The Trade Secrets Behind the Wine School

Posted by Keith Wallace

Our Core Wine Course has earned an unparalleled reputation across America. A surprisingly large number of students say the program is a singular, life-changing experience for them.

Over the years, many schools have tried to replicate our wine courses without success. The envy has gotten a bit uncomfortable, to be honest. So we feel it’s time to share our trade secrets.

First of all, wine education is not just for sommeliers. Nearly half our students attend the Core wine course to pursue their passion. Second, education is like a great wine: the magic comes from skill, experience, and age. Here’s what it takes to make a great wine course.

This is what we call the 100-20 framework.

Wine Education

100 Wines.

It takes practice to make a great wine taster. Don’t be cheap! Students need to know the difference between mediocre and fine wine.

50 Wine Regions

Cover at least 50 wine regions during class. Students need to know the entire world of wine, not just Napa and Bordeaux.

40 Hours of Education

Devote at least 40 hours of classroom hours to your students, even if some of those hours have to be online.

30 Years’ Experience

Devote two talented instructors with a combined 30 years of experience. Real-world experience is always best.

20 Students

A classroom with an average of 20 students will make the experience better for everyone involved. A diverse student base is vital!

More of the Secret Sauce

Safe Against Any Virus

We run a Medical Grade H14 HyperHEPA system for immunodeficient students in our classrooms. Our Swiss-made system filters ultrafine particles down to 0.003 microns, 10x smaller than any virus.

Open for All

The school has been a haven for all wine lovers, regardless of creed, color, sexual orientation, economics, or politics, for over twenty years. Our students include PHDs and GEDS, CEOs and social activists, vegans, and BBQ pitmasters. Oh, and a bunch of winemakers and sommeliers, too.

A Sommelier Pin without Baggage

Our programs are backed by the National Wine School (NWS). Due to the ethical questions surrounding the Court of Master Sommeliers, we reject their certifications and methodologies. We encourage you to do the same. We believe NWS is a superior educational platform that offers the same level of certification.

2 thoughts on “The Trade Secrets Behind the Wine School”

  1. Love the “Court” criticism, so richly deserved in my mind. Having said that, in my travels I’ve befriended dozens of level 1 & 2 Somms that are excellent managers of wine shops, restaurant wine cellars, and cruise ship wine inventories that include delicious wines from tomorrow’s destination.

    I’ve yet to meet a wine professional, with an understanding of what constitutes a healthy red (hint) wine.

    Looking to learn, EGJ

    • Agreed. A lot of good eggs out there. We just don’t need to support a problematic accreditation agency when other ones –as good or better– are available.


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