The increase availability and diversity of wine for purchase online may make you want to learn more about this centuries-old beverage, how it’s made, and the regions in which spectacular wines originate, their terroir. I’ve scoured the Internet for online wine courses that will enhance your wine appreciation without costing a penny (letting you spend a bit more on that online next wine purchase). I have either taken these courses or am currently enrolled.
A huge amount of wine knowledge now waits for curious mind and palates. Some are from general online education providers like Coursera and ED/X, offering courses from prestigious wine education centers like the University of Adelaide in Australia or the University of California at Davis. Regional wine promotion and trade organizations developed others, which will teach you about wines from specific areas or entire countries, like the Rioja Wine Diploma or Wines of Portugal. I include a few courses only available in Spanish, although one can take the vast majority of classes on this list in English.
I include free classes, though if you want to earn a certificate some, like ED/X and Comite Champagne, require paying a fee. Otherwise, you can “audit” them for free. I exclude classes that are simply web pages without an online classroom structure that features elements such as registration, videos from qualified instructors, tests, structured readings, etc. For most of these courses, successful completion earns you a frameable certificate!
General Wine Appreciation Courses
- World of Wine from Grape to Glass, University of Adelaide and ED/X.
- Wine Tasting: Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis, University of California (Davis) through Coursera.
Regional Wine Courses
- Rioja Wine Diploma (English and Spanish) from the Rioja Wine Academy (there are also options for specializing in the fields of Trade & Distribution or Tourism)
- Diploma, Experto en Vinos de Aragón (Spanish) from the Aragon Government
- Champagne MOOC from the Comité interprofessionel du vin de Champagne
- Discovering Bourgougne Wines from Vins de Bourgogne
- Curso Básico de las DOP Vinos de Jerez y Manzanilla- Sanlúcar de Barrameda from the Sherry Academy – Aula de Jerez (Spanish)
- Curso Avanzado de las DOP Vinos de Jerez y Manzanilla- Sanlúcar de Barrameda from the Sherry Academy – Aula de Jerez (Spanish)
- California Sustainable Winegrowing Ambassador Course from the California Wine Institute.
- School of Port Essentials Video Course from Symington Family Estates
National Wine Courses
- Online Wine Course from Wines of South Africa
- Online Education Course from Wines of Portugal Academy
History of Wine
- The World History of Modern Wine, Trinity College through ED/X
I recommend taking the University of Adelaide course first. It provides an in-depth introduction to wine and winemaking. Next, enroll in the University of California offering to understand wine tasting and analysis. The instructors in both courses are top notch. The wine history course provides interesting background on the development of a modern wine industry, providing a unique perspective if you want to understand the context of wine production and commerce. Finally, I would home in on classes for regions that interest you, whether it be Champagne, Rioja, or Port! The Wines of Portugal and School of Port courses complement each other well. Tasting wine while you take these classes will enhance the experience, so go order some related wines online! And have fun.
Written By: Charlie Leary