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7 Tips to Find the Right Wine Course for You

With the correct tools, how to find the right wine course can be simple. Luckily, I’ve been there, and done that. Now, I’m writing the ‘blog’ book series on finding the right wine course for you to make your decision less arduous.

My first post in the series is called the 5 Most Important Things You Should Know Before Taking a Wine Course. If you are just starting your search to find the right wine course, you should read that first.

Recently, I conducted interviews on dozens of respondents and wrote an in depth review of the major wine schools.  Through this, I realized a couple of key pieces of information still needed to be addressed.  Here they are.


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7 Tips to Find the Right Wine Course for You !


Find out who the other students in your class are. This is one way to ensure you find the right wine course for you!

Students’ satisfaction of wine courses is dependent on who the other people in their class are.

For example, if you are studying wine to improve your career outlook, then you will want to be in a wine class with other people who work in wine.

But one respondent registered for a class which only had wine enthusiasts in it. This wasn’t optimal as she was preparing for a career in wine. She ended up missing the comradery that comes with sharing experiences while studying with other people in the trade. Ergo, she missed out on how to apply wine skills to the real world.

Now, you can’t chose who will be in your class, but you can ask the school if there will be others in your class who are there for the same reasons you are – no matter what they are.


Wine Tasting in the Vineyard is an option with trips that Wine Scholar Guild organizes. That's why WSG is in this One-Stop Guide for Wine Courses

Research your instructor to find the right wine course for you!

It’s clear the instructor has everything to do with maintaining the interest of the learner. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. But, I’ll take that next logical step in advising you to do your research on the instructor before enrolling.

Wine is fascinating. But the topic can cause you to fall asleep if you don’t have an engaging instructor.

For this reason, researching your instructor first is one of the best ways to find the right wine course for you!

Use social media (facebook wine groups, etc) and hunt down someone who has actually taken the course with that instructor. Did they fall asleep in class?

For those of you who are really serious in a wine career, do some brief research on the experience of your instructor. Most schools will publish a bio of their instructors so this should be easy.


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Make sure the course comes with practice quizzes and extra support to ensure that it is the right wine course for you.

It may come as a surprise to you, but often schools provide no extra practice before the exam. Practice tests are imperative to finding your weaknesses. They also introduce you to the structure of the questions being asked.

Perhaps the extra support comes in the form of an online wine facebook group where you can ask questions outside of classroom hours. Practice quizzes aren’t the only way to help students pass their exams.

Either way, a great way to find the right wine course for you is to choose the one which offers the most additional support. So ask!

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Find out which wines (if any) will be tasted in the course.

If you are taking an in-person course, make sure the wines chosen for the wine tastings are inspiring! So make sure the instructor chooses the best possible examples that reflect the lesson you are learning.

To find out, you will have to speak with students who have taken the course with that instructor.

Sometimes, the school will publish the wines you will taste in class. Check the list.

Nonetheless, background checking the wines in the course will help you find the right wine course for you.


For online courses, make sure there is are recommended wines to buy to sample

If you are taking an online course, make sure that the lessons come with recommended wine samples for you to try at home.

I would even take this one step further and suggest the list should give descriptions within the category to aid the experienced store clerk you know to pick your wines.

Therefore, instead of simply Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand listed, a couple more bite-sized chunks of information should be present. Perhaps, the course should also recommend certain producers and above all, which kinds of Sauvignon Blancs NOT to buy.

Before you buy, you can ask for a sample of the recommended wine lists from the online school and see for yourself.

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If taking an online course, make sure that it includes actionable tasks after each lesson.

For online courses, each video should follow with something YOU need to do to make that information sink in. That could be a quiz, or a reading. It could even be a wine tasting with a recommended food pairing.

You’ll get more out of your course, if the lessons are followed with concrete exercises to hammer in important wine points from the course.


Your experience depends on YOU!

Finally, finding the right wine course for you depends on YOU!

For this reason, take the reins!

Start a wine tasting group on the first day of class. You’ll need to get a system down for sharing funds and picking up wines as well as a place to meet.

If your online course offers a social component or facebook group, join it and participate.

You’ll relax knowing that your with others who share your love of wine!


SommWine | 7 Tips to Find the Right Wine Course for You
Blind tasting wines requires hiding the wines in paper bags


Finding the right wine course for you takes a great deal of effort. Hopefully, these 7 tips on how to find the right wine course  will streamline the process.

What difficult choices are you trying to make
when choosing a wine school?

Leave your comments below.

While we have your attention, perhaps you’d like to check out our wine courses which start roughly every 2 weeks!

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