What will you learn during a wine course?

A wine course is for people who are interested in wine and want to expand their knowledge and understanding of wine. This can include both wine professionals and wine lovers. If you are interested in learning about wine and want to improve your wine knowledge, a wine course can be a great way to do this. There is no specific target group for whom a wine course is intended; people of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from taking a wine course. However, a wine course is not just about learning, it is also often super fun and enjoyable.

What do you learn when taking a wine course

There are countless topics that can be covered during a wine course: the history of wine, wine regions and grape varieties, wine tasting, wine and food pairing, reading wine labels, buying wine, serving wine and making wine.
How broadly and how deeply different topics are covered depends on the level of the wine course.

Levels of wine courses

There are different levels during a wine course. This is because people have different knowledge and experience with wine, and can take a course at their own level. You have, in addition to general wine courses and wine tasting courses, wine courses that are offered with a level designation of SDEN or WSET. You can also take exams if you take these courses and get an official wine certificate after your course. WSET stands for Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is an international organization that offers professional training and certification in the field of wine and sprits. If it is important to you that you can prove abroad that you have a certain level of knowledge about wine then it might be useful to take a WSET course. The SDEN standard was set up by the Stichting Dranken Examens en Normeringen is the organization in the Netherlands that independently sets the exam requirements and administers the exams. SDEN certifcates are nationally recognized by various professional organizations and is the most popular variant of wine courses taught. In terms of content, both variants approximate each other by for your final knowledge it does not make much difference. There are several successive SDEN levels 1 tm 5.

Wine course from Hart voor wijn

CourseSpots attended a wine course from Heart for Wine. Founder and wine owner Kirsten gave the class in Rotterdam herself in this nice wine bar just behind Rotterdam Central Station. We had no idea what to expect, but the first thing we noticed is that this wine course was attended by a relatively young crowd, thirty-somethings. The group consisted of both wine enthusiasts who wanted to learn more about wine as a hobby and hospitality people who also wanted to gain professional knowledge. The wine course was at the SDEN3 level, which meant that these people already have more knowledge about wine.

It was notable that everyone was very amicable with each other. After all, they had been taking classes with each other for a long time. Some students also indicated that they shared their wine passion not only during the course, but friendships had developed and they themselves are organizing wine evenings among themselves with some regularity. So there was definitely room for jokes and sociability during the course.
This friendliness comes of course from the fact that they share a common hobby, but also certainly from the non-committal way Kirsten offers her classes. She knows an enormous amount about wine, enthusiastically conveys her knowledge and passion to the students present. There is a lot of wine tasting. During the tasting moments it is quiet, everyone is paying full attention to the wine: looking, smelling, tasting and spitting it out again. But afterwards, everyone actively shares their findings among themselves, creating a very interactive evening. I found the wine course to be atmospheric, accessible and definitely educational.

Kirsten says she has been organizing wine courses and tastings in Rotterdam for several years now. It is super fun to share your passion, but also the interaction with people gives her a lot of energy. Meanwhile, like a real wine boss, she is expanding her wine school in several places in the Netherlands. She does say that she does not teach the classes there herself, because her courses in Rotterdam fill up almost the whole year.  However, she has started looking for wine teachers and wine lovers who, like her, want to share their wine knowledge with passion, low-threshold, interactive at the nicest locations, so that the atmosphere during the wine courses is similar everywhere.

Starting with a wine course

There are several wine teachers active in the Netherlands so you can usually find a wine course nearby. A wine course is therefore for everyone for wine professionals and wine lovers and if you take a SDEN or WSET course you can always go afterwards for your exam to get your diploma. Wine courses are taken from young to old and because most of the people who take the course are not there because they have to, but take a course from there.  Most people who know little about wine start with an SDEN1 course, depending on your basic knowledge you can sometimes start with an SDEN2 course. From SDEN3 onwards it is usually required that you have followed the previous courses.

Are you convinced?

Are you convinced that taking a wine course is something for you or for someone close to you? Then take a look at CourseSpots for the wine courses in your area.