You don’t have to know a thing about wine to enjoy your usual glass. But gaining a little wine knowledge will heighten the enjoyment you get with every mouthful.

Now, where to start?

At the most basic level, talk to your local independent merchant! We love nothing more than someone coming to us and asking us to impart some knowledge. Don’t be shy, come into the shop, have a coffee and chat. Send us an email, drop us a DM, dial our number-talking to you is the best part of our job.

Wine tastings offer a wonderful opportunity to learn. No prior knowledge is required. These can take many forms. We always have a bottle or two open at the weekends here in Crossgar. We run mini tastings/wine maker dinners throughout the year. These mostly take place in conjunction with restaurants we supply. Keep an eye out on our events page for upcoming wine events.

Our very own Master of Wine Jane Boyce delivers bi monthly wine suppers at James Street South Cookery School. Each event takes on a different theme and offers the attendee the chance to increase their wine knowledge. 

And if your quest for wine knowledge is still unquenched, then maybe a more formal setting would suit. Throughout Ireland there are a number of Wine and Spirit Education Trust providers who offer various levels of courses. Maureen O’Hara is a great wine educator . Drina Ferguson has trained most of the JN staff, knows her stuff and is in Co Down

For a full list of certified providers visit

"Wine … offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased." --- Ernest Hemingway