Learning about wine

Learning more about wine will make the wine-drinking experience — as well as dining and gifting — a more pleasurable experience.

The world of wine can sometimes feel intimidating to the uninitiated, but a bit of knowledge about wine from experts can help anyone navigate everyday situations.

“Once the basics are demystified, you’ll not only impress friends with your newfound knowledge of wine, you’ll better enjoy what you are drinking,” said Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) influencer Chelsie Petras, of ChelLovesWine. “Learning basic things like what you do or don’t like in a particular wine can change how you drink and teach you how to drink better.”

Whether one is starting from scratch or has some experience with the subject already, there’s always more to learn, pointed out Petras, who shared three ways that a deeper understanding of wine will improve the way one drinks:

Happier hostingSmart pairings make both food and wine taste better, and the wrong pairing will do quite the opposite. If one enjoys hosting dinner parties or any get-together, it is helpful to know basic pairings that will impress guests.

Better giftingA bottle of wine makes a good gift when one is attending a party and doesn’t know what to bring. By learning more about wine, it’s more likely the correct bottle will be chosen to bring that is certain to be a crowd pleaser.

Confident orderingA lengthy wine list can be tricky to navigate, and many people shy away from being the one to order. A wine education can transform one from someone who hides behind the menu to being the go-to friend everyone relies on to make the right selection.

So where to turn for instruction? While there are many programs available geared toward those who work in the industry or are looking for professional certification, there are also programs designed by those same education providers targeted at everyday wine enthusiasts and novices.

For example, WSET, the world’s largest provider of wine and spirits qualifications, was originally founded in 1969 for wine and spirits professionals but has since opened its courses to everyday enthusiasts in an effort to teach them to drink better. Fun, educational courses for novices and the knowledgeable alike are provided on such topics as perfect pairings and deciphering labels. To learn more, visit wsetglobal.com.

“Don’t let the idea of learning more about wine intimidate you,” said Petras, who recently served as a brand ambassador at WSET’s Wine Education Week, a global celebration of wine. “A wine education is for anyone who enjoys and is interested in wine.”

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