Established in 2010, Vinoscenti offers world class certified wine education from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). With our expertise and wealth of knowledge in the beverage industry, we offer a wide range of courses and events for everyone; from beginners to professionals and aficionados to connoisseurs. Our mandate is to not only teach about wine and spirits, but to develop a passion and understanding of them through exploration in an unpretentious, relaxed and friendly way.
We are proud to have been the first Wine School in Canada to offer the WSET courses in Chinese and we continue to be the leading Wine School in Vancouver offering courses in Chinese both WSET and non -certified.
Vinoscenti-Canada is an Approved Program Provider by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), a UK Based organization and a global leader in wine and spirits education, Vinoscenti-Canada is part of Vinoscenti-Global which also extends to Singapore, China and Taiwan. Certification from WSET is formally and internationally recognized in the wine and hospitality trades. BC Wine School is our satellite in Vancouver BC.
Vinoscenti-Canada also provides top services in personally wine shopping as well as wine consulting. Wine accessories such as wine racks and wine coolers represented by Vinoscenti-Canada are also selected from the finest providers in Canada.
Dr. Clinton Lee
Dr. Clinton Lee brings the business perspective to the wine world at the BC Wine School. His areas of interest are wine investments, exports and the creation of wine alliances with Asian countries like China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. With the global expansion of wines and spirits in Asia, students will in addition to the great tastings also learn about what is happening in the market regarding trends across the ocean in Asia. He is a holder of the prestigious WSET Diploma and he is a Certified WSET Educator. Other qualification include the French Wine Scholar, Certified Specialist in Wine and Certified Specialist in Spirits from the Society of Wine Educators in the United States. He is currently undertaking his Master of Wine studies. Clinton holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy, an MBA in Finance, a Doctorate in Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute. He speaks Cantonese and Mandarin.
In a former lifetime, Denis worked in corporate finance and took wine courses out of general interest. This general interest has turned into a full time profession as a winery sales representative during the week and a wine retail consultant on the weekends. In his spare time, he is either studying wine or a recreational quaffer. He has spent a few vintages working as a cellar hand at an Okanagan winery and produced his own wine as an amateur wine maker and general wine geek. Mr. Chen holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UBC (Sauder School of Business) with a concentration in marketing and information systems. Denis is currently enrolled in the WSET diploma program. In his spare time he can be found on the local mountains snowboarding, sailing the waters around Howe Sound or on his bike on the seawall.
George Chu began his career in the wine industry as a bartender at the prestigious Hotel Vancouver. Later on after having mastered the skills of bartending he felt the need to improve on his skills and career path and made the decision to relocate to Montreal. This was possible as George speaks French in addition to Chinese and English. His journey in the culinary aspect was to become an apprentice cook at the well known and highly respected Piazza Di Tomasso. There-after, now well skilled he came back to Vancouver and was made the assistant manager at the popular and iconic Flamingo House Restaurant. His next career move was to become the Manager Director and Owner at the Peninsula Restaurant. After many globe trotting excursions George decided to create the Gevadon Consulting Group, where he serves as the Principal for a highly sought after consulting firm whose services are hospitality, food and beverage focused. He is low key as his clients appreciate the privacy he offers. Some of his clients are Sun Sui Wah, Regent Restaurant and Da Pasta Bar to name but a few.
A professional engineer by day, and wine aficionado by night! Starting with some junior courses years ago to aid in the understanding of a growing hobby, Megan has taken her love of wine to another level by graduating in 2010 with her diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Working part time at a local wine boutique has added to the mix, and when not searching for that next great bottle, she can be find scouring cookbooks and pantries looking for the perfect food and wine match.
Tomonari Machida first got involved in the alcohol beverage industry through his family restaurant business and family vacations down to California. Upon graduating from University, he was bitten by the wine bug while working as a bartender for a major restaurant chain at night while he was a substitute teacher during the day. After wandering through the minefields of a high school teacher and other odd jobs, Tomonari switched to wine retail at a private liquor store in Edmonton, AB. Needless to say, his passion and personal collection of wines grew. Several years and many bottles of wine later, Tomonari moved back to Vancouver, BC in order to help out with the family business. Not wanting to take over the business, it was sold a couple of years later and Tomonari returned to the liquor retail industry. Working as a manager in the privatized system, he has completed the WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate and has attended many industry seminars and tastings. He is currently in the process of completing the WSET Level 4 Diploma program. Future educational plans include certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Society of Wine Educators and the Sake Education Council. Tomonari’s education background is a Bachelor degree in Education and a Bachelor degree in Management. He is certified by the BC College of Teachers and speaks Japanese, Chinese, French and English.
Annie Lau loves Italy, especially the food, wine and culture. Coming from a Chinese background she is often asked if noodles originally came from Italy or China. Try and guess her answer, or better yet, ask her yourself when you meet her in her class. With a solid 25 year career in investment and finance, she has tried many a fine wine during each successful year. From a young age, she was the culinary adventurer in her family, introducing them to the international cuisine of Vancouver. Passionate about fine wines and culinary arts Anne felt compelled to study the “foodie” skills and has a culinary qualification. She has visited many famous, romantic and vineyards in Italy and France including Chateau Lafite Rothschild, which inspired her initial involvement in the wine world and business. Her particular area of expertise is Italy. She is also tri-lingual speaking Italian, English and Chinese.
Jeff Osborne is an internationally trained and experienced food and beverage management professional. Jeff has built a strong career leading complex teams at the cutting edge of the food and beverage industry with only the best brands. Jeff brings the hospitality, service, and whole wine experience perspective to BC Wine School. During his 12 years in Food and Beverage management Jeff has been able to incorporate his love of travel and has both gained great experiences and provided many fantastic food and beverage experiences at unique destinations in Mexico, Bahamas, Turks, Caicos and on both coasts of Canada. Several years later than intended, Jeff made the move to complement his passion for wine with official training and education and has no intention of stopping any time soon. After completing WSET 1, 2, & 3 at BC Wine School, Jeff continued to show up for class weekly despite having completed the final exam, thus proving the passion required to move forward into a teaching role.
Kyle Gartlan-Close is born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. His passion and drive for all things wine and food developed from a young age working in the restaurant industry while completing his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminology through Simon Fraser University. Following stints of travel in the United Kingdom and Washington State, Kyle commenced his wine studies through the International Sommelier Guild, where he graduated top of the class in 2009. Kyle has over 15 years experience working the frontlines of the hospitality industry in Vancouver. Most recently with the Heather Hospitality Group Kyle worked as the wine director for the group and the General Manager for their wine bar property Salt Tasting Room. Kyle is constantly expanding his wine and food knowledge through global travels to wine and gastronomic regions. He has completed harvests in Oregon’s Wilamette Valley and BC’s Okanagan Valley, as well as competing in numerous Sommelier competitions. This past fall as an invited attendee Kyle traveled to Jerez, Spain to participate in the Sherry Educators course put on by the regions Consejo Regulador. Kyle has proudly served in Oregon for three years at the International Pinot Noir Celebration as an invited Maitre’d Hotel and Sommelier and continues to focus on inspiring and mentoring young sommeliers and wine aficionados. Currently Kyle is working on a pop-up restaurant cafe project inspired by regional travels in Andalusia Spain, as well as consulting for many top Vancouver restaurants.
Plamen brings real passion to teaching stemming from a decade-long experience within the wine & spirit business in both Canada and his native Bulgaria. He is currently a consultant with Lifford Wine Agency, a key importer of fine wines & spirits with presence across Canada. Plamen is a graduate of WSET Diploma and is currently studying to become Master of Wine.
Daughter of a winemaker, Sandrina’s practical knowledge in the wine industry started over 20 years ago at her family’s Blue Grouse Estate Winery. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business, she continued to work as the general manager of the winery. She later expanded her wine experience as Sommelier, Wine Educator, and Events Manager in Calgary, Alberta. Among her many accomplishments in the industry, she hosted a radio show called Wine Wednesday and is also the former President of the Vancouver Island Vintners Association. Sandrina was recently the Dining Room Instructor and Sommelier of Culinaria Restaurant at the Art Institute International Culinary School in Vancouver. Today she continues to be a part-time Wine Educator. Sandrina is married and full-time mother to her daughter Gisèle. Sandrina is trilingual with fluency in French, German and English.
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