The school’s courses are designed to welcome students from all backgrounds. They provide a broad understanding of wine in a format that’s easy to grasp. Classes cover a range of topics, from wine-tasting basics to the complexities of different wine regions. Classes are planned to offer a hands-on learning experience. Students can expect to try various wines and learn about wine and food pairings in a straightforward manner, without a strict dress code.
Jonathon Alsop is the founder & executive director of the Wine School. He formed the school in the early oughts. By 2007, the school offered an entire roster of classes at Brookline Liquor Mart, at its original location on Commonwealth Avenue. By 2016, the school had lost its original home and offered classes in multiple locations.
The school has shown resilience by moving classes online during the pandemic, ensuring that students could continue their education despite the challenging circumstances.
Since 2021, the schedule of classes has been noticeably lighter than in the school’s heyday in the 2010s, largely due to the logistics of not having a permanent location. However, the demand for “wine tasting Boston” has not abated, and the school’s reputation remains top-notch.
The school largely extends Jonathon’s wine career, which many consider Boston’s unofficial wine celebrity. He began writing about wine, food, and travel in 1988 and emerged as a wine expert through his syndicated wine column “In Vino Veritas” in the late 1990’s. He has also written articles for the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer Magazine, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, etc.
His most recent book is The Wine Lover’s Devotional, published in 2020. He is also a frequent commentator for WGBH, Boston’s National Public Radio station.
The school has not currently offered any sommelier certification programs for many years. Instead, they offer one-off wine-tasting classes for wine enthusiasts. With the level of credibility that Jonathan has garnered over the past decade, he could lead Boston’s wine community. Since 2020, we have warned BWS that new Boston-area wine schools like the Commonwealth Wine School and Grape Experience are becoming more competitive, especially with their sommelier certification programs. New England is becoming a hotbed of wine education.
My favorite thing about “Sideways” is the beautiful soliloquy Madsen delivers as she explains why she loves wine. My least favorite thing was how I cringed every time the Wine Guy said something idiotic about wine that I’d heard myself say before.Jonathan Alsop, Milford Daily News
Boston Wine School Reviews
Love Boston, love this school. Quality of the classes are not consistent. Sometimes it’s brilliant Sometimes its embarrassingly bad.