Pinot Boutique

Pinot Boutique Wine School closed in November 2020.

A Wine Shop and School

Pinot Boutique runs a wine school in Philadelphia’s posh Old City neighborhood. The long-standing shop has everything going for it, at least on paper. Its charming storefront is conveniently located near many good restaurants.

Pinot Boutique sells wines from local wineries and has a selection of top-notch wine glasses, wine books, and many great wine-related gifts. According to our readers, the shop is one of a kind in Philadelphia. It also runs a wine school.

Sommelier Courses?

The school does not offer any sommelier or professional courses but does offer consumer-level classes and tastings at least four days a week. Classes are inexpensive, mainly under $30, and on various subjects. They offer classes on historical wine styles, South America, food & wine pairing classes, and a “Develop Your Wine IQ” class geared to new wine drinkers.

The pedigree of the school is stellar. Dan Soskind, the owner, is trained via WSET and The school and its classes were initially developed in partnership with the Wine School of Philadelphia. Dan also is a member of an elite club of wine collectors that reportedly includes the Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Michael Klein.

The Review

On paper, the school sounds fantastic. However, people attending classes offer a radically different viewpoint. Classes are held in the basement of the building, which some students have complained is cramped and uncomfortable. The reports get worse from there.

Many people cite the poor quality of the wines as a reason they did not like the Pinot Boutique. Considering the low cost of the classes, we do not believe that to be a fair criticism. However, the overall poor quality of instruction is just as often cited as a reason for not attending classes at this school, and our experience confirms this viewpoint.

Our Experience

We attended a class while visiting Philadelphia, and the experience was jaw-droppingly bad. While we will not condemn a place on one bad experience, the fact that the instructor for the night was the owner gives us pause.

According to our surveys, the offerings at Pinot Boutique had been exceptional in the past. Classes developed and taught by the Wine School of Philadelphia earned high marks but are no longer offered. The current offerings are reportedly falling far short of expectations. We hope  Dan & company can regain past glory. Until then, we cannot recommend these classes.