Mailbag Monday: Wine Classes in Chicago?

Dear Alleigh:
Hope all is well.  I saw that you have a wine blog…and I’m loving it! Tell me where I might take a good wine class in Chicago?

It’s always fun for me when my “real” life and my “wine” life collide.  It’s the perfect way to find out who likes wine (or who doesn’t), as well as to be able to talk about something else other than work.  Thanks to Facebook and LinkedIn that seems to be happening more and more, and love it.

As for taking classes in other cities, I can really only share information that I’ve received second hand or through reading wine magazines.  In May 2009, Food & Wine Magazine had a list of the 5 Best Places to Study Wine—the Chicago Wine School, the International Wine Center (in NYC), the International Wine Guild (in Denver), the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies (at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa), and the Washington Wine Academy (in DC).  As a side note, at the time, I was excited to see that WWA was listed because I had started taking my wine classes there only 4 months earlier, which is why I remember that F&W had a list.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Chicago Wine School is not offering regular classes anymore, but it may still be worth calling to see if that is temporary.  If not, you may want to look into taking classes at Just Grapes.  They’re starting the WSET Foundation course this month, and in October, they have a WSET Intermediate class.  They also seem to have one-night courses that focus on particular wine regions, which could be a lot of fun.

I will say, don’t let the fact that it’s an “intermediate” class scare you away.  If you’re looking for a multi-week course, it’s definitely the way to go.  It’s the class I started with, and I walked in knowing nothing about wine except that I enjoyed drinking it.

I hope that’s helpful.  And, readers, if you have recommendations on where to take wine classes in Chicago, I’d love to hear from you!


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