Wine Education: Online Vs In-Class, What do you Prefer?

All over the world, people are taking classes online, including in the wine industry. Wine classes have blossomed with many stores and restaurants offering wine classes. Many professional wine schools are also available throughout the United States and abroad. I have taken many wine classes during my years in the industry and am a firm believer in education as a way for both increasing one’s personal knowledge but also to enhance one’s career. In the past I have written about a few of my favorite wine experiences, at the International Wine Center and at the Society of Wine Educators Conferences. I have taught a webinar as part of the Wine Scholar Guild program on Italy, given seminars at the American Wine Society conference and at the Society of Wine Educators conference. I love education in all of its forms.

In fact, friends make fun of me because I frame and collect wine certificates from all of these programs yet I am still unsure of how I learn best. I used to think it was in-class with an instructor and a glass or 10 of wine in front of me. I am no longer sure if that is true. As the world has evolved, so has my tolerance for online education and I’m not alone. We all know how famous Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are today.

I appreciate the exchange of information with others in classes and personal interaction which often leads to friendships among people in the same industry or across industries/sectors. Most of my friends in New York since moving back from Italy I have met through classes, directly or indirectly. Yet with limited time, between work and family life, now more than I ever, I appreciate the flexibility that online education can provide. I wonder if others feel the same.

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