Discover the Best Wine Tasting Classes Online
Wine has become increasingly popular in the US over the last decade, with 31% of surveyed Americans saying that wine is their alcoholic beverage of choice over beer and liquor. It's estimated that 2.8 gallons of wine are consumed by the average American wine drinker annually. Recently, online wine retailers have become popular, making it easier for consumers to have wine delivered straight to their homes. American wine production is also growing exponentially, making it easier to keep up with demand in the US.
Wine has been popular around the globe for thousands of years. The first traces of a wine-like substance were found in 60-million-year-old fossils and ancient Persian fables describe the first discovery of wine. People and cultures across time fine-tuned the wine making process, from ancient Egyptians to the Greeks. They also discovered and grew a variety of wine grapes suited for certain locations and soil types. Today, there are over 10,000 wine grape varieties being grown to produce wines with varying tastes and aromas.
Wine tasting is an activity that can also be traced far back into history. Greek philosophers described wines in their writings. Wine tasting is a popular activity among wine enthusiasts but is also welcoming to beginners. Wine aficionados may prefer to follow formal wine tasting methods, but if you’re new to wine tasting, you should just focus on assessing the wine’s appearance, aroma, taste, and aftertaste.
Wine tasting can also be done from home. If you decide to host your own wine tasting, you’ll only need wine, wine glasses, snacks, water, and something to take notes on.
Why You Should Learn Wine Tasting Online
Attending a wine tasting can help you broaden your palate. It’s not uncommon for someone to try a wine and stick to it without branching out and trying different varieties. Wine tastings will allow you to try a range of wines at different price points. Your instructor can also teach you how to pick out flavor notes and tastes within the wines you sample. Once the tasting is over, you’ll hopefully have discovered new wines that you love and have an idea of the flavor notes that you enjoy.
Wine tastings are great social activities, whether you are attending with a group of friends, coworkers, or your partner. Vineyards that offer tastings are ideal locations for Valentine’s Day dates, anniversary celebrations, and casual work events. If you attend a wine tasting, it may take place inside, or outside in a garden or on a patio. Most wine tastings also offer snacks or even meals, with options ranging from nuts and crackers to pizza.
The number of wines you taste at wine tastings differs but is typically between six and ten. You’ll be exposed to a variety of notes and price points that you can refer to when ordering wine in the future. If you learn what flavor notes you enjoy at a wine tasting, you’ll know what type of wine to order the next time you’re out at a restaurant. Additionally, knowing the typical price of certain wines ahead of time means you’ll know your budget before ordering.
The prices of wine can vary greatly from one bottle to the next. If you’re ordering a wine that was aged in an oak barrel, it’ll be more expensive than a wine that wasn’t. This is because oak barrels add flavor to the wine. The age of the wine and the location of the grape’s vineyard also factor into the price of the wine. By sampling multiple wines at a tasting, you have the chance to sample them first before committing to any purchases.
Virtual Wine Tasting Classes
Virtual wine tasting classes are a great learning option if you have a flexible schedule. Virtual classes tend to offer more subject options than in-person classes. They also eliminate the need to commute to a school or other venue. Because the classes are remote, they can be taken from virtually anywhere. Despite being virtual, these classes are still taught by expert instructors who’ll guide you through tasting a variety of wines.
If you attend an in-person wine tasting class, the wines will be provided for you. Virtual classes, however, require you to make sure you have the necessary wines or wine tasting kits. Most instructors will direct you to a supplier you can purchase the correct tasting kit from.
There are online wine tasting classes available for you to take on CourseHorse.
If you’re interested in taking individual wine tasting classes or are looking to take a series of classes, the San Francisco Wine School offers a wide variety of virtual classes. One of their beginner-level classes is an introduction to Italian wines. Italian wines are among some of the most popular in the world. In this class, you’ll learn about some of Italy’s top wines, including Brunello di Montalcino, one of Italy’s rarest and prestigious red wines. Students will taste six wines in this seminar as their instructor teaches them about different grapes, styles of Italian wine, and the diversity of flavor profiles produced in the country.
Offered by the same school is Zinfandels of the World. This wine is a staple in America because of the large acreage it takes up in California. Your instructor will teach you about the wine’s closest relations in Croatia and Italy, with emphasis on the role that soil type and climate have on the grape throughout various regions of the world. This class is a part of the Wine Grapes of the World series.
For more advanced wine tasters, the San Francisco Wine School runs an Advanced Blind Tasting program. Individual blind tastings will have you attempting to identify highly acidic wines, thick and thin-skinned grape wines, and aromatic white wines.
If you’re interested in learning more about the impact that climate and soil type have on wine, you should check out the NYC Wine Company’s class, Islands & Volcanoes. Over two sessions you’ll try six wines that were made from grapes grown in vineyards on islands, near volcanoes, and near volcanoes on islands. These will be a mix of white and red wines. By the end of this session, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the role that the local habitat plays in the growth of a wine grape and how that then impacts its flavor.
Private Online Group Wine Tasting Classes
Are you and a group of friends or coworkers looking to schedule a relaxing wine tasting class? CourseHorse offers wine tasting classes for private groups that they can deliver to you remotely. Reach out to CourseHorse through the contact form on their website to learn about the wine tasting classes they can offer you. CourseHorse will work to accommodate your group size, but if you’re unsure of it at the time of booking, you can always update it up to a week before your class date. All materials are supplied to participants by CourseHorse ahead of the scheduled session.
CourseHorse doesn’t charge booking fees and allows you to cancel your class up to two weeks before it’s scheduled. Your class can be delivered via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, or WebEx, although Zoom is preferred.
Online vs. In-Person Wine Tasting Classes
Online and in-person wine tasting classes have different advantages. You should consider these before deciding which course delivery works best for you.
In-person classes put you face-to-face with your instructor who can answer your questions throughout the tasting. These are also a great way to socialize with other wine enthusiasts. However, in-person wine tasting classes aren’t always accessible. If you don’t live near an area where they’re offered, or if you can’t commute, you might want to consider online classes.
Online classes are taught by a live instructor who can guide you through the tasting, but these classes don’t allow for as much socialization as an in-person tasting class does. Online classes also require you to order your own tasting kits, whereas in-person classes provide wine samples for you.
Can I Learn Wine Tasting for Free Online?
You learn about wine tasting for free using online tutorials and guides written by expert sommeliers (trained wine professionals). With enough research and guidance, you’ll be able to learn the basics of wine tasting and the history of the wines you’re interested in. If you’re looking for additional instruction or someone to answer your questions, taking a class led by a sommelier is the quickest and most thorough way to learn about wine and wine tasting.