Wine speaker, educator and writer
Ying Hsien Tan MW qualified as the first Singaporean Master of Wine in 2015. He was one of the first two Asian men to attain the qualification that year. The Master of Wine is considered the most prestigious wine qualification in the world. There are only 370 Masters of Wine and since the qualification was first created over 60 years ago, only about 400 people have ever succeeded in qualifying.
Ying started tasting and studying wine as a hobby in 1983 while pursuing law studies at university in the United Kingdom. In 2009, after more than 20 years as a corporate and banking lawyer, he embarked on a different career path building on his enthusiasm for wine to become a wine journalist, speaker and educator.
Whilst on the MW education programme, Ying won the Institute of Masters of Wine Champagne Trinity Scholarship 2010 and was nominated to attend the Master Napa Programme in September 2013. He also won a French Wine Society scholarship for the Sud de France Master Level Program in 2013 and the 2013 AXA Millésime Scholarship for MW students.
Ying organized and hosted the Singapore Business Times Wine Night for senior business executives in 2010 and co-hosted the wine segment of the Wine & Dine TV series broadcast on Channel News Asia in the late 1990s. Outside Singapore, he has also spoken at wine events in Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, London, Ningxia and Perth.
Ying has judged at international wine competitions frequently, including the International Wine Challenges held in Singapore, Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Competition, Decanter Asia Wine Awards, UWWR Russian Wine Challenge, Sydney International Wine Competition and the Concours de Mondial. He was also on the tasting panel of Wine & Dine, Singapore for several years and a wine consultant to the World Gourmet Summit 2013 in Singapore.
He is also actively engaged in the education of MW students and sommeliers. He judged at the Singapore National Sommelier Competitions in 2014 and 2016 and the Sopexa French Wine Sommelier Competition 2015.
He owns Taberna Wine Academy where he conducts tastings, classes, wine dinners as well as hosting many leading wine producers. These have included Laurent Ponsot, Benjamin Leroux, Olivier Humbrecht MW, Nicolas Potel, Bruno Paillard, Michele Jermann, Serge Hochar, Pio Boffa and Pepe Raventos. Taberna Wine Academy also offers Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses.
Amongst Ying’s publications was an occasional column for Wine & Dine magazine in 2003 and 2004 and articles for a number of Singapore publications including Cuisine & Wine (for which he was also consulting editor in 2013 and 2014) and Appetite. He is currently researching a book on champagne.
A member of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and Commanderie de Bordeaux, Ying has visited all the classic wine regions of France, the Russian Tsar’s former cellars at Massandra in Crimea, as well as wine regions in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Bulgaria, China, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and the USA.