Michael BrowleyWith the ascension of wine being a choice beverage worldwide and more countries producing wine (like New Zealand, Australia, Chile and South Africa), the market for individuals who have a good base in wine knowledge is growing.

When one thinks of wine study, the image of a pretentious expert sniffing and gurgling wine, and then spitting it in a cup comes to mind; however, wine study has changed and it’s not just the self-labeled connoisseurs who are learning about wine.

A Foundation Class, Helpful and Essential

An introductory wine course is a great start (and what most will say, essential) to becoming more familiar with wine. “Whether you’re just starting to learn about wine or if you already have pretty good knowledge, it’s always good to refresh your memory with a wine introductory course. The Exploring Wine class puts a lot of things in perspective that you may or may not have known,” says Glenn Laflamme, wine student and server/bartender at Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop.

Fellow student and hotel manager, Michael Bolmey, agrees, “Exploring Wine is an intensive all-around course. I learned more from this course than any other in the program. It gives the foundation and building blocks to succeed and understand the intensive classes. I decided to strengthen all aspects of my wine knowledge after the first class, I began to crave wine knowledge and wanted to continue learning by taking the other classes in the program,” says Bolmey.

Further Wine Study

Once you learn the foundation, students take intensive and wine business classes to create a well-rounded program of study. Classes are focused on regions like Spain and Italy, but also business-focused classes are offered. Laflamme says, “I learned a lot about the business of wine. I knew a good deal about wine, but really nothing about the business aspect.”

Laflamme recently took and passed the Level 1 sommelier exam and is considering taking the Level 2 exam this fall. “I was looking online for a program that might help me with this goal, when I found the Extended Studies program, I thought the classes sounded amazing and the price fit my budget,” he adds.