You are a wine enthusiast, I know, otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked on this article. But let’s see if this is familiar to you: you step in a wine shop, determined to look for that nice Albarino you heard so good things about, you start staring at the shelves trying to understand where you could find such a wine, you find out that the shop has country categories: Italy, France, domestic, and so on… you don’t remember exactly the provenance of that wine, you start googling (I mean on Google, not literally), you check your photo albums on the phone, headache is behind the corner. And then you surrender: you ask the sales assistant. And then what? You go home with everything but the bottle of Albarino you were looking for.
And you know why? Because he, the sales assistant, has one big card to play that you have not: knowledge. He is confident, he can divert you wherever he wants because he knows his stuff and this is good, but wouldn’t be better if you could make your own choices? And instead of drinking what they need to sell, you could drink what you really are curious to taste?
Here is the solution: education. Wine education, read the 7 reasons why you can’t postpone it anymore. At the end of this article I list the wine education opportunities offered by North American Sommelier Association, the institution I work with to spread wine culture across the U.S.
1.PERSONAL GROWTH, BRAIN and SENSES STIMULATION
It seems the most obvious reason, but just stop for one second and think about it. Learning about wines is not like studying any other subject. It involves your brain in a multidisciplinary approach (you will read about geography, oenology, viticulture, history), but not only: studying wines includes tasting, which stimulates sight, taste, smell. It’s a complete learning experience, incomparable to any other course.
2. MAKE CONSCIOUS WINE CHOICES
The kind of situation I described in the beginning of this article, is exactly what I mean with ‘you need to make conscious choices’. Knowing the wine regions, the method of productions, the best food pairing, the characteristics of the grapes, gives you all the tools you need to be aware of your wine choices. Don’t let others define your taste! Not anymore! Take their suggestions, but be able to elaborate them and be in charge of your cellar!
3. TRULY APPRECIATE WINES
The more you know about what is behind a bottle of wine, the more you will enjoy it. You will appreciate the techniques of production, the choices of the wine makers, the shades gives by the terroir, by the vintages, by the uniqueness of the native grapes… You will see that wine with other eyes, with awareness and culture. A glass of wine is much more than good or bad. There is an entire world inside it, why limit your pleasure?
4. SAVE MONEY
Investing in the wine education will make you save money. Believe it or not, once you know how to judge the technical quality of a wine, you will be able to understand if a bottle is overpriced and if you are just paying for marketing and advertising. You will also know why some old vintages are cheaper than others, in case of age worthy wines, you will be able to invest on the right bottles, without being scammed.
5. TRAVEL MORE and TO NON-TOURISTIC DESTINATIONS
Wine is the best excuse to visit new places. I have been travelling so much since I started this amazing job, I have been to places I would probably have never considered to visit as a tourist, but because a particular wine is produced or a unique grape is grown I picked them, and they tourned out to be amazing. Wine is exploring! Only when you breath the same air the grapes did, when you meet the people living there, when you eat their food, you can really, truly understand a wine region.
6. MEET OTHER WINE LOVERS
A wine course is the where you probably will meet the people with who you will share the best wines of your life. Because, let’s be honest, when you open a Chateaux Margaux 1982, you want to share it with someone who can truly appreciate it, not with your grandpa who usually drinks Yellowtail or Menage a Trois and thinks they are spectacular! Attending wine courses is an easy way to meet wine friends and to start having those ‘geeks’ special nights where everybody brings the good stuff and share.
7. IT’S FUN
Guys, you will taste selected good wines starting 10 am in the morning without being judged… How can this not be fun?
If you are interested in wine education there are tons of opportunities, but I suggest you to choose a professional school. A reliable institution. There are too many “self-expert” out there, with no certifications, who will just make you waste money trying to sell you their wines.
I am a certified sommelier and wine educator with North American Sommelier Association. We offer courses for each level and also an amazing Italian Wine Specialist Course, which is the most comprehensive course you can take about Italian wines. You will obtain an official diploma upon attendance and a successful final exam.
I will be teaching in San Diego the following courses:
- Wine Prime March 10th – 11th 2018 https://www.nasommelier.com/wine-primer-introductory-course/
- Italian Wine Specialist March 24th – 25th , April 7th-8th 2018 https://www.nasommelier.com/italian-wine-specialist-iws/
There are other courses in many other cities, check them out on their website. www.nasommelier.com
Please contact me for any request or to enrol. Seats are limited.