The man who almost brought down Bill Clinton will give a key speech at this weekend’s Institute of Masters of Wine Symposium.

Kenneth Starr, the former US special prosecutor who harried Clinton for months over the Monica Lewinsky affair, and is now counsel for the Coalition for Free Trade, is due to speak at the four-yearly event in California’s Napa Valley.

His subject is ‘Legislation, regulation and restrictions: what does the future hold?’ and he joins a line-up including Howard Schultz, chairman and chief global strategist of Starbucks, Jancis Robinson MW, former Constellation Europe head Christopher Carson, Chilean winemaker Augustin Huneeus, Paul Draper of Ridge, Napa icon proprietor Bill Harlan, Mel Dick of Southern Wines and Spirits and other industry A-listers.

This year’s 6th symposium is entitled ‘Lateral Vision: Fresh Ideas and Actions for the Global Wine Community’.

Dubbed the ‘the global thought forum for the wine trade’, the conference hopes to tackle issues such as changing consumer expectations, industry and distribution consolidation, legal developments and global warming.

The Institute of Masters of Wine is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the highest level of educational achievement for the wine industry, culminating in the internationally recognised qualification of Master of Wine (MW).

The 2006 Symposium takes place at the Silverado Country Club, Napa, California between 29 June and 2 July,.

Written by Craig Butcher