About Mark

Mark, a resident in Taiwan for five years, teaches the highest level of wine education available on the island, whilst also consulting with restaurants, hosting events, writing (including the illustrated wine blog Sniff) and, in conjunction with designer Michael O’Neill, providing marketing and promotional materials to wine estates and regions across the globe.

In 2012, on arrival in Taiwan, Mark began his Master of Wine (MW) and in September 2016 successfully completed it, making him Taiwan’s first and only Asia’s eighth resident MW. 

Mark Pygott photo
  • Article

    Bordeaux 1986

    Bordeaux 1986 Being invited, along with approximately thirty others, to taste my way through twenty of Bordeaux’s best from the 1986 vintage, was an experience not to be missed. In October 1986 when the grapes for these wines were picked, at least two of the people present were but mere twinkles in their parent’s eyes. I on the other hand had just turned fifteen and my wine experience was limited to the occasional two fingers worth of Yugoslavian Laski Riesling or Rioja with dinner.

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  • Article

    The Problem with Fine Wine

    As someone with an appreciation of the stresses and strains involved with running a business, I am never less than respectfully reverential in the face of tastings where expensive bottles are being opened. After all, someone is paying, even if it is usually not me. For those less fortunate, who rarely get to taste such wines, the idea that I might find such opportunities remotely problematic will likely be greeted with a harrumph and a furrowed brow rather than sympathy.

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As someone who has made, imported, distributed, sold and marketed wine, Mark provides a variety of wine-related consultancy services to businesses and individuals seeking expert help. The majority of customers engaging Mark’s services are:

  • Restaurants and Hotels. Most commonly this is to assist in staff training and wine-list development but also to host wine-related events. These services are designed to increase sales through better customer experience and to ensure that both the wines, and the format in which they are offered, suit both the customer and the restaurant/cuisine served.
  • Producers. Those seeking representation in Taiwan can benefit from Mark’s extensive knowledge and experience of the Taiwanese market. (Mark wrote the ‘Market Research Report’ for Debra Meiburg’s ‘Guide to the Taiwan Wine Trade 2016’)
  • Private clients. Those who want expert advice on building a wine collection/portfolio for either personal consumption or investment.
  • Corporations. Companies looking for advice in the curating of a wine-list for corporate events as well as those seeking guidance on developing a wine portfolio as an investment.

Teaching Wine

  • Advanced Tasting Skills (ATS)

    As someone who has recently passed the Master of Wine qualification, Mark understands the need for excellent tasting skills and communication. This series of Advanced Tasting Skills classes is an excellent opportunity for those wanting to enhance their tasting prowess. The aim is not to lecture but to encourage thinking. 

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  • WSET L3 Classes

    The highest level WSET qualification currently available in Taiwan, taught by Mark and offered through Taiwan Wine Academy (TWA). Classes are held over the weekends listed below with an average of 10-12 benchmark wines per day. There are currently two choices of location, one in Taipei and one in Kaohsiung.

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With the constant stream of wine-related articles, videos and podcasts etc that find their way onto the internet every day, there is always a ready supply of interesting, educational and entertaining material to feature. This can in no way be comprehensive but it does allow us to highlight some of the items that are particularly current and engaging. New content will be added on a weekly basis.