Our guide to world of wine

Our guide to world of wine

First published date January 21 2014 Amended date March 12 2015

Do you find yourself staring aimlessly at a wine list at a restaurant focusing solely on the prices? Or not knowing where to begin in the intimidating atmosphere of a wine shop or the wine aisle of a supermarket? Then maybe venturing in to the world of wine will pull you out of obscurity. Whether you choose to take a one-off wine tasting experience one evening or a more in-depth course over a number of weeks, your pallet will be broadened in the interesting world of fermented grapes. By the end of your course, your knowledge of wine will become deeper than knowing a dry to a medium-dry white. Whether intended as a bit of fun for yourself and friends, to progress your career professionally or just as a gift, the courses on offer have all your bases covered.


I’m clueless when it comes to wine

Nonsense, though the difficult jargon professional sommeliers use to describe a wine may baffle you at first, don’t let that put you off! Course providers are not exclusive and take on anyone whether it’s the first steps into the world of wine or a frequent hobbyist. (You just have to be above 18!)


Wine tasting

Naturally, embarking on a course in the world of wine will involve you actually tasting the stuff, (in moderation of course) and many courses offer you much wine to become accustomed to. A professional wine taster or sommelier, likely to be the person taking the course, has been trained over a number of years perfecting their senses to become experts in the field of wine. On the tasting side of things, you will explore everything from the opacity or clarity of a wine, its colour and of course the actual taste and smell; these four areas are most typically tackled when trying wine. In professional circles, everything about the wine is held in as high regard as the taste and smell.  By the end of the course you will know the difference between an astringent Chardonnay and a sweet Chenin Blanc.


Exploring the world

Wine has been brewed across the world for many centuries and of course some countries and regions are more renowned for their fine winemaking history and pedigree than others, and a course in the world of wine will help you explore the world of that too as well as your pallet. Like tasting, you will travel across the world through wine, learning how about different regions and how their climate can affect the soil of the land and therefore the grapes in their vineyards. Taking Chile as an example, one of the best known and largest wine producers in the world has one of the most interesting climates owing to the country’s lengthy nature, coastline and mountains. With the extreme heat of the Atacama Desert to the north, the Antarctic cold of the south and the pleasant Mediterranean feel of the central regions, the climate fluctuates throughout and allows for all kinds wine varieties. Chile’s mountainous east in the Andes and its relatively short trip west to the long coastline of the Pacific Ocean allows such a range in the type of grapes growing in the South American country. The course you choose will help you understand in great depth which grapes grow in certain regions and climates and how it affects the wine itself.  


How can knowledge in the world of wine benefit me?

You can never know too much about wine, right? Whether you book a course for fun, for a gift or for professional development, you can benefit greatly. No longer will you be lost in the vastness of the wine aisle at the supermarket, and people will be impressed with your choice of wine to go with the meal you cooked for a dinner party (and your culinary skills too). Choosing a bottle from the wine list at a restaurant becomes a more interesting and important part of your evening rather than a difficult endeavour.  As well propelling yourself as the top wine expert amongst your friends, an introduction to the world of wine can profit you professionally also. If you work anywhere in the hospitality field, knowing your wine can help you develop a better wine list or food and drink pairings for your pub or restaurant, and the  knowledge you develop you can pass onto customers and educate staff. There are also many careers you can take up in wine after taking your first-steps with a course, whether you may eventually become a fully fledged sommelier or a wine merchant.


Fun wine fact:

France, the world’s largest wine producer by quite some distance – unsurprisingly – produced over 6.5 million tonnes of wine in 2011.