Wine education is an insatiable process, as there is always something new to learn! From grape varieties to wine styles, glassware, reading wine labels to pairing and even tasting techniques to consider. Yes, unfortunately enjoying wine and wine culture is not always as simple as popping open a bottle of your favorite blend.
The winemaking pioneers of France who perfected the art of wine could never have known that one day in the long distant future, people from around the world would venture on a prestigious mecca, to the various wine regions. And not just France, but other Old World wine countries like Italy. Or to the far reaching corners of New World wine regions like South Africa and New Zealand.
So how do you get a good wine education if you can’t afford the expensive plane ticket? Or want to sophisticate your experience of wine? Below is a small list of approaches to improve your know-how, or if you’re even considering getting into the booming wine industry.
Drink as much as possible – the first step of wine education
I’m not encouraging you to become an alcoholic. But if you want to learn about wine, you need to experience it first hand. Try to go outside your comfort zone. Try different countries, regions and appellations of blends that you haven’t tried before so you can compare with what you know you already like. Wine stores have a great selection for anyone’s budget.
Book a wine tour
Learning from experts and enthusiasts that have studied or practiced wine is an excellent way of learning the basics in your local or closest wine region. Start where you live and work as outwardly as possible so that you become an expert in ‘your’ region. Of course being able to travel to such illustrious places as France to do a Bordeaux wine tour wouldn’t be bad either!
Visit wine bars
Another great alternative to traveling the world of wine without having to get on a plane or train, is to source out local wine bars where the list is varied and allows you to taste wines you otherwise would not have discovered. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. And get some tips on how to taste and pair wines with food and other delicacies.
Study wine online
Explore the wondrous universe of the internet about anything to do with wine. From the history of wine to how classification works. Facebook and Instagram have a lot of accounts with insight into what wine lovers are up to also. Of course there are plenty of books if you prefer non-digital learning too!
Become a wine professional
The WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) has many courses and exams available so you can train and become a wine professional. These courses are world renowned and recognized so you can become a qualified sommelier and/or wine expert. As well as an integral member of the wine community!
Learning about wine enables you to enhance your enjoyment and transports you through history across the globe. Every wine ever made is a time capsule of that place in that moment. It is a sensory journey, a pleasurable exploration of the sacred fruit of terroir.
So what is the next step on your wine adventure?
Why not try a wine tour in France with local company Bordeaux Wine Trails! If that’s not possible, try any of the above suggestions and see where it takes you. The world of wine awaits you!