Skip to content

When the wine bug bites…

Maybe you’ve been frequenting our weekend wine tasting bar. Perhaps you’ve taken a class or two from us. Hopefully you’ve gotten to know one of our wine staff and gotten some cool recommendations from them. Maybe you just finished reading Jon Bonne’s New Wine Rules, Aldo Sohm’s Wine Simple, or maybe you’ve perused Madeline Puckette’s beautiful Wine Folly book… and now you’ve contracted the wine itch.

Ask any of our staff, and they’ll tell you that the itch doesn’t really go away. In fact, it just kind of intensifies over time: the more curious you get and the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know—and the greater your desire becomes to know more. It’s pretty self-perpetuating: you have an amazing bottle of wine, you learn about it, you want more of whatever it was, you have another amazing bottle…

If you’re hooked and are ready to take the next step, consider enrolling in a wine course through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. Based in London but with schools around the world, WSET provides globally recognized education qualifications in wines, spirits, and sake.

WSET provides a very clear, structured setting for those wanting a classroom-style experience to really solidify and build upon a firm foundation in wine. Many of our wine staff have taken WSET courses and can give great advice from their first-hand experience.

But best of all, you don’t need to be in the wine industry to take WSET courses. Unlike the Court of Master Sommeliers, which is geared towards those already working in restaurants, retail, or distribution, WSET encourages wine enthusiasts from all backgrounds experiences to take courses.

France 44 has teamed up with Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy, Minnesota’s only WSET-approved school, to offer two different levels of WSET!

Level 1 is a beginner-level introduction to wine, suitable for those starting a wine career or pursuing an interest in wine. For those new to wine study, this qualification provides a hands-on introduction to the world of wine. You’ll explore the main types and styles of wine through sight, smell, and taste, while also gaining the basic skills to describe wines accurately, and make food and wine pairings.

Level 2 is a beginner to intermediate level qualification exploring wines for those working in the industry or wine enthusiasts. This qualification is intended for beginners wishing to learn about a wide range of wines or those seeking to build on the introductory knowledge gained with Level 1—although you’re not required to take Level 1 before Level 2. You’ll gain knowledge of the principal and regionally important grape varieties of the world, the regions in which they are grown, and the styles of wine they produce. Through a combination of tasting and theory, you’ll explore the factors that impact style and quality, and learn how to describe these wines with confidence.

Check out Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy’s website to learn more information about the upcoming 2020 courses being offered!