Friday, August 28, 2009

Back to wineSchool

Last Saturday at wineLIFE, we started our mailing list. We asked for people’s names, email addresses, and we asked them to write in what their favorite wine was. Some were very vague (red), while others were very specific (merlot, montepulciano), but the overall common thread of the day was made up of many requests for wine classes.

The Back to Wine School window looks really good - complete with marble notebooks, big number 2 pencils, wine text books and a real school desk (please, don’t ask me where we got it from!). Now, it seems, the theme will continue inside as I think hard about what classes to offer and how.

My first thoughts were to offer a set of themed series - five classes covering five of the major grape varieties, a series on different wine countries or regions, perhaps a three part look at red, white and sparkling wines. One thing was clear in my mind: I’m not sure a “wine 101” is the way to go. Of course, final decisions will be steered by the results of a poll I will conduct among the people who would be my students. But based on what I’ve seen so far, no one really needs to be treated like they have to go to a vinous version of Pre K. Wine savvy comes in all forms from those who know think they “don’t know anything about wine” but know enough to know they love Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay/Merlot, to those who love Italian wines, like Burgundy. All of this would strike the average wine connoisseur as very elementary, but to me, it means that consumers have a sense for what is out there, and know what they have enjoyed in the past and/or present, so it is time to take them to the next level so they can feel more confident navigating the world of wine.

Email me, please, with your thoughts on what wineLIFE wineSchool should cover. It will help me form a curriculum that is both valuable and enjoyable to all my future students!

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