Get to know Anjali Douglas
1. How did you get into the wine industry?
Like many in the trade, wine is my second career. When the festival I was working on didn’t secure funding for the following year, I thought ‘it’s now or never’ and took the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines. I then got a job in a wine bar and haven’t looked back!
2. Why did you decide to study the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines?
I think the best teachers are ones who can remember what it’s like to be a student – it can be easy to forget how overwhelming studying a new subject can be. I can certainly relate as a Diploma student!
I’m a woman of colour in an industry that lacks diversity – having an esteemed credential like the WSET Diploma reminds me that I deserve to have a seat at the table, and allows me to be part of the change I wish to see.
3. Do you have a favourite wine or grape variety?
I have loads of faves but Txakoli and dry sherry remind me of being on holiday.
4. Why do you think it’s important for people to learn more about wine?
Whatever subjects and issues are important to you, there are often stories about wine that relate to them. In my own wine education, I’ve studied topics as diverse as the impact of climate change, how consumer wine habits can foreshadow a financial crisis, the effects of colonialism, and the perfect pairing for a packet of Quavers (it’s Champagne).
It’ll also help you wade through the mountains of misinformation out there. You can figure out why you like what you like, which can save you a few quid.
5. What do you enjoy most about teaching at WSET School London?
It’s a tossup between working alongside a faculty of brilliant educators and the close proximity to Borough Market.
6. What are your favourite topics to teach?
I like teaching sparkling and fortified wine, as students often arrive with one view and leave with another.
7. Do you have any advice for people wishing to enter the drinks industry?
Try to remain a generalist as long as you can. Staying curious about all categories will always teach you something valuable and help futureproof your career.
8. Do you have any top tip(s) for passing WSET exams?
Read the material in advance of classroom sessions and ask lots of questions.
9. In your opinion, what is the future of the wine industry?
More diverse, more sustainable, more English and Welsh fizz.
10. What is your dream job?
I wouldn’t mind being a crisp educator, my second love. In lockdown I started Sip & Snack, pairing wine and snacks together.
11. What is your proudest achievement?
In 2018 a friend and I created Wine Tales. We organise tastings in unusual settings to raise money for causes we care about. The one I’m most proud of was a spotlight on Greek wine, with delicious food pairings – raising money for the MS Society.