Northern Ireland Wine and Spirit Institute

The Northern Ireland Wine & Spirits Institute is a not-for-profit group of wine enthusiasts. Anyone is welcome to take part in a wine tastings which are hosted monthly, featuring special guests and experts from our committee. 

We have monthly wine tastings - and occasionally spirit tastings - at the Ramada by Wyndham, Belfast City Centre. You don't have to be a member to attend our tastings, and you don't have to know much about wine. We love to welcome new members and we encourage them to learn more, and even to study for qualifications certified by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) the largest global provider of wine education.

If you would like to attend a tasting, all are welcome. Just email to reserve a place
About image
Adventures in wine image
If you love wine, enjoy drinking it in good company, want to learn more about it, even get a qualification, the Northern Ireland Wine and Spirit Institute is for you.
We host regular, usually monthly, tastings led by experts – Masters of Wine, importers, growers, wine educators.
We have occasional tastings of spirits, and visits to distilleries.

Watch out for special events throughout the year including our gala dinner and European wine tasting trip. 

To join NIWSI, please email 
Or you can just come to one of our tastings - listed under EVENTS on this website -  and sign up on the night. We love to welcome new members.
  • £45.00
  •  03/12/2024 08:00 PM
  •   Ramada by Wyndham, Talbot Street, Belfast

Rhone - Wine Tasting Get ready to indulge in a delightful selection of Rhone wines, showcasing the best flavors from the region. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or simply love a good glass of vino, this event is perfect for you. At Rhône - Wine Tasting, you'll have the opportunity to sample a variety of exquisite wines, carefully curated by our expert Master of Wine, Alun Griffiths. Discover the unique characteristics and aromas of each wine as you sip and savor. Our knowledgeable host will be on hand to guide you through the tasting, sharing interesting facts and stories about the wines. The event will take place at the Ramada by Wyndham Belfast City Centre, located on Talbot Street in Belfast, UK. Immerse yourself in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, surrounded by fellow wine enthusiasts. Whether you're attending alone or with friends, you're guaranteed a fun and sociable evening. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to explore the world of Rhone wines. Book your spot now and prepare for an evening filled with delicious flavors, great company, and a memorable wine experience. We can't wait to see you there!

  • £40.00
  •  02/13/2024 08:00 PM
  •   Ramada by Wyndham, Talbot Street, Belfast

Join us for an unforgettable evening of wine tasting at the Ramada by Wyndham Belfast City Centre! Get ready to indulge your taste buds with a variety of exquisite wines. Whether you're a wine connoisseur or just looking to have a good time an expand your knowledge of wine, this event is perfect for you. The speaker for the evening is Alex Johnson, Fine Wine Manager at JN Wines. Alex will discuss the meaning of “Old Vines” and how it reflects on the quality of a fine selection of wines from some ancient vineyards. Learn about the history and production techniques that make each bottle unique. Don't miss this opportunity to expand your wine knowledge and mingle with fellow wine enthusiasts. Mark your calendars and join us for the Old Vine Wines Tasting at the Ramada by Wyndham Belfast City Centre. It's an event you won't want to miss. Don't forget to bring those tasting glasses - a limited number will be available to borrow on the evening.

  •  01/09/2024 08:00 PM
  •   Ramada by Wyndham, Talbot Street, Belfast

Wine marketing specialist Jean Smullen WSET Dip will be presenting us with her judging experiences with an interesting range of wines from South Africa – and like the goats – roaming through the regions from the coast to Franschhoek, Swartland, Overberg and beyond. Member fee £25, guests £40. To register email

Champagne versus Prosecco - the battle of the sparklers
  •  02/12/2024 06:04 PM

Discover the difference between Champagne and Prosecco and find out about sparkling wines from around the world.

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A Wine Tour of Germany
  •  08/12/2023 04:10 PM

Itinerary and visits - Wine Tour of Germany, September 2nd - 10th

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  •  03/29/2023 04:11 PM

A wine for the King?

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  •  12/03/2022 06:02 PM

At Christmas time, we usually have a tasting and/or a fun quiz led by an Institute member. Last Christmas we decided to have a meander along La Loire in memory of one of NIWSI’s founder members Robin Gibson who sadly passed away earlier this year.

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The Institute was founded in November 1979, at a meeting in the Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast and originally named the Northern Ireland Wine & Spirit Education Trust Association. We changed this to the Northern Ireland Wine and Spirit Institute (NIWSI) to avoid confusion with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) – the largest global provider of wine and spirit education and qualifications.. The Institute encourages members to study for a wine qualification. You can sit WSET exams in Northern Ireland. But you don’t need a qualification to come along to our tastings and enjoy the wines.

Anne McHale


Anne, originally from Belfast, is an award-winning Master of Wine. She took first class honours in French and Classics at Cambridge, discovered the delights of wine while studying in France, and joined the wine trade. We are honoured to have her as our President.

Richard Lee


Richard took his level 4 WSET exam (Diploma) with the WSET in London before moving to Northern Ireland in 2014 and joining the Institute. He loves organising wine trips for members. The next one, 2023, is to Germany.

Alastair Bell

Vice President

Alastair's name is synonymous with the Institute, and indeed, with wine education in Northern Ireland. He is a member of the Association of Wine Educators and has been a member of the Institute since its inception in 1979. Alastair has a fine cellar. He particularly enjoys the wine of the Loire.


Vice Chair - Dennis Ensing Vice President - Tim Hughes Vice President - Susan Rees Secretary - Lisa Wilson Treasurer - Paul Kavanagh Members - Joe McGlade, Róisín Lee