Don’t forget to look out for Senior Wine Experts, Tom, Melanie and Chris on your next visit…

Tom Forrest

Tom Forrest first fell in love with wine at the age of 18 when he was given a bottle of Nuits St-Georges by a hotel manager and has never looked back.  He has been with Vinopolis since the beginning, so there is nothing he doesn’t know about it!

Well-respected in the field Tom has been a judge and panel chairman at the International Wine Challenge since 1998, the Sommelier’s Wine Challenge since 2007 and the Decanter World Wine Awards since 2009.  He is also a member of the tasting panel for Decanter Magazine and is the author of The Complete Wine Course published by Carlton Books.

In 2007 he won CIVC UK Champagne Ambassador competition, an award that recognizes the work of wine lecturers, tutors and teachers across Europe.  His knowledge and enthusiasm has led him to appear on the big screen several times, so you may have seen him on “This Morning”, “Fake Britain, “Sky News”, “The Today Programme” or heard him on various local radio stations over the past 12 years.

Tom often runs special masterclasses at Vinopolis as well as co-ordinating and teaching Vinopolis’ Wine & Spirit Education Trust courses.  He is available for exclusive private tastings.


Tom’s Recent News

September 2013: Talking about English wine on BBC London’s Breakfast Show with Penny Smith and Paul Ross (skip ahead to 2 minutes 45 seconds)

June 2013: Talking about wine consumer habits with the Radio 4 ’You & Yours’ Show (skip ahead to 28 minutes 36 seconds)

January 2013: Wine tasting with BBC News Politics

December 2012: Wine tasting aboard Celebrity Cruise Constellation, Mail Online


If you would like to make a specific request for Tom in your private tasting sessions or masterclasses, please contact

Melanie Reeve

Melanie’s Aussie Adventure: find out all about Melanie’s trip to Australia here


Melanie started out in the finance industry and later realised her calling was in wine. She holds the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines & Spirits and is particularly passionate about presenting and engaging with an audience, so regularly hosts Masterclasses and group tastings and organises ‘Meet the Wine Master’ dinners in our restaurants.

As a qualified WSET Educator, she works closely with Tom to offer accredited wine courses.  If absolutely pushed to make a decision, her favourite wines are dry Riesling from Germany and Pinot Noir from Oregon, USA, but that does change!

When she’s not sniffing, swirling and slurping, she sings with a vocal group in her spare time and performs at a variety of events including community outreach and flashmob events.


Melanie’s Recent News

April 2013: Talking about the different tastes of water on the BBC News Online

April 2013: Chatting with Jeremy Vine about the differences in UK water on BBC Radio 2 (skip ahead to 1 hour 45 minutes 38 seconds)

April 2013: Chatting with Tony Livesey about the differences in UK water on BBC Radio 5 (skip ahead to 46 minutes 45 seconds)


If you would like to make a specific request for Melanie in your private tasting sessions or masterclasses, please contact

Chris Penwarden

Chris began drinking Country Manor, Liebfraumilch and Le Piat D’or in the 80s, thankfully moving on to bigger and better things after trying Jacobs Creek at the age of 19. Post university he began a career in retail management for Thresher Wine Merchants, finally escaping to the sunnier climes of Australia where he further developed his love of wine in the vineyards of Barossa, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Hunter Valley.

Chris is currently studying for his Level 4 WSET Diploma, after which he hopes to train to be a qualified wine educator. In the meantime he is studying hard by sampling his favourite wines, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, La Grande Dame Vintage Champagne and Château Musar.  Hey, someone’s got to do it, right?

If you would like to make a specific request for Chris in your private tasting sessions or masterclasses, please contact