Drink Warehouse UK Blogs

Published on February 20, 2023.

Why wine training for the on-trade HAS to change?

Part 3 by Scott Malyon.

What’s happening people? Wrapping up this little three part post around ‘Why I think wine training HAS to change’. Towards the end of the last post, I (almost) started a ramble on the whole piece around food and wine, which is easily, the most appealing part of a well produced and well delivered training session, in my experience. 


So, rather than reel off a load of guff, I thought best to just bullet point some top things that I pull out the bag, every time I run a session. So, here goes:

– Sounds obvious, but always, always begin with the very basic concept of how wine can enhance the experience of a plate of nosh. I do mean proper basics too


– hot beans, cold cheddar cheese and a thick piece of buttered toast. Pure joy. A glass of Pinot Noir with these is even more joy. This is Texture vs. Texture in a nutshell.

– There are loads more like the above, to keep things ‘real’ but then apply this to the very menu/s at the place in which the training is taking place. At the end of the day, these people need transferable and useable info from the session to use that evening at service ideally.

– Challenge the chef! Most times, before going into the establishment, I will try to arrange for the chef to produce some examples of dishes from their own menu, to use in the training session. Again, obvious stuff here, but it’s as good as a promise, that if people try the stuff that I am talking about in the session, it helps so much. Not only because it’s fun, but it just instills what I am saying and acts as proof, that my know-how around food and wine pairing is valid. Don’t ask, you don’t get right?

– Last one is all in the wrap up at the end. I always ask most (if not all) in attendance what their death row dinner is. Whatever Ithey tell me, I will tie that in with their own menu that they already know. Then it’s a true full circle piece of wine training.


So many more facets of course, which makes this so fascinating and enjoyable, to me. This is just a very small part of a MUCH bigger piece around bullet proof wine training. Nobody wants ranty show offs, nobody needs encyclopaedic speeches about old vines and nobody wants a stuffy wino talking in riddles. For the most part, 90% of the people on the receiving end of any training session I have ever done, have engaged with me over my style of delivery as opposed to the detail of content, providing their is sufficient substance of course. In boxing, styles make fights right?


Enough said. 


Has this helped anyone?



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About the author

Scott Malyon

Scott is Sheridan Cooper’s new wine expert, with 15 years experience in the wine industry. His main mission is to ensure that wine is inclusive and not exclusive and to ensure that people who enjoy a glass of wine, really see that it is as much a part of popular culture as anything else. Scott believes in immersive education around wine, removing any fluff and nonsense that would otherwise confuse people. There are over 12,000 grapes on this planet that make wine, and so Scott wants to make sure that this is reflected within our wine portfolio to satisfy wine drinkers that seek both comfort and a little discomfort and adventure by trying new things.

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