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.
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