GLASSES are being raised to a Hollins entrepreneur who is launching his new wine school with a fundraiser for Bury Hospice.

John Callow, aged 28, is determined to share his love of the subject and to take the snobbery out of wine tasting by setting up The Northern Wine School.

The school will run friendly, informal events open to everyone who enjoys wine and wants to learn more.

The first event takes place at Bury Town Hall’s Elizabethan Suite between 7pm and 9pm on Thursday, September 18, with all proceeds going to support the hospice, which operates on Rochdale Old Road.

Visitors will also be given wine tasting tips, where six specially selected wines will be available for tasting, along with nibbles, The ex-Castlebrook High and Holy Cross College student studied ecology at Leeds University, gaining an MSc in biodiversity.

However, his interest in wine led him to a career with a national wine merchant chain and he obtained a Wine and Spirit Education Trust qualifications along the way.

He is currently studying for the Wine Diploma, a flagship qualification with the trust.

John said: “Opening my own wine school enables me to devote all my time to this most rewarding aspect of the trade.

“Current advice is often stuffy and confusing, with intimidating experts telling you what you should drink. People should drink what they like, rather than what others tell them they should enjoy.”

The business will serve customers in Bury, Bolton and Manchester initially, with plans to expand across the north of England.

Suitable venues in other areas are being assessed. The school does not sell wine, so John is able to recommend impartially, carefully selecting wines which are readily available and deemed good value.

He joked: “Mine must be the only school starting in September where pupils are looking forward to their first day.”

Tickets for the launch, costing £23 per person, can be bought online here.