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Wine Foundation Program (Spring Semester)

Sunday, April 14 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Foundation Wine Course


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Sundays, April 14th to June 9th, from 4 – 6 pm. No class on April 28th.

The Essential Step For Your Wine Diploma

Both the Foundation (L2) and Intermediate (L3) programs are required to earn your sommelier certification. The Core Sommelier Program includes both programs.

The world of wine is built on the foundation of taste. The top professionals in the food, wine, and hospitality industries understand this: the committed student of wine must learn this. To stand tall in the wine world, the student must learn to unravel the hidden flavors of wine and speak the language of the senses.

The Wine School is a great place to build knowledge and pursue your passion. –

Jonathan Newman, Former Chairman of the PLCB and Wine Enthusiast’s Man of the Year

The Foundation program is truly a unique and enjoyable learning experience… it is the only chemistry class you will fall in love with.

Bob Pigeon, Executive Editor of De Capo Press.

Instructor: Keith Wallace

Course Description: The world of wine is a complex tapestry of flavors and aromas. This foundation program is designed to introduce students to the art and science of wine tasting, helping them unlock the hidden nuances of wines and communicate effectively about their sensory experiences. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, an aspiring sommelier, or simply curious about the world of wine, this course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to appreciate wines on a whole new level.

Students will learn the techniques and knowledge to become extraordinary wine tasters in a single semester. Graduates can identify major wine varietals in a blind tasting, a skill many seasoned sommeliers cannot accomplish. Most wine enthusiasts remain tourists of the grape: they drink and enjoy without ever knowing the greater joys hidden just below the surface. The Foundation Course is your key to unlocking that world. With it, you may be able to turn a mere hobby into a deeply passionate and highly creative calling.

Course Objectives: By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify major wine varietals in blind tastings.
  • Describe and differentiate between Old World and New World wine styles.
  • Understand the components that contribute to the complexity of wines.
  • Gain insight into the fundamentals of winemaking.
  • Develop the ability to communicate effectively about wine using sensory language.

Course Schedule: Week 1: Introduction to Wine Tasting and Sensory Evaluation

  • The role of taste in the world of wine
  • Developing a sensory vocabulary
  • Techniques for blind tasting

Week 2: The Science of Wine

  • Understanding the chemistry behind wine flavors
  • How terroir influences wine characteristics

Week 3: Exploring White Wines

  • Varietal characteristics and tasting profiles of popular white wines
  • Old World vs. New World white wine styles

Week 4: Understanding Red Wines

  • Varietal characteristics and tasting profiles of popular red wines
  • Old World vs. New World red wine styles

Week 5: Wine Components

  • Breaking down the components of wine: acidity, tannins, body, and more
  • How these components contribute to the overall wine experience

Week 6: Introduction to Winemaking

  • The winemaking process from grape to bottle
  • How production methods influence wine style

Week 7: Blind Tasting Techniques

  • Refining blind-tasting skills
  • Identifying varietals, styles, and regions through blind tasting

Week 8: Culmination and Assessment

  • Final blind tasting session


  • Weekly participation and engagement in class discussions
  • Blind tasting exercises during class sessions
  • Multiple-choice final exam
  • Blind tasting assessment during the final session

Graduation Requirements: To successfully complete the course and earn your wine diploma, you must:

  • Attend all class sessions
  • Participate actively in discussions and activities
  • Achieve a passing grade on the final multiple-choice exam
  • Demonstrate proficiency in blind-tasting assessments

Requirements: There are no prerequisites for this course. It is open to individuals of all experience levels who have an interest in expanding their knowledge and appreciation of wines.

Note: At-home study and practice are highly recommended to enhance your learning experience and prepare for assessments.

109 S 22nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19103 United States
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