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The World of Wine: Your Best Introduction to Wine, for Beginners, Intermediates & Enthusiasts

Course photograph
Great students at a recent World of Wine class held at Sam's of Gedney Way

Student Comments

From anonymous student evaluation forms:
  • Extremely interesting, excellent job.
  • This was great. It helped me to identify aromas and flavors without the distraction of what wine tasting is “supposed” to be.
  • The pace was awesome! I felt I learned a lot and implemented my knowledge when drinking wine outside of class.
  • I very much enjoyed this course. It was relaxed yet full of information. Very professional, but not intimidating.
  • Excellent and well-informed instruction. Learned while having fun. Comfortable atmosphere.
  • I would strongly recommend the course to others. It is a strong value.
  • The course book is very well done. Thorough. I will revert back to it.
  • I like the class very much. I now 'taste' wine that I order and can order what I like (now that I know).
  • The course gave me the knowledge and confidence to choose wine to buy and to order at a restaurant.
  • Very pleasant, non-judgmental atmosphere. Information is wonderful.
  • Enjoyable, educational, excellent course. I would definitely recommend it to others and would take advanced seminars with Ned.
  • I loved the class. I may take it again!
Every student who completes 4 of the 6 classes will receive a certificate of completion
World of Wine Certificate <

Course Summary

This course offers an enjoyable, clearly marked journey through the delightful, sometimes baffling, world of wine. In six weekly sessions, with 8 to 10 wines each class, we will immerse ourselves in the principal grape varieties and wine regions of the world. Novices to certified wine lovers will gain a better understanding of the many varieties and styles of wine, the principal wine-growing regions of the world, and the tastes, flavors and tactile sensations that define a wine. Participants will better understand their own wine preferences and develop their personal skills for

Each class features a relaxed, informative, and interactive style of learning. All students receive extensive written material, full-colored maps of the major wine countries, and tutored tastings of 8 to 10 wines each class.


Course Description:

Wine Class 1: The Most Important Grape Varieties and Wine Regions of the World

Take off your shoes and get ready to stomp grapes. Not really, but we will jump into the vineyards of the world, with both feet. We will taste wines from the world's 8 principal grape varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah; and from the 8 major wine producing countries: France, Italy, Spain, Germany, United States, Australia, New Zealand and Chile. You will come away with a working knowledge of the major grape varieties and regional grape styles, and a better understanding of the concept of terroir and how different wines can be.

A blind tasting will help us remember and identify the characteristics of different varietals.

Wine Class 2: Taste Like a Sommelier Part I – Develop Your Palate (identifying tastes and texture in wine): How to taste and what we taste: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, tannin and alcohol

We will explore the principal tastes and textures of wine, learn the vocabulary, and discover and refine our taste preferences.

The class begins with a tasting exercise in which you will experience the effect on your palate of sweetness, acidity, tannin, and alcohol. We will go on to taste wines that exhibit these taste characteristics so that you become accustomed to identifying these tastes in wine. These sensory experiences will be matched with the vocabulary used to describe wine. By the end of the class you will have both an intellectual and sensory grasp of what it means when a wine is described as, “off-dry, crisp, green, harsh, astringent, full-bodied, concentrated, smooth, silky, light, lush, rustic or tannic”. .

We will also smell several defective wines to identify the most common wine faults: wines that are corked, oxidized, or affected by volatile acidity.

Wine Appreciation Class Wine Appreciation Class Wine Appreciation Class Wine Appreciation Class

Wine Class 3: Taste Like a Sommelier Part II – Develop Your Nose (recognizing aromas, wine styles, and what you prefer): Identifying aromas, bouquets, flavors, and Old World and New World wine styles.

The grape is a unique fruit because of its many flavor components – over 200 aromas have been identified in different grapes. This class will focus on the major “families” of grape aromas, the difference between aroma, bouquet and flavor, how flavors and tastes join to create a particular wine style, and the difference between Old World and New World wine styles.

The class will begin with a tasting exercise in which a number of aromas and flavors are experienced. Then these aromas will be associated with the 8-10 wines served. At the same time as noting the aromas of the wines, we will note the tastes and textures of the wines and how they combine with the aromas to create a wine style.

The idea of wine styles helps to organize and clarify the thousands of wines out there. It also allows us to distinguish what's typical about New World versus Old World wines.

Wine Class 4: France - Motherland of Wine

Whatever one thinks of French politics, all agree that France has long been the benchmark for fine wine. What is unusual is that France has so many fine wines from so many regions: Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from Burgundy, Pinot Gris and Riesling from Alsace; Syrah and Grenache from the Rhone Valley, Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc from the Loire, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Bordeaux... not to mention Champagne, Sauterne, and a host of other great French wines.

Hold on for a "Grand Tour" through the vineyards of France.

Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux: One of France's most renowned Chateaux

Wine Class 5: The Wines of Italy and Spain - the most fun, varied, and next to France, the most important wine countries in Europe

Saying the names of Italian grapes and wines is almost as enjoyable as drinking them - the beautiful, multi-syllabic, round and full, Barolo, Nebbiolo, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Vernaccia di San Gemignano, Brunello di Montepulciano, etc. Drinking these wines will make you understand why Italy has overtaken France as the largest exporter of wine to the US. Spain has its own great wines, known both for their quality and their value. This is our Mediterranean session and you will feel the warm Mediterranean sun in each of these wines.

Wine Class 6: Leading the "New World": The Wines of the United States

Did you know that many think that Washington State's Cabernet Sauvignons are as good as Napa Valley's; and that there is world-class Riesling being produced in New York State's Finger Lake Region? All 50 states of the Union have wineries, but we will focus on California, Washington, Oregon and New York. Wine is BIG in the US and getting bigger. Find out the best regions, varietals, and producers the US has to offer - and why they rank among the best in the world.

To register, click here.