LEARNING BY TASTING
The Académie du Vin Wine Appreciation Course was the brainchild of our Founder, Steven Spurrier, who firmly believed that the only way to learn about fine wines was to sample as many of them as possible – in the company of experts who could explain the fine shades of difference between them and why they came to be so.
Although many of us know our wines, broadening our knowledge of them while tasting some of the finest examples is a guaranteed joy. Our courses are led by lively, passionate teachers and held in luxurious settings where small groups can relax and discover the depths behind great wines.
‘Fantastic – I thought I knew about wine; now I know I didn’t.
Can’t wait for the next stage’ — Rob L.
Back in the late 1970s, our founder Steven Spurrier created the L’Académie du Vin in Paris, offering a series of informal courses that combined wonderful wines and expert tuition in an agreeable atmosphere, taking the subject matter seriously without ever descending into dullness. In the following decades, his tasting-based courses expanded to London, New York and Tokyo, eventually reaching thousands of wine lovers all over the world. Steven went on to become one of the most influential people in the wine world via writing, publishing and scholarship. The Académie du Vin Library in London is delighted to revive his vision of wine education that marries the experience of tasting the world’s finest wines with the guidance of experienced, passionate instructors.
WHO ARE THE COURSES FOR?
In short, anyone who is serious about improving their knowledge of wine through the act of actually tasting it. In today’s busy world, it is almost impossible for anyone other than wine professionals to sample such a dazzling array of fine wines in the same place at the same time. The Académie du Vin Library is proud to be able to offer such an opportunity in a convivial atmosphere.
HOW DO THE COURSES WORK?
Each course consists of four sessions spaced over four weeks. Each session is an organised teacher-led tasting with only 12 places available. The emphasis will be ‘learning by tasting’ in a relaxed, informal environment– the best way to acquire a thorough and lasting knowledge of wine.
There are 3 stages in our wine education series:
An overview of how wine is made and the main reasons why no two wines are exactly alike.
A two part course that digs deeper into global wine styles and examines how wines can enrich our lives through entertaining and collecting. A deep dive into the most popular grapes as well as some often overlooked varieties.
Presents advanced grape growing and winemaking practices, blind tasting skills and examines vintages and their importance.
- In each session an experienced educator will guide you through a tasting using top quality glassware alongside a media presentation using state-of-the-art flat-screen technology.
- The in-person learning will be supported by extensive digital course notes. Participants can download theses notes, providing a lasting reference of the knowledge presented that can be conveniently on hand at all times.
WHAT WINES WILL BE TASTED?
- The selection of fine wines on offer is chosen by the tutors with the support of Corentin Margier, Wine Director of Fine + Rare. The wines reflect the specific session content and include many of wine’s most respected names, including Château Lafite, Château Rayas, Clos Rougeard, Lafon and more.
- Wines will be tasted from the luxury glassware designed by Jancis Robinson in collaboration with Richard Brendon.
WHEN AND WHERE?
- We offer sessions on weeknights and Saturdays, in several elegant locations in and around London. Some classes are in private rooms and others in hospitality spaces. Please see the course schedule for location specifics.
- If you are unable to attend a session, we allow participants to join later sessions of that same subject at a different time or location. Although there is no compulsion to attend all sessions, we strongly advise participants to do so– in order to get the most from the course and to ensure that they don’t miss out tasting some very fine wines indeed.
WHERE DO I START?
- Each stage does not have to be taken in order, and there are no prerequisites. For example, if you’ve been enjoying wine for years and have take another wine course, you might prefer to start with the Enthusiast course. Students are free to pick and choose the courses that interest them most. All participants will receive a certificate upon completion, but there are no exams to prepare for. Just relax, enjoy the fine wines and deepen your understanding of what is in the glass.
- By the end of the program, participants will have a thorough grounding in all aspects of wine– from how it is made to how to taste it to how to serve and store it, and how to build a personal collection. They will have a new wealth of knowledge of grapes and wine regions and tasting skills that will lastingly change the way they enjoy wine.
‘I never thought learning could be so much fun. No boring classrooms and bad wine!
Learning by tasting amazing wines is the way to go! — Michael P.