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Institute of Wines and Spirits Scotland


We have a simple philosophy that is all to do with expanding our knowledge and enjoyment of wines and spirits.

We hold twelve tastings each year, six in Edinburgh and six in Glasgow - see our Venues, which take the format of an informal guided tasting where our guest speaker shares their knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for their wines or spirits with us.

Over the years we have been very fortunate to be able to attract a very high calibre of speaker. Not only have we had over 50 Masters of Wine, including Jancis Robinson & Rose Murray-Brown, but also winemakers such as Johnny Hugel and Miguel Torres as well as Whyte & McKay Master Blender Richard Paterson. We continue to strive to maintain this high standard of guest presenter.

In addition to our usual meetings we also indulge our appreciation of delicious wines with good food by having an Annual Dinner, a Wine Weekend and a Summer Lunch.


See details of the current year's Calendar here.


The seeds of the Institute were first sown in September 1960 when the former students of the "Wine Classes of the School of Salesmanship" decided that they wished to maintain contact and to discuss the merits and demerits of wine.

The students formed what was then known as the "Edinburgh Wine and Spirit Study Group". Leon Stelmack was elected President, and in recognition of his services to the students, George Henry Smith was appointed Honorary President.

On 30 April 1963, the Institute of Wines, Spirits and Ales came into being as the only body in Scotland that set out to actively promote the interest of wine and spirits from an educational viewpoint.

In 1971, the first West of Scotland meeting was held in Glasgow.




The original objectives of the Institute emphasised the desire to provide an educational function, as they were to


  • To provide facilities enabling members to extend their knowledge and appreciation of alcoholic beverages with the ultimate object being qualification as a Master of Wine.

  • To arrange lectures.

  • To organise visits which members consider to be beneficial.

Current Committee

The current committee is made up of Rob Gilmour (President / Secretary),  Ruth Kynoch (Treasurer), David Alexander (Director of Online Communications), Nicola Gordon, Leah Hawkins and Andrew Lundy (co-opted).

List of Past Presidents

The Institute has been able to attract Presidents from many of the leading companies in the Scottish Wine and Spirit Trade, including:


Current President Rob Gilmour

2012-2015 Neil Gordon  Angel Fine Wines 

2008-2012 Marilyn Salmon

2006-2008 David Mair Angel Fine Wines 

2004-2006 I McNeill The Wine Experience

2001-2004 A Laird-Craig T M Robertson

2000-2001 N Barr Vin Ecosse

1999-2000 D Morgan Wine Training Services

1998-1999 L Deans Matthew Clark

1997-1998 J Harris Alliance Wines

1996-1997 G Rule Napier University

1995-1996 L Jewell Waverley Vintners

1994-1995 D W Manson Griersons

1993-1994 N Barr Waverley Vintners

1992-1993 J D Lamond Clydesdale Wine & Spirit Co

1991-1992 W J Bell H Sichel & Sons

1990-1991 W R MacRae J B Reynier

1989-1990 J G Williamson Waverley Vintners

1988-1989 R J Homewood Glayva Liqueur

1987-1988 J R Hernanz Queensway Hotel

1986-1987 J Macnaughton Euroscot Wine Ltd

1984-1986 D Morgan Gilbeys

1982-1984 R C Paterson Whyte & Mackay

1980-1982 E H Fellows

1979-1980 W Kelly

1977-1979 J Christie

1974-1976 W H Finlay

1973-1974 M L Grant

1971-1973 W Kelly

1969-1971 W Sandeman

1967-1969 J Johnstone

1965-1967 J Campbell

1962-1965 L Stelmach

To find out more about The Institute of Wines & Spirits Scotland visit:

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