WORDS: RICHARD HOLMES IMAGE: SUPPLIED
Sharpen your wine knowledge with these countrywide courses that’ll teach you how to sniff, sip and savour…
International Wine Education Centre
Wine critic and author Cathy Marston established the International Wine Education Centre (IWEC) in 2011 and was the first in Africa to offer courses from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
WSET is the world’s largest provider of wine and spirits qualifications, and their international recognition makes them ideal for anyone considering a career in wine and hospitality.
But the courses are just as enjoyable for newcomers to the world of wine.
“Level one is a great introductory course for people who don’t know much about wine, but they know what they like,” says Cathy. “It’s a one-day course all about getting the basics in place.” Level two, the most popular course, is for those looking to deepen their wine knowledge, while the level three and level four (diploma) courses are geared towards professionals in the hospitality industry.
Happily, you don’t have to start at the beginning, with online quizzes available to help you judge which course you should start with.
Cape Wine Academy
The Cape Wine Academy was founded in 1979, and offers an array of wine courses ranging from an introduction to the world of wine through to ongoing professional training for the hospitality industry. The course focus is firmly on the wines of South Africa, with some international context. The one-day South African Wine course is the most popular, with niche programmes covering everything from wine and food pairing, to South African brandy appreciation. Specialised wine service and sommelier training is also available.
KZN School of Wine
Award-winning sommelier and winemaker Laurie Cooper offers accredited WSET courses, both online and at the family-owned Abingdon Wine Estate in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. But for those just starting out, the one-day “Beginner’s Guide to Wine” is ideal, and includes a tour of the Abingdon vineyards and cellar as well as lunch on the estate.
In your hood: Countrywide
International Wine Education Centre (IWEC) (Joburb & Cape Town) | thewinecentre.co.za
Cape Wine Academy (Joburg & Cape Town) | capewineacademy.co.za
KZN School of Wine | kznschoolofwine.co.za