As a new wine student, you may not know that there are things you need to prepare before you arrive at your first wine class.
For me, it probably wasn’t until my 3rd or 4th wine class where I finally had the experience to get all of these 4 steps in place beforehand. The time you take for tips #3 and 4 will lay the groundwork for your wine career and reward you in dividends in the future.
So now, here are the 4 Things You Need to Prepare Before Your First Wine Class.
Buy at least 6 matching wine tasting glasses.
You only get a small amount of wine to try in any wine course. So you’ll want to make sure that the wine glasses you use will optimize the aromas and flavours from that itty-bitty amount of wine.
This is important because in wine exams, you get points for accurately describing the colour and colour intensity of the wine. Therefore, wine instructors ask that you purchase standardized ISO wine glasses before you get to your first wine class. This way everyone in the class will all be seeing the same colour and depth of colour of the wine. This in turn leads to accurate calls and higher marks on your exams.
Dimensions.com recommends these glasses to have an overall height of 6.1” (15.5 cm) and diameter of 2.56” (6.5 cm) while holding a total volume of 7.25 oz (21.5 cl).
I’ve given you links to glasses like that in the links below.
For 6 ISO Wine Tasting Glasses
Heck, buy at least 12 glasses so you can upgrade to the much nicer, thinner crystal versions.
I also found these gorgeous crystal Dartington glasses for only £23 for 6.
In short, if you buy 12 glasses when you begin your wine journey, you will have spares to cover breakage. You will also gain the admiration of your classmates!
For 12 ISO Wine Tasting Glasses
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Figure out your system for keeping your tasting notes organized before you get to your first wine class.
Still, I have to be honest with you… I don’t have a perfect solution for you!
Systems that are not perfect but way better than paper...
How do you keep your
wine tasting notes for studying?
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Come prepared with at least one piece of paper and pen to start a wine tasting group for your first wine class
Start a wine tasting group; your classmates will LOVE you for initiating this process!
Add to the paper columns for name, email address, phone number and availability (mornings, afternoons, evenings, days off) to start the process. See if you or someone else has a quiet place where you can host small wine tasting groups to practice in between classes.
Take a photo and share the information with a person whose availability is different than yours so they can start another group. Or, start a facebook group where you can communicate meetups with everyone.
Small group wine tastings give you time to cement your knowledge without the stress of being under the watchful eye of your instructor. You’ll also form bonds for life with the people in your tasting group.
Because really, blind tasting is like having a piece of humble pie served to you after every wine. It’s good for your confidence to see everyone is in the same boat together. Mostly, it’s amazing to get feedback and support from your peers as you all improve together.
Trying to pass wine exams is stressful. These 4 Things You Need To Prepare Before Your Wine Class will help soothe your nerves.
I’m sure your instructor will provide a way for you to purchase wine glasses before you get to class. However, they may not tell you that you will likely break at least one of them (if not more) throughout your time as a wine student.
That’s why I recommend you buy 12 premium crystal glassware which fit the ISO standards for your class beforehand. These will last you until the end of your studies. Those thinner rims of the premium glasses will cater to the soon-to-be-born wine snob we’ll make out of you yet!
Furthermore, tips 3 + 4 is honestly some great advice.
Talk to as many people as possible to find a digital solution for saving your wine tasting notes. You may not need this for your Level 1 wine course. But if you plan on continuing with wine studies, it’s best to nail down one ultimate digital place for all of your wine tasting notes. You’re future self will thank you. (Perhaps you can even turn it into a book?!)
Finally, nothing will give you the confidence to walk into your wine exam more than tip number 4. Start a wine tasting group on day 1 of your class. Then, practice blind wine tasting with your friends every week. Having that extra preparation to review the most difficult part of your wine knowledge in small group format is second to none.