Rethinking Education: Shaping the Future of Trade

Rethinking Education – Recording of a webinar that took place on April 18th 2023

“Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.” Thomas Friedman

Over the last few months, necessities big and small have arisen – or continue to grow- for the wine trade. With most western countries experiencing hospitality vacancies way higher than those recorded during pre-pandemic levels (72% for the UK), recruiting staff with adequate skills might be one of the most pressing necessities for the on-trade. On the off-trade, major surges in cost means a necessity to find creative ways of building value and connect with the end consumers.

Both the on-trade and off-trade sector are also on a long-term journey to develop diversity, equity and inclusion, and are evolving in a context where environmental and social sustainability are the new status quo.

In this context, do we need to rethink training and trade education? What do we need to teach to future wine trade professionals? Can we agree on a consensus on curriculum, knowledge, and skills to develop? In terms of education, what are the “suddenly possible” that could lead to big breakthroughs?

To explore all these questions and more, we were pleased to welcome the below panelists:

Jenny Hemmer, Executive Director, Guildsomm, USA

Hemmer is the Executive Director at GuildSomm, a nonprofit international membership organization for wine, spirits, and beverage professionals and aficionados.

Hemmer’s breadth of wine industry experience includes a long career with E. & J. Gallo Winery with leadership roles in distributor and regional sales, talent acquisition, corporate public relations and communications, sales training, and wine and spirits education.  

Muti Jansuphapchai, Director, The Bald Guru, China

Muti Jansuphapchai

Muti Jansuphapchai is Director of The Bald Guru, a wine brand based in China that imports, promotes, educates, distributes, sells, and collaborates with the new generation winemakers of the world who share the same core beliefs and values of maintaining environmental-consciousness in the vineyards and pursuing extreme purity in its wines by respecting its “terroir”. Muti also opened the first natural wine bar in Guangzhou, China and has recently started a “pet nat” project in Ningxia, China.

Sören Polonius, Wine director, Adam & Albin Group, Sweden

Soren, a sommellier

In addition to his responsibilities as a wine director for one of the major hospitality group in Sweden, Sören is the ASI (International Sommeliers Association) Education Committee Director. In the recent years, he has been deeply involved in the publication of the ASI guidelines, a base document providing the foundation of knowledge for sommeliers accross the globe. Sören leads all of the ASI bootcamps across the world. His deep investment in the sommelier community led him to create and coach the Swedish national sommelier team, ”Swesomm”.

Main themes addressed:

  • Is there a difference between training and teaching, training and education?
  • Do we need to inform, or shape?
  • Does wine teaching need to come with a sense of purpose?
  • What impact do we want wine education to have on our trade?
  • What values do we want to share? Any uncompromising ones?
  • Does wine education come with responsibilities?
  • What knowledge, skills, attitudes and values will today’s students need to thrive and shape their world?
  • How can we insure access to information, place, people and wine?
  • What training to educators themselves need?
  • What do we know about the best pedagogical approaches to wine?

To stay in touch with ARENI, subscribe to our (free) newsletter: