Food & Drink

Want To Learn About Wine? Here Are 5 Free Educational Resources To Use From Home

There used to be a time when wine education had a strictly unapproachable tone. For many people, this seems to be true even today, but virtual avenues are increasing access to resources and educators from around the globe. Here are five free courses and programs available right now so you can be a wine pro by summer!

Rioja Wine Academy

Wines from Rioja presents the Rioja Wine Academy, an online, bilingual educational platform with four courses, each featuring a final exam. Pass the assessment and earn a diploma. All resources are free and digital, including a recommended wines list that allows the user to shop by specific characteristics, rather than a prescriptive bottle menu. According to the program, “anyone can become a Rioja wine expert in only 15 hours – all from the comfort of the couch!” Wines from Rioja invites users to provide feedback within the platform and this is scattered with positive notes that seem to indicate a high-quality experience.

Discovering Bourgogne Wines

Originally designed for members of the wine trade, the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) free eLearning package is now available to anyone interested in improved knowledge of Bourgogne (Burgundy) wines. Created in in partnership with local winegrowers and négociants, this tool is kept current with the latest key figures and appellation updates. According to the materials, this program is “a fun way to improve your knowledge of Bourgogne wines in just 90 minutes.” Discovering Bourgogne Wines is free, multi-lingual and available online or to download for offline study.

The Champagne MOOC

The Comité interprofessionel du vin de Champagne (Champagne trade association) offers the Champagne MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), an educational resource for both wine trade members and wine enthusiasts. The program covers the people, history and terroir of Champagne as well as background on how it is made and how to consume it. Available in English and French, the course takes around five hours to complete, is self-guided and available online in four free modules (a premium version is also available). “As a MOOC trainee, you will have access to a range of resources—most notably videos and supporting documents,” as stated in course materials.

World of Wine: From Grape to Glass

Offered by the University of Adelaide, the program covers a diverse range of wine-related aspects such as descriptive and sensory attributes, grapevine and vineyard development and management, winemaking techniques and more. Led by a team of professors from the university, this course takes about six weeks, with two-three hours of self-paced study per week. The classic version is free, with a verified certificate available for a fee. World of Wine: From Grape to Glass promises a course “for anyone who loves wine and wine tasting.”

School of Port

Offered by Symington Family Estates, (W. & J. Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s and Warre’s) the School of Port kicks off with “The Essentials” module, which users can request online. The corresponding School of Port Instagram account offers videos and supporting infographics and presents Instagram Lives and weekly Q & A sessions with special guests and Port wine experts. “A big part of our work is educating people about the Port category,” says 5th generation Port producer Rob Symington in a press release. “Often people who don’t know about Port become really enthusiastic once they learn more and taste the wines.”


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