Our educators

At AWA, the lessons are provided by an enthusiastic group of teachers. All with a different background, but with a huge passion for wine as a common denominator. Meet our fantastic team here!

Wouter Aalst DipWSET/WA

Wouter is the founder of Amsterdam Wine Academy. In 2020 he graduated as Weinakademiker (WA) at the Weinakademie Österreich. He also holds the WSET Diploma Course (Level 4). In addition to being a teacher at the wine school, Wouter is the owner of wine bar Paskamer, also in De Pijp. He likes to drink  Chianti Classico and Champagne.

Linda van der Helm

Linda lives and works in Amsterdam. Besides her work in wine bar Paskamer, she does voluntary work in a vineyard and writes about wine on grapefinds.nl. She has a preference for rare grape varieties and lesser-known wine regions. But Linda loves Riesling just as much. In 2019 she completed WSET Level 3 with ‘distinction’ and has been happy to share her knowledge about wine with her students ever since!

Dorine van den Elzen RV

Dorine has been living and working as ‘De Wijnjuf Curaçao’ on this tropical island for 15 years. She is a Registered Vinoloog (RV) of the Wine Academy and obtained her WSET Level 3 in 2019. Like Linda, Dorine has a preference for special grape varieties and in particular those from Piemonte. She organizes a wine tour from Curaçao to this amazing region every year. From May 1, 2021, Dorine will provide WSET courses in the Caribbean under the flag of the Amsterdam Wine Academy.

Robert de Zeeuw DipWSET

Robert provides your wine course with great enthusiasm, expertise and a touch of humour. He has been teaching for many years and draws on his previous experiences as a sommelier and account manager at the Dutch Wine Institute. Nowadays he is an independent entrepreneur with his own wine company. Since 2017 he is in possession of his WSET level 4 which he followed in London. Robert likes to discover the lesser known grape varieties and prefers sustainable wines.

Dennis van Galen

At the age of ten, Dennis already made a school assignment about wine. The wine flame really took off on his first WSET course. He has now successfully completed Level 3 and fills every possible moment in his life, and space at home, with wine and everything related to it. Dennis thinks the most beautiful thing is visiting winemakers and gaining stimulating wine experiences. Dennis also runs CREA, the cultural center of the UvA and HvA (including café), thus combining art, culture and wine. He is a cosmopolitan wine omnivore with a fascination for recent Dutch wine.

Goos van den Berg RV/DipWSET

Goos discovered his love for wine during his work in the Utrecht and Amsterdam hospitality industry, including in a Michelin starred restaurant. During this period he successfully completed the WSET Diploma Course. “The beauty of the wine world is that you never stop learning and there is always something new to discover”. He won the international Copa Jerez in 2017 and therefore likes to drink a glass of sherry. He is also a great lover of Champagne, German Riesling and Syrah from the Northern Rhône.

Marie-Sophie Chapelier

Marie comes from the beautiful region of Auvergne in France, and has been living in the Netherlands for the last 11 years. She spent 6 years working in the wine industry, from wine négociants in Bordeaux to a Dutch wine importer, during which she completed WSET 3. She loves to explore wine regions, listen to winemakers stories and discover local grapes. She is looking forward to sharing her passion with you! 

Martin de Pee

As a teacher you are of course also a wine lover. Martin is in a superlative position. And not just wine, to gain more knowledge about wine and food, he obtained the diploma SVH Gastronome/sommelier (in which WSET Level 3). He took great pleasure in acquiring practical experience at wine bar Paskamer. Martin gets happy when he can talk about wine, excited when he tastes something beautiful or surprising and has a small place for beautiful dry wines from chenin blanc.

Olle Swets DipWSET/WA

Olle Swets is an entrepreneur and owner of ‘De Wijnwinkel’ in Amsterdam. An independent importer and distributor of pure wine and leading European winemakers. Olle completed his Diploma Course and Weinakademiker in 2008 and has been a regular WSET Tutor ever since, specializing in Burgundy and Italy.
In addition to his work with winegrowers, Olle and his wife Charlotte Marres have published two books in recent years, ‘De Wijnboer’ and ‘De Buitenkeuken’.

Mark van Mil

In addition to his day-to-day work as a tax specialist, Mark has a passion for wine. He passed his WSET 3 in wine in 2022. Mark likes to organize different evenings where wine and food have centre stage. He is enthusiastic about lesser-known wines that are surprisingly beautiful. A guilty pleasure are vintage champagnes.

Hope Flanagan

Hope fell in love with wine while traveling the world and still loves exploring new regions at any chance. She has a soft spot for Spanish reds and whites from the Loire, but when visiting home (USA), she always cracks open a California cabernet sauvignon with her family. She is a part-time business compliance consultant and works at a natural wine bar in Amsterdam. Hope completed WSET 3 in 2022 and is excited to continue her WSET journey teaching!

Jeroen Simons DipWSET

Amsterdam is Jeroen’s natural habitat. He works as a sommelier at Café de Klepel in the Jordaan and has completed the WSET Diploma Course. In the summer months he helps in a new vineyard and wine making project Wijntuin Ronja. Jeroen has a strong preference for French wine, but: “Actually, all honest wine with a soul and a sense of origin is beautiful.”

Arend-Jaap van der Lely DipWSET/WA

Arend-Jaap (A-J) is the owner of Wijn op Dronk, importer of boutique wines from France, Germany, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. Wijn op Dronk’s customers are fine dining restaurants, wine bars and wine-lovers. Arend-Jaap is a WSET diploma graduate and a Weinakademiker. His thesis was on a study on pinot from the Ahr, Germany and Central Otago, New Zealand. As Robert Parker, A-J is a lawyer. After a legal career of 20 years he has turned his passion into a job.

Do you want to learn more about wine?

Amsterdam Wine Academy is a WSET approved program provider.