Our Story

classic beginners wine course


The best place to learn to about fine wine…

Our Story

Established in 1993, the London Wine Academy is one of the oldest independent wine schools in the UK, offering a range of enjoyable and informative wine tastings, award-winning courses, bespoke wine events and staff engagement training.

Founder and director of the Academy, Leta Bester first recognised her passion for the world of wine while studying ‘Commerce and Wine Culture’ at Stellenbosch University in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Having visited most key viticultural regions and working seasons in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, she completed her Diploma of Wine in just five months and in the same year embarked on the Master of Wine programme.

After five years as a freelance educator, Leta was determined to develop her own global programme of structured wine courses with a core focus on the needs of consumers … making the world of wine more accessible at all levels in a friendly, professional and contemporary way.

“Our aim is for course attendees to discover the joy of wine, guiding them on their wine appreciation journey and helping them to understand what’s in the glass; improve on their tasting skills and be able to pick out their next wines with

What our customers say

“Very knowledgeable, professional and friendly tutors and held in excellent venues. I also enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and meeting other wine and food enthusiasts” – Sue Davies

“Leta was a super instructor and host and struck the perfect balance between education and fun. We thoroughly enjoyed our Gourmet Wine and Food Matching Experience. Everything exceeded our expectations, and the food was superb” – Caroline M.

New Developments

The London Wine Academy turns 30 this Autumn and in recognition of this incredible milestone, the promise of adding an exciting future training venue in coastal Dorset early next year.

They were also selected by the Comité de Champagne as the only Wine School in the UK to offer their brand-new Champagne Professional training courses, launching early next year.

Sign up to the London Wine Academy today and ignite your senses!

Why should you choose us?

With unparalleled expertise, our educators are the very best in their field and include Masters of Wine, Wine Buyers and top Sommeliers. We understand that expertise is not everything and only use passionate people who have the ability to communicate and pass on knowledge, whatever your level.


  • We offer an excellent standard of tuition
    • Taste from a world-class selection of wines, offering value for money at all price points;
  • Become part of an engaged community of wine enthusiasts.
    • Be taught by an accomplished team of wine professionals with up-to-date knowledge and insight into emerging wine trends;
  • Our courses are great value for money
  • Our sample wines and course content are very carefully selected to aid the learning experience and explain the basics about learning how to taste like a professional
  • Personal attention because you matter to us
  • Tailored bespoke corporate and private wine event packages to suit specific budgets and requirements.

So don’t delay! Book with us today…


Our tutors are the very best in their field and include Masters of Wine, Wine Buyers and top Sommeliers. We understand that expertise is not everything and only use passionate people who have the ability to communicate and pass on knowledge, whatever your level.


We are experienced at organising bespoke wine events to suit your budget and requirements, whether for private or corporate entertainment. Please call us or see our separate corporate events brochure for more information. Staff training (restaurant, bar or retail) is also available and can be tailor-made to suit your company’s needs.


Our fun and informative Introductory One Day Workshops run at weekends throughout the year and are great for wine lovers of any standard seeking a comprehensive overview to the exciting world of wine. Our more specialised workshops for example the. Burgundy, Bordeaux or Champagne Workshops are tutored experts and will explore a region or subject in-depth. All workshops include a 2 or 3 course lunch and food and wine matching is always a key theme. Professional tasting glasses and course notes are provided for all workshops.


These longer win courses  follow the systematic approach to wine tasting and cover all the main grape varieties, styles and regions of the world. Most wines are tasted “blind” or unseen so that you learn to judge the quality of a wine on merit, without any preconceptions. We aim to give you the tools to understand the wines that you are drinking and the knowledge to experiment with new styles and buy with confidence. Production methods, ageing potential, food matching, storage conditions, wine faults and other important issues are covered on all courses. Our Four Session Beginners course run over four 2 hour sessions. 

From 2024 we are also offering the  Comite de Champagne Official Champagne Specialist course. The only Wine School in the UK to offer this course.


Wine tastings make the perfect gift for birthdays, Christmas, and special occasions. The Academy’s open-dated vouchers offer the recipient a wide choice ranging from One Day’s Beginner’s Sensory Tasting, Spanish Wine and Tapas Masterclasses , also taking home practical tips for wine and food matching.

Should you wish to give someone a wine tasting gift voucher for Christmas, birthdays or any special occasion, you will receive the voucher at the time of booking online via email.  Vouchers can be booked for a specific date or you can book an open voucher redeemable against any of our courses (valid for 12 months from the date of purchase).  Monetary Wine Tasting Gift Vouchers can be used towards any of our courses.

Full details to be found at: https://londonwineacademy.com/gift-vouchers/


You are welcome to book online on our secure website. Alternatively, please return your booking form via email or fax along with your payment. We accept Switch, Visa, American Express, MasterCard or cheque
Maestro The London Wine Academy
Mastercard The London Wine Academy
American Express The London Wine Academy
Visa The London Wine Academy