Majestic fields top student in the annual WSET awards

23 February, 2007

Majestic worker Claire Dawson scooped the top prize at last week's WSET awards of excellence.

Dawson, formerly manager of Swindon branch and currently on maternity leave, was awarded the Vintners' Cup and Scholarship for achieving the highest aggregate mark in the level four diploma. She also won the Vintners' scholarship, a fund to be used for visiting wine and spirit-producing regions.

Majestic again topped the league table , with five staff winning awards , including two at diploma level.

Majestic chief executive Tim How said the retailer's traditionally strong performance was due to its staff's "willingness and their dedication to putting time into study". He added: "It's something both they and Majestic can be very proud of. It's great for them to win the awards and a real privilege to win the top award."

How said 60 Majestic staff are currently studying for the diploma.

Oddbins was close behind Majestic , with four workers winning prizes. An Oddbins spokeswoman said: "We are very proud of their achievements and wish them well in their enjoyment of their prizes and future forays. This reinforces our commitment to our staff and the staff training programme." Three Bibendum staff landed awards.

WSET chief executive Ian Harris and Tesco BWS boss Dan Jago hosted the ceremony, this year giving 38 awards to top-performing WSET students.

Harris said: "Once again, Majestic w as very well represented, but I was ­encouraged to see so many new names among the employers of the winners."

Four new WSET corporate sponsors were announced : Liberty Wines, Mentzendorff, Match Consultants and Symington Family Estates. The Symingtons will also sponsor a new award, the Graham's port scholarship, from next year.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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