If your interest in wine is purely “which wine will get me smashed out of my skull fastest”, this blog is definitely not for you.  If, however, you want to delve deep into oenophilia and understand more about what wine really is about, there are many free (or at least inexpensive) resources out there for you to get a fuller knowledge of wine.

So, here are four of my favorite websites to help you learn more.  These are all FREE.

Taste of the Vine offers two online wine courses to help you understand wine like the experts, which you can follow at your own pace.

Tom Cannavan has a good online course on wine appreciation broken down into six important areas.

WSET (the Wine and Spirits Education Trust) is the leading international body training and testing wine specialists.  You may not have the spare time or money to go through their various formal courses, but WSET offer 21 three minute videos on wine regions around the world.

The Institute of Masters of Wine is the association of the most highly qualified and respected wine experts in the world.  The lengthy required studies and the fiendishly difficult examination (with a pass rate of only 10%) are reasons that there are only 340 of these superheroes in the world.  38 of them live in USA.  The course fees of about $12 thousand may be a deterrent, too.  So, it is unlikely that you are expecting to join that number anytime soon.  If you want to get a digestible introduction to what sort of knowledge might be required, go to Winetutor.tv where you will find a free and every-expanding set of videos on what experts need to know about wine.

So, you can make big strides in understanding wine without spending a cent – but it could be an interesting use for some of your spare time. 

Robin Hall

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