I retired three years ago and decided to pursue various interests, one of which was wine. As a dilettante and not being in the viticulture business, taking wine courses seemed daunting enough. I thought I knew something about wines and regions until I enrolled at IWEG, not realizing how much there is to learn about viticulture/viniculture.
I enrolled into WSET Level 1 Award in Wines. The intent was to do one course, and gain confidence when discussing wines and regions with friends and fellow enthusiasts. I never looked back from there. I have completed my WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and my French Wine Scholar, and am still pursuing my wine education. Currently I am enrolled in the Italian Wine scholar program (completed Unit 2 and now pursuing Unit 1).
My understanding of viticulture has increased exponentially with each course that I have enrolled in. My objective from just taking an interest in wine has now grown into a passion. I have visited a few vineyards in the old world as well as locally in Niagara and Prince Edward County. These courses have also given me more confidence in talking about wines. I have even organized wine tasting events for a few friends. A future in the wine business – you never know!
For those not in the wine industry but contemplating taking a course or two to upgrade their knowledge, my advice is to not be intimidated. Take the plunge and educate yourself. It is rewarding, satisfying and you get to taste various wines from regions you otherwise would have never dreamt of.