Student Experience – Jeannette Craig – Business of Wine

Jeannette CraigJeannette Craig was born in Torrance, California and has lived in San Diego since she was nine years old. She is married, has six kids, currently lives in Rancho San Diego, and has worked as the director of accounting and finance for KFMB stations (CBS 8, Jack 100.7 and 760 AM) for over 15 years.

Craig just recently took the Exploring Wine class in SDSU’s Business of Wine Certificate program. She adds. “My husband and I had a discussion on opening a wine bar in our area. When we were networking at another wine bar, the owner mentioned that she completed the certificate program at SDSU. We looked into it and thought that it would be a good way to learn more about wine and the business of wine to see if we wanted to proceed with our plan.”

After her first class, Craig decided to take more. “I’m in my third class right now and I really appreciate the fact that the instructors are in the business and can share real-life experiences with us. I found the coursework to be extremely interesting. I enjoy the guest speakers and of course tasting and learning the different types of wines is pretty cool too,” she says.

In the class students learn all the basics and more. For example, the differences between Old World wines and New World wines. They gain a better understanding and appreciation for French wines and the influence that the French had on winemaking throughout the world. They often learn facts that might seem obvious. “Sounds crazy, but I never realized that wine is just grapes and the sugar in them. I assumed things were added to it to give it the variety of fruit and spicy flavors that you often taste. The production is simple, but yet the winemakers have so many ways of altering the end results by the growing and fermentation processes that it is really quite amazing,” Craig says.

The wine classes are interesting because there’s a large variety in the demographics of the students that take the classes. Many are not planning to go into the business, they just want to understand wine more. Although the classes teach the business opportunities of wine; they can be taken just as a hobby. And, the instructors are top notch. Craig says, “Teachers Lisa Redwine and John Alonge were great; very well-spoken, organized, and entertaining to listen to. They create a relaxing atmosphere, which for me has made going back to school a lot easier than I thought.”

Since taking a few classes, Craig has decided to move toward the dream of owning a wine bar. She adds, “With the wine bar, I will need to know everything about wine. I want to be able to create a wine list, recommend wines, describe the wine and price it effectively. I didn’t think I’d be going back to school because it’s difficult when you work full time. However, after looking into this program I knew it was just what I needed to get enough information quickly and start on our business plan.”