Monday, May 04, 2009

Request for where to get more wine training (and response)

I often get asked about where to find more formal wine training and education. This is part of the reason why I have begun to conduct more organized wine sessions. Below is a typical exchange with a student from one of my wine classes being conducted at Max Downtown this Spring....

On Apr 30, 2009 12:14pm, Kat wrote:

Hello Brian,
First, thank you for the great wine tasting classes on Wednesdays. It is really interesting!

I would like to get a more deeper knowledge in that subject. Do you know where I could follow a sommelier class or any additional classes on wine?

Thank you in advance for the information,


On May 3, 2009 – I replied:

Thanks for the positive feedback for the class(es). We have a few more classes at Blue Heron before rapping up for the season, so those are great places to start. Additionally, I am in the middle of a class series at Max Downtown - there are two more classes - May 12 and May 19th. This series is essentially a Wine 101 style series guiding students through the basics of wine regions and how to taste. If you are interested in those please call Max Downtown for details (860-522-2530) - there is a cost to attend.

As for Sommelier classes - there really is nothing official offered in CT - you have to travel to NY for them. Depending on your interest level and what you intend to use the knowledge for (ie: enter the wine business, personal education, show-off for your friends??) there are a number of programs to follow. I am working on or am certified in three:

Court of Master Sommelier - you can take the basic classes, but unless you are in the industry they really only let you go so far.
Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) - London based - this is the lead to the Master of Wine - best all-around program but most involved.
Society of Wine Educators - train in class or on your own and take the tests in NY - great all around education

Your other option is to keep taking classes locally from wine shops and restaurants. At this point, I am putting together some pretty interesting classes and tastings for the fall season and (obviously) recommend them. I also am planning on taking the Certified Wine Educator exam in the fall and then will be starting to officially teach and test people within the Society of Wine Educators program. These classes will be offered starting next Winter and Spring here in the Hartford area.

I'll add you to my email list so you get monthly updates as to what I am offering. Let me know if I can be of any other assistance.

Thanks, Brian

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