The best wine courses + Lessons in Cantina
“The more you study wine, the more confused you will be; the more you want to know, the more you have to taste”
Today, in this article, we will discover the best wine courses, in order to become a real wine expert 🍷Are you interested in the world of wine but don’t know where to start? Great! Let’s get started from here! 👇
Do you know where does the word “sommelier” come from? As soon as I discovered it, honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by the anecdote and now I’m ready to amaze you too.
During the era of Napoleon Bonaparte, the sommelier was in charge of tying the wine barrels on the pack animals for transport during war times (“saumalier”, from sauma=pack animal, lier=tie), and he was in charge of judging its palatability.
Over time and with the various professional associations that have arisen, mainly in the last century, the sommelier has become the all-around wine expert, capable of describing it from a technical, sensory, and historical-narrative point of view. This was followed by the professional wine taster, who is capable of giving a technical judgment on the quality of the product, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses.
The best wine training courses
1. AIS + ALMA AIS Master
One of the best and most complete wine course that you can attend to is AIS in Italy.
The acronym AIS stands for Italian Sommelier Association, a course focused on studying and learning the different grape varieties, service, and pairing between food and wine. It is divided into three levels, for a total of 45 lessons.
Attending these types of courses not only means obtaining a diploma and getting a job, but also surrounding yourself with people passionate about the subject, just as you are. Therefore, you will build long-lasting friendships and connections over time thanks to the passion for wine you share.
The association, in fact, organizes events that gather together the alumni to further expand their cultural background through real practice, which is basically wine tasting.
In addition, ALMA, one of the most recognized catering schools worldwide, based in Colorno (PR), offers the ALMA AIS Master aimed at sommeliers, restaurateurs, operators, and industry experts who have completed the AIS III° level but want to integrate further skills, learning marketing and sales techniques applied to the sector.
National Wine Tasting Organization, founded even before AIS, in 1951, in order to train professional wine tasters.
Onav (still in Italy) is a course, if you allow me, less formal and serious than AIS. The objective, in fact, is to further arouse the passion and the curiosity of the aficionados, who desire to learn more about wine. By using your nose and your palate, you’ll be able to search for aromas and flavors that, without specific and targeted teaching, you would not found.
From my personal experience, Onav is not only educational, but also fun and discovery.
The course takes place over 16 lessons, starting from viticulture (soil, vine, and various sensory components), some important notions of oenology (winemaking techniques, sparkling wine, barrel aging), and some hints about typical plant diseases, insects, and aphids.
But more than everything, you will learn to taste and observe a glass properly, its light reflections and different shades, you will understand its elegance or tenacity, by recognizing different scents and flavors.
Thanks to Onav, I can put my nose in the glass and study the wine, by giving it a fair judgment. I’ve learnt that wine is not good or bad, but simply to my taste or not.
3. WSET and Master of Wine
Here we enter in the international scene. The WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) is an internationally recognized wine and spirits training course. It was founded in London in 1969 (in fact, the course is mostly held in English) and is delivered in more than 70 countries.
This wine course is divided into four levels:
- Introduction to the world of wine, analyzing the main international and well-known grape varieties
- Deepening of the first level + analysis of how different regions can create different products with the same grape variety
- Study of different techniques of viticulture and winemaking.
- Equivalent to a university degree. It covers all the aspects of the world of wine, with a focus on managing a winery, vineyard, and marketing techniques. With the fourth level, you will be prepared for access to the Master of Wine.
4. Institute of Master of Wine
Based in London, passing the Institute Master of Wine exam means being recognized as one of the top international expert in the wine world. It is the oldest organization dedicated to the knowledge and trade of wine.
There are about 400 people who have obtained this title to date, including the first Italian, Gabriele Gorelli, who joined in 2021.
Wine Club 2.0 Course
But before scaling the summit, let’s go back to about 400 meters above sea level, and with great pleasure, I present to you the wine course by Cantina Il Poggio, the Wine Club 2.0.
First rule of the Wine Club: never talk about the Wine Club (but for this time, I’ll make an exception).
Becoming passionate about wine is not something that happens by chance, and it is often something that is transmitted. You start to get curious, read some blogs, some books, maybe listen to some podcasts, to start making sense of what you acquire, and the more you learn, the more you realize you know nothing.
You will undoubtedly be bewildered, but at the same time, stimulated and intrigued by the different topics concerning wine culture.
But where should you start? Is it better to first tackle viticulture or oenology? Is it better to first know how to taste a glass of wine or how to pair it with various courses? How to choose the right bottle in a wine shop?
To all these questions, there is only one answer: one of the best wine courses for beginners that will help you discover the basics of the wine world.
The only wine course held in the winery, against all the dogma and paradigms of wine experts. In the vineyard and in the cellar, with those who work with it every single day.
Therefore, the only course that focuses on wine without philosophies and preconceptions, only the essence and reality of this product, which has been fascinating us for so many years.
The program includes:
- Thursday, May 4th at 8 pm – THE VINE AND ITS LIFE – From the vine to the grape: notions of agronomy, grape growth – Technical wine tasting: the 5 senses and how to use them
- Thursday, May 11th at 8 pm – THE BERRY – From the grape to the bottle: Winemaking – Technical wine tasting: tasting techniques
- Thursday, May 18 at 8:00 pm – IN THE CELLAR – Winemaking for White, Rosé and Sparkling wines – Reading wine, fiction or reality?
- Thursday, May 25 at 8:00 pm – IN THE BARREL ROOM – Winemaking for Red wines, maturation in wooden and steel barrels – Food and wine pairing
- Thursday, June 1 at 7:30 pm – FINAL EXAM – Graduated as Wine Ambassadors of Cantina il Poggio
What are the best wine courses that had piqued your interest the most?
So, are you ready for some wine lessons?
I’ll be waiting for you in Cantina, even just for a classic wine tasting, which is definitely a good start!