched, using the most up-to-date facts and figures available. They are graphically designed to present the information for each region clearly, concisely and beautifully. Designed with the wine student in mind, they follow closely the syllabus for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Each single piece of map contains a summary of everything you need to know for an exam question on that particular region.
The guides come in two sets: an ‘Intro’ set (which follows the WSET level 3 syllabus) and a ‘Complete’ set (aimed at the more advanced wine student; e.g. WSET Diploma and beyond).
We are looking forward to talking to James and learning about his interesting background and the Wine Maps. Be sure to tune in on Instagram Live through our Dutch Wine Apprentice account on Friday the 8t of January, 19:30h CET.
Click here for instructions on how to follow a live show on Instagram Live. If you have questions for our guest you are welcome to prepare them and e-mail them to us or send them as a direct message on our Instagram account.
You can find a link to the recording of the show here.