Sarah Jane Evans MW
Master of Wine Sarah Jane tastes up to 6000 wines a year - and shares her expert observations with Good Food
Sarah Jane is one of just 63 women in the world to become a Master of Wine. This phenomenal achievement means that Sarah Jane is one of only 257 people to ever be awarded the title since the course began in 1953.
The title means that Sarah Jane is more than an expert in her field. The exam is notoriously hard to pass and involves tasting 36 wines 'blind' and analysing and identifying them over three mornings. After that there are four sessions of exams covering growing vines, making wine, marketing and branding and key global issues to the wine world. There is then a dissertation which Sarah Jane wrote on sherry, a favourite topic of hers.
Dedication and education
Sarah Jane was Associate editor on Good Food for 12 years and always had a love of wine. She and her husband started attending evening classes at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, which is a great place to start for anyone interested in wine.
Being an expert in wine is not for the faint-hearted, Sarah Jane tastes up to 6000 wines a year. It's tough on the teeth and you can't wear lipstick, nail varnish, perfume, or anything that interferes with the aromas of the wine.
- An obvious question, but what's your favourite wine?
- If you're paying, a bottle of Clos du Mesnil from Krug (approx £400+). It's a champagne from a walled vineyard and is proof that wine made from a specific site can have really individual character. There are a lot of dull, or heavy, or acid champagnes around. This is a revelation: so delicate, so complex and so fresh.
If I am paying, then it's a sherry. Usually a half bottle of Manzanilla from Sanlucar de Barrameda. It's equally fine, and equally intense, but it coudn't be more different. It makes me dream of standing at a bar eating seafood and almonds!
- Who do you admire in the wine industry and why?
- As a communicator, Oz Clarke. He knows his stuff, but he wears his learning very lightly. He makes wine fun and not intimidating, and has encouraged many people to experiment.
- Share your wine knowledge, tell us a fact we can throw into a conversation.
- The French region of Bordeaux produces more wine than the whole of Australia.
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