We’re really into wine, into spirits & into sake. We love all of them. Luckily.

That’s the feeling that drives The Northern Wine School – and not just for wine; for spirits and sake, too. When he’s not running tastings or teaching courses, John likes to travel – to where the wine comes from, obviously. And the sake, and the spirits. He loves getting to know the vineyards, the families, the inner workings…

Thousands of people have experienced The Northern Wine School, many posting wonderful reviews on Google, on Trip Advisor and on Facebook which is heartening to see. We’re also really proud of the hundreds of qualifications we’ve helped people achieve – some for fun, others for a career-enhancing boost or simply to get onto that ladder.

John callow DipWSET SWS FWS MIH

Founder & Managing Director

I’m John, the man behind The Northern Wine School, and I just wanted to start off by thanking you for visiting this page and my website. It’s an honour to have you here.

As you’re here, I thought I might share a bit of my story with you, and how Northern Wine School came to be.

My wine story started by accident to be completely honest. I got out of University and started a graduate scheme with Majestic Wine. Now, I’d never been into wine before that really. I knew there were three colours of it, and that’s about where my expertise extended to. But after studying for my first WSET, I was hooked on the world of wine. And I knew I wanted to devote my life to it.

In 2014, I took the plunge and set up the Northern Wine School and we’ve been going ever since. 

Passing one course after another, and eventually the Wine Educator Course, I found I had a flair for talking in front of groups of fellow wine aficionados about my passion for wine. And word spread.

Today, we’ve been recognised as one of the fastest growing WSET course providers in the world. 

Obviously, none of this would be possible without our wonderful students, who return to us for more and more courses. 

During lockdown we absorbed ourselves in digitising the study resources we’d created for the various courses we teach. And these study resources have long been responsible for us achieving a much higher pass rate than the industry standard.

So, I guess what I’m ultimately saying is, I’m glad you’re here, I hope to meet you one day, and if you have any interest in wine, then you’re in great company!

We offer tasting events, wine, spirits & Sake courses, accessories and learning aids, guest expert speaking slots, industry tastings, venue & glass hire. 

Since 2014, we've grown our own team of experts

They host our events, courses, industry tastings and look after our students- and look forward to meeting you!

Find out more about them here


WSET – The Wine and Spirits Education Trust – is one of the world’s leading and best-known providers of wine education. John holds WSET’s flagship qualification: The WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits, which places him amongst the world’s wine and spirits aristocracy. He is also Level 3 Sake accredited, and a WSET Certified Wine Educator enabling him to teach level three WSET qualifications.

He has taught hundreds of people WSET qualifications and is proud of his 100% pass rate across all levels. He has also boosted staff qualifications at Selfridges, E&J Gallo Wines, Tanners Wine Merchants, Reserve Wines, & Kingsland Drinks amonst many other companies big and small.

Wine Scholar Guild

John is a French and Spanish Wine Scholar (having passed both courses with honours) and is an approved instructor for the Guild. This means he is able to provide the Guild’s renowned specialised certification programmes.

Sake Sommelier Association

The world’s leading sake educator, The SSA (Sake Sommelier Association) has a global mission to increase knowledge and appreciation of this cultural icon. John is a Certified Sake Educator for the Association and is the first educator in the north of England to offer sake events and qualifications. He has also judged at the London Sake Challenge, Europe’s oldest sake contest.

Comité Champagne

The CIVC is the body that groups Champagne production and trade together under the direction of the French government. John is an official Champagne Educator for the body and teaches Champagne masterclasses at Hospitality & Business schools across the UK.

Consejo Regulador DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry

This Spanish governmental body oversees the Sherry wines region of Andalucia in Spain. John is an official Sherry Educator and hosts Sherry wine masterclasses in various locations in Manchester.

The Association of Wine Educators

John is an active member of this professional association of highly qualified wine educators and is committed to furthering wine education in the trade and promoting interest amongst consumers.

Get qualified too! Check out the courses we offer.

Some of our friends

We have provided drinks training for companies including:

We have provided tasting events for companies including:


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