There has been a lot of talk in the blogsphere and in wine magazines of late about the importance or necessity of getting a degree in wine. I have always been on the side of that debate that opts for education, formal and informal. I firmly believe that at all levels of the industry from consumer to professional, wine education is a great tool in one’s kit. As a person who makes their living from promoting wines, I think it all the more necessary to know what I am talking about when speaking to consumers, members of the trade or pitching journalists. Before I worked in the wine industry though, I felt the same way. I took many wine classes as a consumer of all different sorts. My very first were informal tasting menus with explanations many years ago when I was in college and lived in Dijon. Most people who know me think I have always been a convinced Italophile. That’s true but before I fell head over heels with Italy, I wa obsessed with everything French. In fact, I was a French major in college. Naturally French wine was my first love. I had been looking for years to find the right French wine classes when I discovered the French Wine Society, now called the Wine Scholar Guild. I signed up for their online course to get the certificate. I also signed up for the class on the Rhone Valley which I wasn’t able to complete. I just resigned up for that class and am really looking forward to the program. They have revised it and this time, I am determined to dig deep. I will also be studying the Provence program. They have nicely offered a coupon to those who read my blog, so if interested in those programs, use GOLDR50 coupon when you sign up.
I know the classes are a lot of work but what has impressed me with their programs as opposed to others is the level of the teaching staff, almost all MWs and MSs. In any event, I think education should be required for all jobs in the industry but that’s just a personal view. Whatever your level of wine knowledge is, getting more education enriches you as a person, in my view. What we all love about wine is what an integral part of the culture and traditions of every country it is. Most wine people I know also love travel, art and food. Certainly if I am looking at a George de La Tour painting I can appreciate it on many levels but if I know more about it, I can appreciate it even more fully.