There is so much to learn when it comes to the world of wine, which is probably the reason I love it so much. There is no end to how much you can learn and there is no one in the world who knows everything about wine as it’s simply never-ending!
I have done various masterclasses and educational wine sessions in my time and they really are the epitome of ‘learning is fun’. I mean you’re drinking wine for heaven’s sake!
Probably the best courses I have done to date and the most thorough were the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Intermediate (level 2) and Advanced (level 3) courses. As I was working in the wine trade at the time these courses helped me learn everything from viticulture, to vinification to regional information to how to taste wines and evaluate the quality, style and price. In my fine wine advisor role at the time it really took me to that next level (I even sold wine to a famous American NBA player and at the time had the largest wine duty-free sale in the world coming it at a cool US$100k!).
The below picture is the day I went to pick up my level 3 certificate and found out I passed!
I know a lot of you are interested in learning more, I hope in someway my blog helps you with that but it’s also important to have a practical aspect to learning (and i don’t mean just drinking!). So I have put together a list of places here in Perth which offer some kind of wine appreciation courses in Perth.
The School of Wine Perth – Wine with Christina
Christina Pickard is a wine educator and wine writer who hails from New York. She is a teeny tiny lady with a whole lot of wine knowledge!
The School of Wine offers organised 1 off classes as well as corporate and private events (perhaps a good idea for some office team bonding!). The organised classes are at various locations around Perth and involve a wealth of wine education, snacks and most importantly wine tasting.
The classes are small and typically for a set number of people, go for a couple of hours and cost under a $100 approximately.
I was lucky enough to attend one of the classes which you can read all about here.
Full Bottle Wine Education Perth
I have seen Full Bottle at various events around Perth and I am looking forward to attending one of their masterclass sessions at the upcoming 2014 UnWined Festival.
As mentioned in the intro, Full Bottle offer the WSET courses ranging from level 1 to 3. Level 1 can be completed in 1 day and costs $325, level 2 is completed over nine 2-hour sessions and costs $875 and the advanced level 3 is a cool $1,495 and involves 29 hours of in-class education.
Full Bottle Wine Education also offers Wines of Western Australia Courses (WOWA). There are 3 levels to choose from; Wine Basics is a 3-hour course on Saturdays and costs $95, Wine Essentials is 4 evening sessions (over a 4 week period) plus a Saturday vineyard visit for $395 and Wine Essentials Plus is 7 evening sessions plus a Saturday vineyard visit over an 8 week period for $495.
The Wine Education Centre – Wines of Western Australia
The Wines of Western Australia also offer the above mentioned WOWA courses as well as a White Wine Varietals 4 week course at $295 and a Red Wine Varietals 4 week course at $295.
The above varietal courses are really focused wine tasting classes in Perth where you’ll taste 2 varieties each week blind to really help you analyse the colour, aroma and taste of each of the wine varieties to help develop your palate and tasting ability.
Upper Reach Winery’s Wine 101 Course
I couldn’t think of a better place to learn about wine than at a winery!
Renee, the Cellar Door Manager and a trained Winemaker takes the classes on Saturdays at the winery in the Swan Valley. The class is not every Saturday, so make sure you get in touch with them prior to book.
The class is $45pp and runs for 1.5 hours with a maximum of 16 people per session. It is an informal tasting which is held right smack bam in the middle of the winery amongst all the barrels. Renee is a good laugh and I promise you won’t get bored. There’ll be the perfect balance of wine education, humour and of course a good dose of wine tasting.
For more information on the Upper Reach Wine Courses in the Swan Valley, visit the Upper Reach website or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.
I’ve also heard through the grapevine (I’m not apologising for the pun, I love it!) that Mandoon Estate in the Swan Valley are looking to start up some type of wine education classes in their ultra fabulous underground cellar, so stay tuned!
The last point I want to make on this post is to not be intimated. I admit it, some wine people are scary. Sometimes even I feel judged and looked down on but at the end of the day, who cares! Why you love and enjoy wine is completely up to you. By furthering your knowledge, you’ll not only become more knowledgable when speaking about wine but you’ll really start to pin-point why you like certain wines and why you don’t!
Of course I am always here to answer any of your questions, so leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.