Don't know anything about wine? No problem: just start drinking. You should get the hang of it pretty quickly. Most "wine tastings" are simply excuses to imbibe, but if you'd like to be more than a casual consumer, you could subscribe to a wine journal, or take a class.
South Seattle Community College, for example, runs an innovative wine program at its Northwest Wine Accademy, and has just been appointed an official outpost of the École du Bordeaux, the prestigious academy based in the city of Bordeaux. It's the only community college in the US to carry that designation.
Or you could do what the professionals do: dive into the WSET certification program, a study program offered by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, a British body created to give a common language to people making, tasting and selling wine around the world. Running the program in the Pacific Northwest are Joel Butler MW and his partner, Karen Graf. (Butler followed Bob Betz as director of wine education at Chateau Ste. Michelle; he'd spent a couple of decades before that as a wine maker and judge in California.) This weekend he taught a two-day, $700 seminar that brought together nine students (several of them new employees of the Washington Wine
Instutute Commission) for a program that would subject some 50 wines from around the world to the standardized WSET approach. As Butler ran the first couple of wines through the terminology, he told the students, "Don't worry, you're going to get good at this."
Taste Washington tickets
www.MyWineKnow.com WSET classes
Northwest Wine Academy class schedule
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