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.
The Académie du Vin Library is delighted to be reviving this concept, in partnership with Fine + Rare wines, fully repackaged and updated by our teams of experts. You will uncover some of the mysteries of wine using exceptional wines tasted in an elegant atmosphere. A lively yet relaxed teaching method that puts the emphasis on learning through tasting and enjoyment. While you will receive a certificate upon completion, there are no exams to prepare for or maps to memorise. Our program is designed to deepen your understanding of wine purely to enrich your enjoyment of it.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Each week, during a three hour session, you will be guided through a multi-media presentation using visuals, videos, physical specimens and demonstrations. Your tutor will also lead you through tasting a minimum of 8 fine wines throughout the session.
The opening session will explore the tips and tricks of wine and food pairing and how to create a phased wine dinner. The following sessions will dive deep into how climate effects grapes, shown through comparisons using red and white grapes. The course concludes with an exploration of the intricacies of buying & collecting wine in the UK.
You’ll be able to choose wines to enjoy with meals at home or in a restaurant, and know how to properly serve them for maximum pleasure. Discovering the differences in a beloved grape from various climates will allow you to more precisely select new wines that suit your taste. You’ll leave this course a more informed taster and collector.
Each session summarises information in the provided digital course notes, so there is no need to take notes– unless of course you wish to. A tasting sheet will be provided for making notes about each week’s wines.
The course will be taught by Allison Burton-Parker dipWSET. Allison is a globe-roaming wine writer, educator and communications consultant who splits her time between London and France. After a career in luxury design in New York and Hong Kong, she embraced her life-long love of wine and embarked on a new path in the oenological world. She holds the WSET Diploma in Wines and has worked with importers, publications and winemakers in Europe, Asia, the US and New Zealand. She has a special interest in the wines of the Loire Valley, and holds the Loire Master designation from the Wine Scholar Guild. Allison is currently writing a book on Loire wines and is the co-founder of the Loire Wine Academy. She is also a passionate wine collector and travels frequently to discover new winemakers and to add to her cellars.
You will receive a digital version of the full course notes on the first night. We will also provide tasting sheets to record your tasting notes, and additional paper should you choose to take notes during the session.
Each student will also receive a pair of Jancis Robinson’s iconic wine glasses, created in collaboration with British designer, Richard Brendon. This universal wine glass is the only stemmed glass you need to experience every wine at its best; the tulip-shaped bowl, gossamer thin rim and beautifully proportioned silhouette are all specifically designed to maximise every wine’s aroma, flavour and texture. The mouth blown glassware is also used for tasting during our sessions, showcasing their ability and finesse in presenting a wide variety of wines.
We firmly believe that fine wines provide the best platform for both learning and developing the palate. We carefully choose wines that highlight points we discuss in each session, but that also represent some of the finest winemakers and vintages.
Here’s a selection of some of the wines that you’ll be tasting during the course:
- Henri Jouan
- Pontet Canet
- Didier Dagueneau
- Bruno Giacosa
If you cannot attend one of the sessions of this course, don’t worry. We will permit you to attend the same session in the next offering of the course.