Are you looking for a wine appreciation course and/or one-off educational wine tasting classes in Perth? Well I have the thing for you! The School of Wine conducts both public and private classes. It’s run by two wine-loving gals – Sadie Holmes and Suz Fisher and I recently attended one of their classes…
Firstly I want to say a big thanks to Saide & Suz for inviting me along to one of their recent wine masterclasses at The Grosvenor in the Perth CBD. I love wine education classes because there’s just so much to learn about wine, it’s a never-ending ‘study topic’ and when it’s teamed with wine tasting, well you can’t complain can you!
I came across the School of Wine back in 2014 when Christina Pickard was running the show. Christina decided to move back to the States and as a result, Sadie & Suz decided to take over the School of Wine in July 2016. It’s a completely independent venture which means they aren’t attached to a specific winery or wine business so everything is completely unbiased/salesy with the #1 aim to educate on the wonderful world of wine.
Alongside hiring the School of Wine for private functions like Hen’s Nights and Corporate Functions these lovely ladies also run Wine 101 Courses which involve 3 x 2 hour sessions over a 3-week period to get to know wine just that little bit better. Every month they also run one-off educational wine tasting classes on specific topics such as; exploring the best Australian regions, wines for Spring, Australian wines with an Italian twist and more! I hear the March class will be on Mediterranean Wines – stay tuned to the School of Wine website for more info.
The class I recently attended was ‘Cool Climate Wines’ – a masterclass showcasing boutique wines from cool climate regions around Australia and beyond! Here’s how it went:
The class was held on a Wednesday night in the city from 6:30-8:30pm which was perfect timing for after work. We tried 4 wines in the first hour, before having a short break and returning to try 4 more. At the start of the class, bread and olive oil was placed on each table (thank goodness as I was starving coming straight from work!).
The School of Wine will only ever have a max of 12 people per class to keep it nice and intimate. In our group we had 9 people, which meant people could ask plenty of questions without disrupting the flow of the class too much.
On the tables when we arrived were our glasses, alongside a tasting book to write down our notes and also some very handy handouts – a wine aroma wheel and the Wine Folly Wine Descriptions chart to help us all describe the wines a bit better. It was actually really interesting having this in front of me – it made me think more outside the box to my normal descriptors.
And of course there was plenty of water on hand too!
I think the vibe at a wine tasting, especially at an educational one is so important. I hate the fact that wine can be so intimidating for some people, especially when it comes to talking about wine. If you’re paying to learn about wine, you want to feel comfortable and enjoy the experience, no one wants to pay to feel like they can’t drink wine!
As most of you know, I strongly encourage everyone to have their own opinion – at the end of the day what you taste and think about a wine, is no bother to me. I am going to drink exactly what I like and if anyone feels they need to snigger at my wine choices or wine descriptions, well, f**** them. Sorry for getting so colourful but I feel so strongly about this topic!
Now – getting to my point. The School of Wine is all about setting a snob-free environment, as they say:
The wonderful thing about wine is that it’s so subjective and there is no absolute right and no wrong answer!
Kudos ladies! That’s exactly how any wine educator should think, after all, wine is an evolving subject – no one knows everything about the wine world.
I guess what really stood out for me is the enthusiasm and passion for wine both Sadie & Suz have – it’s contagious. You can tell these ladies simply love wine and sharing their knowledge and it sets such a good vibe for the class.
Are the classes interactive?
Yes they are! Well obviously you are tasting wine throughout the 2 hours however there is also a lot of discussion taking place when you’re trying the wine. The class encourages you to comment about the colour, aroma/bouquet and taste of the wine.
Our class also started with everyone introducing themselves and answering the question “If you could be any wine, what would you be?”. Any guesses what I said??
The Cool Climate Wines Masterclass
I really enjoyed this class as it covered 4 grape varietals that I love; Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Malbec. There were 2 wines per grape varietal to taste, 1 was from WA and 1 from elsewhere. I actually came across some wines I really enjoyed and will definitely be seeking them out again.
Alongside the tasting, we were taken through what exactly cool climate wines are and the type of regions they come from.
We were taken from the Great Southern wine region in WA to Eden Valley in SA, Mornington Peninsula in VIC, Martinborough in New Zealand and Mendoza in Argentina.
If you’re interested in learning about this topic, I’d suggest checking out this article on Warm vs. Cool Climate Wines by Wine Folly.
All up, I really enjoyed the evening and definitely learnt a few new things. The class is perfect for anyone who loves wine and wants to learn a bit more. Class prices are around $70pp.
They are perfect for all levels of winos and give you a chance to taste some fab wines from WA and further abroad. Make sure to follow the School of Wine on Facebook and Instagram to get a further taste of what they offer 😉