Matthew Hansen trained as an apprentice chef in Melbourne and graduated from William Angliss College in 1980. It was while working as a chef at London's Dorchester Hotel in 1982 that Matthew developed a deep interest in wine and the importance of wine as part of a menu.
On his return to Australia, and after much study, both formal and informal, Matthew formed the ‘Tasting Circle’ at the Victorian Arts Centre in 1990 - a small and intimate group of wine appreciation enthusiasts who met weekly to discuss and enjoy fine, old and rare wines.
Matthew went on to further his study at La Trobe University, gaining his Diploma of Education in 2000, and forming ‘Fine Wine Appreciation’ in the same year. Matthew’s key objective was to offer an alternative to traditional wine education, by creating a course that was limited to only 10 participants and included a strong food component.
Some 15 years later, Matthew’s Fine Wine Appreciation course has attracted over 2,000 enrollments. Apart from his expertise both as a chef and wine connoisseur, many participants cite Matthew’s special brand of charm as key to its success, with his unique ability to engender a sparkling confidence in all attendees through his quiet, welcoming and genuinely interested manner.
In 2012 Matthew won a fellowship to study in Champagne, and was awarded the Lord Mayor’s Commendation for Outstanding Service to the City of Melbourne. In the last few years Matthew has enjoyed extending his passion abroad, touring the wine regions of France and Italy to further broaden his already extensive knowledge.
Most importantly to Matthew, and those who have benefited from his unique Fine Wine Appreciation course, Matthew is Melbourne’s only completely independent educator, and not affiliated with any specific wineries, wine merchant or makers – each and every wine featured in his courses are offered on merit alone.