Northern Ireland Wine and Spirit Institute

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.
And we organise great-value, fun trips to wine regions in Europe and further afield.
Our next trip will be to Germany in 2023.

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.

January 10th: Wines of California, with wine consultant, Harshal Shah
February 14th: Tales from The Vineyard, with wine merchant, Johnny McGurran
March 21st: Bordeaux, with Wine Communicator of the Year, author of 'Inside Bordeaux, Jane Anson
April 18th: (TBC) Morgan Vanderkamer, President Irish Guild of Sommeliers
May 16th: Anthony Sykes, Sotwell Wines
June 13th: Unusual grapes and regions, with Anne McHale, Master of Wine
June 23rd -26th: Wine Weekend Away
June 30th - Annual NIWSI Dinner
July 22nd -30th: Belfast Whiskey Week
August 12th - Summer Cocktail Event
September 2nd - 10th: Wine Study Tour of Germany
September 26th- Wines of South Africa
October 10th - Wines of Northern Iberia with Irish Times wine critic, John Wilson
November 14th - Brandy
December 12th (tbc) Christmas Special
January 9th 2024 - Wines of South Africa, with Jean Smullen

Non-members please contact if you'd like to attend any upcoming events.

Events image
About image
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. 
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.

The Institute image

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.


Dennis Ensing - Vice Chairperson; Tim Hughes - Vice President; Susan Rees - Vice President; Lisa Wilson - Secretary; Paul Kavanagh - Treasurer; Joe McGlade; Róisín Lee