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Wine Tastings Classes Across America
Wine classes are about enjoying wine and diving into the minute details. Very few things require as much attention as tasting a fine wine. The more you know about grape varieties, regions, producers, climate, soils, and vintages, the more you find when you stick your nose in a wine glass.
Many of us love wine because it is an alcoholic drink, yes, and because every drop of wine holds a secret. Finding those secret aromas and scents is a real treat for those trained in wine tasting! However, tasting wine is a multi-sensory endeavor and requires lots of practice. The best way to polish your tasting skills is by taking a class or enrolling in a specialized course. There are dozens of ways to do this, but these are our picks to start you on the never-ending path to wine knowledge.
Wine Classes Near You
The best way to learn about wine is to attend wine classes at a local wine school. There are top-notch schools in nearly every state of the union. From Maine to Oregon, the U.S. is awash in wine education! We offer a list of all the top wine schools across the country, each rated for the quality of their programming.
Many of these wine schools offer one-night wine-tasting classes and sommelier certification programs. However, if you are not near an accredited wine school, don’t worry. The following is a list of some of the best options, no matter where you are.
Top Wine Classes By State
States in bold are the top regions for wine education in the USA!
The Best Online Wine Classes for Beginners
These are great classes for wine enthusiasts learning to learn more. However, if you are looking for a list of professional wine education offerings, we recommend checking our rankings of the top online wine courses!
Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 1 Award in Wines
A few courses are as complete as the Wine and Spirits Education Trust program regarding wine tasting. Designed to start you in a career as a restaurant professional, the first stages are pretty accessible and straightforward. Analyzing wine with their on-point tasting sheet will separate you from other wine amateurs. The WSET has a serious approach to wine evaluation, and its trademark Systematic Approach to Tasting is guaranteed to refine your tasting skills. It is also the only course authorized for those who aspire to become Masters of Wine. WSET L1 Wine Award
National Wine School Level 1 Wine Certification
This school offers a liberal-arts-for-wine-nerds approach to wine education. Their level one is a comprehensive eight-class wine course that delivers the essentials any wine lover should have. This program is offered as a professional certification, a few steps above the “award” given by WSET… if such things matter to you. The L1 program does not require wines and is delivered through high-quality videos and interactive quizzes, with a final exam at the end. NWS L1 Wine Certificate
Wine Spectator School
The famous wine magazine is well-positioned both in print and online. Its mobile offers professional insight and wine reviews. Wine Spectator also offers a comprehensive catalog of wine courses covering everything from wine regions to basic wine theory. In addition, their ABCs of Wine Tasting and Sensory Evaluation courses are great ways to fine-tune your senses. The classes are part of the benefits of owning a membership to winespectator.com.
Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course
Udemy has proven to be a reliable source of online learning material for all topics, from marketing to engineering. Wine is extensively covered, and overall quality is outstanding. Student reviews help you identify time-worthy courses from unreliable ones, and a five-star system adds to consumer confidence. However, there’s one Udemy wine course you don’t want to miss: “Mastering Wine – Jancis Robinson’s Shortcuts to Success.” This delivers three and a half hours of wine knowledge from the best in the industry.
Udemy no longer offers this program. Jancis is now offering a program with the BBC. While promising, the Udemy course had more quality content.
More Online Wine Tasting Classes
Many more wine schools offer fantastic virtual wine classes. For the complete list, check out: The Best Online Wine Classes. Since the pandemic, the quality of virtual wine tastings has rocketed. We never expected online wine classes would be as great (and successful) as they are now.
Other Wine Education Experiences
Wine Tasting Books
Courses, both face-to-face and online, are not for everyone. Many people learn best in their own rhythm. Many wine-tasting books will help you develop your analytic skills without spending a minute in class. If we had to choose just one, we’d go for the best seller, Wine Folly’s The Essential Guide To Wine. This colorful book teaches you to taste wine and reveals different grape profiles in an easy-to-understand manner. Wine Folly might make wine look simple, but its guidance won’t steer you wrong.
Winery Tours and Classes
If you’re lucky enough to live in or close to a winemaking region, you’ll quickly find professionals and enthusiasts in your community. An excellent way to find wine-tasting classes is by enrolling in Airbnb experiences. These wine classes are often personal and insightful, whether you’re planning a trip abroad or indulging in a staycation.
Wine Shop Tastings
Wine retailers like Total Wine & More regularly schedule wine-tasting classes in their stores. This might not be the most academic environment, but the staff and their wine tasters often have good wine knowledge. These experiences are also great ways to try new wines and styles you would not typically buy yourself.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of wine resources. There are many ways to polish your wine-tasting skills if you have patience and passion. Remember that tasting wine is a social activity, and as long as there are two wine lovers around, there will be plenty of opportunities to taste and learn!