Wine Courses – 10 Top Tips!
Wine courses are an excellent way to develop your appreciation of wine. Here are some useful tips to help you gain the most out of them:
- Initially, book a one day/evening course as an introduction to wine tasting. This will enable you to experience what can be achieved within a few hours and give you an idea of how much time you feel would be beneficial to devote to the subject in the future.
- Establish which types of wine are being tasted. Ideally, your first course should encompass the broadest range of wines. This will then provide greater direction for your next course.
- Thereafter, book a course which spans several weeks, in order to gain continuity of instruction and direction in the areas you wish to cover. Networking during the initial, one-day course will usually provide useful information and insight into the most interesting opportunities available for extended courses.
- Look for the more adventurous courses that don’t just stick to the ‘tried and tested’. Dessert wines may not be ‘your thing’ but it’s amazing how different they taste once you’ve explored and appreciated them alongside an expert.
- If cost is an issue, check with local education authorities for free or low-cost courses. These are often provided as part of their further education programmes.
- Buddy-up with a friend or friends. It’s much more fun and enables you to do your homework with like-minded oenologists! It gives you the opportunity to confer outside of the course and clarify points which were not entirely clear to you at the time.
- Buy a wine board game – they’re out there! It’s a really fun way of developing a useful list of questions to ask on your course. It will also help broaden your general knowledge of wine.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the bleedin’ obvious! All too often, some of the fundamental issues surrounding wine are misunderstood – we’re embarassed to ask. However, you can be sure that if you’re unclear on a certain aspect, most other people on the course will be too – and they’ll be delighted you asked. The alternative is the old adage; a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, aptly demonstrated by Basil Fawlty in ‘Fawlty Towers’ – “I can certainly see that you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn’t know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret!”
- At a practical level, make sure you have a reasonably substantial meal before participating in any wine tasting. Because you are concentrating and only pouring 2 or 3 mouthfuls at a time, you can lose track of quite how much you’re drinking (you can often taste up to 10 different wines during a session). Also drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
- Wherever possible, create or further develop an existing wine cellar, in conjunction with your wine course. You will then have a great deal of expert advice available to you when making selections. This will give you the confidence to be more courageous and select some of the more intriguing and expensive additions.
There is no question that you will gain more from a wine course if, like any other course, you prepare beforehand. The Secrets of Wine eBook provides all of the essential information you will require, in one 3 hour sitting.
Top of Page