Wine Talk with Alice Swift
Welcome Back to School: Get Your Online Wine Education On!
Another magazine issue, and still another month of social distancing and restricted hospitality and tourism. As part of the “back to school” with students in K-12, colleges and universities nationwide returning back to school in mostly online and hybridized formats, this month I thought I would share a few online and web-based opportunities to learn about wine without “formally” going back to school.
Explore the list from top down to view casual learning opportunities all the way to full online courses complete with optional (paid) certificates of completion from reputable educational institutions. Note, however, that there are endless resources for wine education beyond what is presented below. This list is curated by yours truly, with a little something for everyone.
• Guild of Sommeliers Podcast: Available on podcast apps or directly at http://guildpodcast.com
Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth started this podcast over 10 years ago, and caters his monthly series on a variety of wine and beverage topics. This is a great resource for those who want to dive deeper into wine studies, hear wine experts in interviews or even gain some insights on how to study for wine certifications and exams.
• Wine Enthusiast Podcast: Available on podcast apps or directly at www.winemag.com/podcast
Want something a little less intimidating? This podcast is for the “wine enthusiast,” where you can learn a little something about wine, explore hot topics and trends and also meet and learn more Wine Enthusiast’s editors and other special guests.
• Wine Folly: https://winefolly.com/episode
Want some fun and down to earth videos to learn about wine? Wine Folly was established back in 2011, and since then, the company has published wine guide books that have won acclaims such as a NY Times Best Seller and James Beard award! Check out Wine Folly’s series of videos, or explore the winefolly.com website for more great wine education resources.
• Decanter Know Your Wine app for Apple iPhones and iPads https://apps.apple.com/app/apple-store/id1356107397
Decanter, the UK-based wine and spirits magazine, released its own wine education app in 2018. The app utilizes a technique called “spacing,” which essentially is the strategy of delivering learning into bite-sized chunks. If you don’t have an iPhone, try your hand at Decanter’s Wine Quiz challenges instead! www.decanter.com/learn/winequiz
Wine Website Subscriptions
• Jancis Robinson Purple Pages Membership: www.jancisrobinson.com/about-membership
Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine, is well-known for her books and publications, such as the Oxford Companion to Wine, and the comprehensive Wine Grapes: A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties. Become a Purple Pages subscriber for a little over $100 and access hundreds of thousands of wine tasting notes, tens of thousands of articles written by wine experts and exclusive online access to The Oxford Companion to Wine and maps of The World Atlas of Wine! Or, subscribe to the free weekly newsletter for complimentary beverage tidbits of information.
Finally, do you want the full online course experience? There are many wine education courses available, but the below options are MOOCs (Massive, Open, Online Courses) that you can audit for free from reputable institutions, or pay a minimal fee to obtain a certificate of completion.
• Wine Tasting Sensory Techniques: www.coursera.org/learn/wine
UC Davis is quite well known for its viticulture and enology programs. In 2017, it produced this Coursera online course available for free to audit, or obtain a certification of completion for $79. So far, over 38,000 people have enrolled in this online course, which takes approximately 14 hours to complete. Learn about the wine tasting process, wine varietals of the world, food and wine pairings and more!
• World of Wine: From Grape to Glass: www.edx.org/course/world-of-wine-from-grape-to-glass
This online course offered by the University of Adelaide, Australia, has been available for a number of years. Since its first offering, almost 90,000 people have enrolled in the course! As with many other wine introduction courses, you will learn about wine styles, wine tasting, viticulture, winemaking, production, etc.
Being socially distant from others and staying home whenever possible doesn’t mean that you can’t still be productive! Take this opportunity during this unique period of time to professionally develop yourself and learn a little more about wine, whether at the beginner or the advanced level!
Until next month, Cheers~!