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Wine Classes for Every Kind of Drinker

Photo by John Capone

Dead leaves, electoral propaganda and so, so many kinds of squash: Yes, it’s fall. No, you are not frolicking across campus searching for a Homecoming date and throwing ping-pong balls into beer mugs. But that’s okay because school just got a lot more fun (in a grown-up kind of way). Whether you are curious about the difference between the Old World and the New; Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay; Grand Cru and just plain ol’ Village, there is a class for you, and, ding ding, it’s in session.

For the Aspirational Drinker
Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk into a wine store, pick up any bottle and know what it should taste like, what food it would go with and how much it should cost?  Adam Chase from Grape Experience. strongly believes that his six-week Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) class will empower you just so.

What: WSET Certification; a lot of wine tasting; consumer empowerment; possibly a new career.
When: Weeknights throughout the year.
Where: Presidio Golf Course and Clubhouse
I want more info, dammit: adam@grapeexperience.com

For the Vari-Curious
You like wine: mostly red, and sometimes white, but you want to explore--what’s with those bubbles? The Discover Wine & Spirits Academy is not here to judge you, but rather to help you enjoy. Their entry-level-friendly, one-night classes focus on specific regions and wines, so on any given night you can walk away an expert on at least one area of the world. What’s all the fuss about Malbec, anyway?

What: A place to learn a little more about this intoxicating beverage, one wine region at a time.
When: Mostly one-night stands; some weekend commitments required.
Where: 3200 California Street
I want more info, dammit: info@discoverwineandspirits.com

For the Wine Professional:
That’s so awesome that you can name all the DOCGs in Tuscany. I bet that makes you super popular at parties. Welcome to a world where you actually have friends—and such knowledge is praised and recognized. The brand spanking-new San Francisco Wine School plans to “bring all credential under one roof,” according to founding partner Maureen  Downey (DWS, CWE, FWS). Including credentials you didn’t even know existed. French Wine Scholar? California Wine Appellation Specialist? They’ve got more acronyms that you’ll know what to do with (along with a kick-ass faculty and an amazing selection of wines).

What: A place for professionals to review and refresh your knowledge; taste rare and older wines; advance your career with obscure but sought-after credentials
When: Classes begin January 1st and throughout the year.
Where: For the time being (a lease in Union Square is currently under negotiation), they are holding class at the Embassy Suites, halfway between San Francisco Airport and Candlestick Park.
I want more info, dammit: help@sfwineschool.com

For The Rest of Us
A relative gathering place for sommeliers, wine professionals and collectors, the San Francisco Wine Center opens its doors to all levels of imbibers on Tuesday evenings with classes that range from broad topics like Minerality to more tangible ones like North American Pinot Noir. These fun, interactive classes will surely give you a good reason to get through Monday.

What: A place to store wine; buy wine; and of course, taste and learn about wine from industry masters
When: Every Tuesday from 6:30-8:00
Where: 757 Bryant Street
I want more info, dammit: brian@sfwinecenter.com