Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 11.04.26GLASSES are clinking at some of the North East’s top restaurants, as they raise a toast to successfully graduating wine school.

Staff from House of Tides, Blackfriars Restaurant, Rockliffe Hall and Jesmond Dene House have upped their wine game, having completed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 and 3 Awards in Wines and Spirits

The successful students were presented with their certificates at an event held at House of Tides, which was recently awarded a Michelin star just under two years since opening.

Will Dennison, head sommelier at House of Tides, signed up for members of the restaurant’s service team to take part in the course, to buff up on their understanding of wine, and how it works with food.

Mr Dennison said: “It’s easy to underestimate just what a difference a well-matched glass of wine can make to a dining experience, but – for a restaurant that is aiming to be the best in all that it does – knowledge in this area is absolutely crucial.

“We have stunning food from Kenny Atkinson and his team, and some fantastic wines from around the world, but it is important to me that the front of house team understand what it is that makes that wine special, and what a client might like so we can make really good recommendations.”

Thirteen students in all successfully completed the courses, which were delivered by Newcastle Wine School, the leading source of wine education in the North East.  NWS, part of the Local Wine School network, provides coordinated and bespoke training to the industry, as well as educational classes to consumers and wine enthusiasts, allowing anybody interested in a wine to attend and learn more.

Mr Dennison added: “NWS and tutor Helen Savage provided a course that gives our team all the knowledge they need and more.  We are already putting this knowledge into practice at House of Tides.”

Course tutor Helen Savage, is one of Britain’s most respected and knowledgeable wine writers and educators, and has been collaborating with Newcastle Wine School over the last year on the delivery of WSET courses.

Combined, Newcastle Wine School and Savage have an almost 100 per cent record in getting students from different backgrounds through the qualifications, with the majority achieving a merit or distinction.

David Harker, NWS owner, said: “To work with some of the region’s finest restaurants is fantastic, and really does demonstrate the growing appetite for knowledge of the world of wine and the appreciation that these venues have for wine’s importance with a meal.

“The perfect wine can transform a good dining experience into an outstanding one.  This investment in training from some of the best places to dine in the North East is a big vote of confidence in our course, and it’s been great to support them.”

For more information on courses at The Newcastle Wine School and qualifications available, visit www.newcastlewineschool.com, or call 0191 704 2161.

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