Wine educators

Our teaching faculty is one of our greatest assets. They’re knowledgeable, passionate, engaging and, most of all, they share a commitment to delivering WSET courses and tastings to the highest educational standards.

The majority of our wine educators hold the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and several of them are Masters of Wine.

Scroll down to meet the team.

Russell Dent DipWSET

Diploma Course Director & Wine Educator

Russell co-ordinates all Level 4 Diploma in Wines courses run by WSET School London and is the go-to contact for anyone studying this prestigious qualification. He also teaches about wine at all levels. Russell specialises in tasting technique, viticulture and vinification, Alsace and Bordeaux.

"I believe a little knowledge and experimentation can help anyone discover new and exciting products."

Read our Q&A with Russell

Lydia Harrison MW

Head of Education and Events & Wine Educator

Lydia has spent her entire career in the wine industry, starting in retail at Majestic Wine where she worked for six years. She got a Distinction in the WSET Diploma and won the coveted Vintners' Scholarship for the highest mark in the UK trade. She became a Master of Wine in August 2019.

"Wine doesn't need to be expensive or pretentious. It is made to be drunk, and most importantly, enjoyed."

Read our Q&A with Lydia


Lauren Denyer DipWSET

Diploma Events and Enrichment Manager & Wine Educator

Lauren teaches all levels of WSET wine qualifications and is the Diploma Events and Enrichment Manager. She has extensive teaching experience having worked as a head of faculty in a secondary school. Lauren is also a Certified Sherry Educator and a Stage 2 Master of Wine student.

"The world of wine is like the ultimate grown-up adventure park. It's a multi-sensory experience of flavour, tastes, science and stunning locations."

Read our Q&A with Lauren 

Julia Lambeth DipWSET

Course Manager for Levels 1-3 & Wine Educator

Julia started out in the wine trade as a novice, working at Majestic Wine for a number of years as a retail manager. After completing the Diploma and winning the Codorníu Scholarship prize, she started a wine tasting company. Julia joined WSET School London's teaching faculty in September 2019.

"Working with wine is great because it’s always changing, even when you think you know a lot there is always something new to learn."

Read our Q&A with Julia

Michael Buriak DipWSET

Level 3 Programme Manager and Wine Educator

Michael co-ordinates all of our Level 3 courses. He is a highly experienced educator and teaches across all levels. His famous anecdotes and unerring passion for his subject have inspired a thirst for knowledge in the thousands of students he has taught during his 30+ years of teaching.

"The world of wine and spirits never stands still - teaching these subjects opens your eyes to this ever-evolving world."

Read our Q&A with Michael

Anjali Douglas DipWSET

Tastings and Events Manager and Wine Educator

Anjali "caught the wine bug" five years ago. She now organises our ever-growing tastings and events programme, ensuring that our offering is packed with opportunities for you to taste an eclectic range of wines, spirits and sake. She also teaches wine qualifications at Level 1-3.

"Staying curious about all wine categories will always teach you something valuable and help futureproof your career."

Read our Q&A with Anjali

Ed Wicks DipWSET

Wine Educator

Ed has been working in the drinks business in some form since he turned 18 years old. He won three awards for his WSET results, and now teaches and runs events at WSET School London. He is also an enthusiastic champion of sweet wines and will probably try to convert you the style.

"Wine is often thought of as a mysterious topic for a select few, but learning about it can open anyone up to experiencing something truly delicious."

Read our Q&A with Ed

Richard Lane DipWSET

Wine Educator

Richard completed the Level 4 Diploma in Wines in 2021. He took on the course after spending a year in South West France, where he discovered his passion for wine. A few months later he started teaching at WSET School London, becoming the first blind person to qualify as a WSET educator.

"There is such a buzz when engaging with a group of motivated students."

Read our Q&A with Richard

Sam Povey

Wine Educator

Sam is a wine educator from Aberdeen, Scotland. He first discovered his interest in wine at university and pursued it by travelling to Georgia and his local wine shop. Today, he teaches the WSET Levels 1-2 Awards in Wines and hosts events at WSET School London.

"The best wines to taste with students are those that divide the room and spark debate."

Read our Q&A with Sam

Lucy Stevenson DipWSET

WSET's Head of Brand and Wine Educator

Lucy teaches wine at WSET Levels 1-4, specialising in the fortified wines unit of the Diploma. She's a Certified Sherry Educator and is keen to convert every student into a sherry drinker! She is also Head of Brand at WSET and loves the blend of classroom and desk time that her job offers her.

"If you’re passionate about travel, food, horticulture, science, or love discovering new things, the drinks world offers you all of this and plenty more."

Read our Q&A with Lucy

Magnavai Janjo DipWSET

Wine Educator

Magnavai passed the WSET Diploma in 2016 and is currently an MW student. In 2020 he established BAME Wine Professionals, an organisation aimed at shining a spotlight on wine talent in the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. He currently teaches about wine at all levels.

"My goal is not only for students to enjoy the courses, but also to channel their thinking towards the practical and real-life application of the courses."

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Michelle Cherutti-Kowal MW

Wine Educator

Michelle is a dual Italian/Canadian citizen who left behind the Toronto finance world to build an enviable career as a freelance wine educator, speaker and consultant in London. An established figure in the global wine trade, Michelle teaches all levels of WSET qualification courses.

"People that think I have my dream job and they are not wrong! I guess being rich enough to have my own winery would be the icing on the cake?"

Read our Q&A with Michelle

Shane Jones DipWSET

Wine and Sake Educator

Having tired of working in an office, Shane took the plunge in 2011 and turned his passion into his profession by joining the wine industry. Shane holds the WSET Diploma and is an enthusiastic sparkling wine specialist. It’s no surprise then that he scooped the Moët & Chandon Scholarship at his graduation!

"I think wine and sake education can be just as powerful as being able to read. It opens up a new world for exploration and gives you confidence."

Read our Q&A with Shane

Anne McHale MW

Wine Educator

Anne is an award-winning Master of Wine, communicator and consultant based in London. In 2016 Anne established her own consultancy and education business, and has enjoyed a varied and exciting career ever since. She currently teaches the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines at WSET School London.

"My specialist areas are the regions of France and I love helping to demystify the complex classification systems for students!"

Read our Q&A with Anne

Mike Best MW

Wine Educator

Mike Best started his career in wine in ASDA's wine department in their head office in Leeds. Today, he works for Boutinot, a distributor with a global portfolio. He passed the WSET Diploma in 2014 and became a Master of Wine in August 2020 – he is currently the youngest MW in the world!

"The more you know about wine, the more you enjoy it."

Read our Q&A with Mike

Claudia Bastiaensen DipWSET

Wine Educator

Claudia fell in love with the world of wine while living and working in France. After initial jobs in marketing for perfume and beer brands, she decided to follow her heart and pursue a career in the wine industry. She has a particular passion for all wines French, sparkling wines and wine business.

"What I enjoy most is meeting people who know very little about wine and witnessing the moment it clicks for them."

Read our Q&A with Claudia

Christine Marsiglio MW MSc

Wine Educator

Christine is the Head Wine Educator and Resident Master of Wine at Wine Folly. In her spare time you'll find her teaching about wine at levels 1-3 at WSET School London. Originally from Canada, her background is in oenology and viticulture. She became a Master of Wine in August 2019.

"The world of wine, spirits and sake offers infinite levels of enjoyment. Just when you think you know something, you discover that there's more to learn."

Read our Q&A with Christine

Chris Martin DipWSET

WSET's Head of Educator Training and Wine Educator

Chris has been teaching teaching wine for eight years, specialising in fortified wines, Germany, central Europe, and the USA. He also trains future WSET educators around the world. He is currently enrolled on the Master of Wine programme.

"The wine world is massive, but WSET makes it approachable, logical and systematic."

Read our Q&A with Chris

Joseph Hallam DipWSET

WSET's Senior Business Development Manager and Wine Educator

Joseph has worked at WSET for eight years. As well as advising on business strategy, Joseph works closely with educators to make sure students across the region have the best WSET experience. This includes helping to deliver WSET’s Educator Training Programme.

"Learning is about making connections. You can endlessly try wines based what you already like and why. You won’t run out of wines to discover."

Read our Q&A with Joseph

Mandy Stevens DipWSET

Wine Educator

Mandy has worked in wine and spirits since finishing university, although she had actually intended on a different career. Straight after graduation, she took herself off to Australia to work as a tennis coach – but ended up working in a winery. She's now been in the industry for over 10 years.

"I love wine. Making it, developing it, learning about it, tasting it, talking about it and of course, drinking it."

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Hannah Aldgate DipWSET

Wine Educator

Hannah worked as an analyst in finance before realising that wine was much more interesting. She has since worked a variety of roles in the industry from marketing to quality assurance. Hannah primarily teaches wine at Level 2 at WSET School London, and across all levels for WSET’s Online Classroom.

"WSET courses were fundamental in helping me develop the knowledge and courage to move to the wine industry."

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Virgilio Gennaro DipWSET

Wine Educator

Virgilio has been involved in hospitality and wine service for over 25 years, working in 5* hotels, fine dining restaurants, brasseries and Michelin-starred establishments. He is currently is Regional Sales Manager at Berkmann Wine Cellars. Outside of work, Virgilio enjoys travelling, reading and martial arts.

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Benjamin McVeigh-Whitaker DipWSET

Wine Educator

Ben currently teaches the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines at WSET School London. He has previously held various roles in wine shops, completed a stint as Head Sommelier at a fancy restaurant, and worked as a wine distributor in London.

"I’m always motivated to communicate the beauty of this wonderful world of wine."

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Leona De Pasquale DipWSET

Wine Educator

Leona is from Taiwan and has been living in the UK for nearly two decades. She didn’t drink any alcohol until the age of 25 when a glass of Gewürztraminer from Alsace ignited her passion for wine. She is now a wine educator, writer and translator. She teaches the Levels 1-3 Awards in Wines at WSET School London.

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Victoria Daskal DipWSET MSc

Wine Educator

Victoria is a wine writer, educator, business owner and consultant with over 15 years of experience in the wine industry. She is the founder of Mummy Wine Club, an award-winning wine subscription club and wine events company based in London. She teaches the Levels 1-3 Awards in Wines at WSET School London.

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Nina Cerullo DipWSET

Wine Educator (tastings and events)

Nina has been educating in the wine trade since 2001, teaching everything from WSET qualifications to advanced masterclasses in various subjects including Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace and Italy. Anyone who has heard Nina speak will know she enormously enjoys passing on her knowledge.

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