A lockdown suggestion from a local vicar prompted wine expert Sarah McKenzie, to launch her own online business to share her love and knowledge of the subject.
Lets Talk Wine is the result, a weekly four week course of wine expertise and tastings, as well as private wine tasting parties and events too.
“The response has been really great – so many people are interested in learning about wine and found the classes interactive and fun.”
Originally from Essex, Sarah moved to Oxfordshire nearly six years ago to work at the Michelin starred Nut Tree Inn at Murcott near Bicester.
Unable to work during lockdown but keen to keep using her skills and expertise, Sarah launched Lets Talk Wine to teach people more about wine and how to pair it with food.
Sarah told us: “During lockdown I was beginning to get bored, and the local vicar from Charlton on Otmoor suggested that I ran a Zoom evening to teach them how to pair wine with their Christmas dinner. So I did!
“From there I created Lets Talk Wine. It’s all a bit of fun really, and a relaxed informative evening. Each week we cover several topics; from learning the lingo, to how wine is made, how climates affect the flavours of grapes, plus food and wine pairing.”
Sarah then threw in some wine tasting classes for good measure to teach people to taste like a pro.
But when January emerged and there was still an avid audience ready to continue with her classes, Sarah knew she was onto a winner.
“I decided to start taking the idea a little more seriously and every week now teach people all about the world of wine. The response has been really great – so many people are interested in learning about wine and have found the classes interactive and fun.”
Sarah’s new venture is a natural progression, having trained in hospitality before moving to Oxfordshire to work at The Nut Tree Inn, and training to become a sommelier. She now runs the restaurant floor at the Michelin starred restaurant and is in charge of the wine list.
As someone who works in the hard-hit hospitality industry, how has lockdown been for Sarah then?
“I was so busy creating the LETS TALK WINE classes that I didn’t really have time to think about it. I am now putting all my energy into the business.”
And what of when we return to normal? “I would love to continue with the wine classes. They run on a Monday evening on my day off so I can still run them when I return to work. Who knows where it will go from there? I am just taking every month as it goes and sharing my love of wine with others.”
Sarah is hosting an English Sparkling Wine event on Saturday March 6, collaborating with Very English Wine. Buy your tickets here:
LETS TALK WINE classes in March start on Monday March 8. Contact Sarah via email: firstname.lastname@example.org