A private lesson with Chinese educators – Dorian Tang

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dorian tang

Basic profile

Name: Dorian TANG

Current Position: National Education Director, ASC Fine Wines

Based in: Beijing

How long have you been working as an educator: Since 2002

Also worked for: Sommelier, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, USA

Qualifications & Awards:
2014 Best Educator of the Year, by Wine Australia
WSET Diploma Holder
WSET Level 3 Nominated Educator
CIVB Bordeaux Wine School Certified Tutor
BIVB Burgundy wine School certified Tutor
A+ Wine Australia Certified Level 2 Tutor
California Family Winemaker Association & Culinary institute of America certified Level 2 tutor
New Zealand Wine Educator
Barossa Wine School Educator

What system(s) do you use to teach:
WSET / A+ Australia

How many students do you have (currently):
Over thousands, about 500 each year (I had about 400 for A+ and CIVB courses in 2014, plus others classes)

dorian tang

What is it like to be an educator in China?

1. How did you get into the business?
I have always dreamed of becoming a wine educator. So when I returned to Beijing in 2002, I went to ASC for an interview. But at that time, as a wine sales company just starting off, ASC was actually extremely short of sales personnel. But the founder, Don St Pierre, was very forward-thinking and he exceptionally created a position for me, which the company never had before — Educator.

2. What do you think is the level of knowledge among wine consumers at the moment?
There is generally a rising trend. The development of communication technology is making the wine world more transparent and [bringing it] closer to people's lives.

3. What are the reasons that make your students want to learn about wine? Can you see a trend in the last 3 year?
They are mainly sommeliers of 4-5 star hotels, restaurant waiters, retail salespersons, our distribution partners, wine company salesmen and, of course, the lovers. In 2006, ASC became China's first approved WSET programme provider. At first, our students were mainly foreigners, multinational company white-collar workers and wine lovers who had good English skills. But in recent years, with the increase in Chinese language teaching materials, our student database has changed dramatically. More locals are joining our classes, such as college students, doctors, teachers and IT workers.

4. Who was the most interesting student you’ve ever met?
There was a couple, who worked during the day in an overseas-funded company and attended our WSET course at night together. During the weekdays and the weekends they would try all the wines with the grape varieties and styles that they have learnt about at the class to understand them better, then share their thoughts with me in the next class. We became good friends.

5. Please describe your typical day
Ideal day: prepare for lessons, teach, attend activities and communicate with regional educators to do the training plan. However, because our customers are all over the country, I spend lots of time on business trips.

6. Videos of your teaching

See next page for a private lesson with Dorian

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