Three cheers for UCB's young sommelier

May 2016

Budding sommelier Andrew Johnson is the toast of the town after securing sponsorship to study with a leading wine and spirit education charity.

He might only be 18, but Andrew, from Four Oaks in Sutton Coldfield, is determined to make a name for himself as a wine steward, and is hoping the sponsorship deal will open doors for him.

The UCB student has been sponsored by the Midlands Wine and Spirit Association to study with the prestigious Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

Andrew, who set his heart on studying at UCB after attending an open day at the age of 14, was nominated by his tutors after impressing them with his 100 per cent attendance rate and flair for wine studies.

The former Arthur Terry School pupil is studying the Level 3 Food and Beverage Service course.

He will now complete a Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits with the WSET, exploring the major grape varieties and important wine regions in which they are grown, as well as key classifications and labelling terminology.

Andrew said studying at UCB had increased his confidence. He explained: “I’m naturally a quiet person, but this course has brought me out of my shell.  I feel like I’m a different person when I’m at UCB.

“Students are given every opportunity to grow. The lecturers give you their know-how, but also their contacts within the industry. They can see how confident I have become.”

Christine Alberto, Food and Beverage Service lecturer at UCB, said it was gratifying to see students succeeding. She added: “We want to inspire our students and stretch them. Andrew has really blossomed and I know he will go far in this industry.”

Amy Hollier, Assistant Dean of UCB’s College of Food, added: “The WSET sponsorship was kindly offered to us by the Midlands Wines and Spirits Association who hold their AGM here every year.  Andrew seemed like the perfect candidate as he has achieved 100 per cent attendance and has always been enthusiastic and committed and shown a real flair for wine tasting in his wine studies classes.”

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