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There’s a lot to be curious about in the world of wine. There are aromas, flavors, grapes, regions, and even soil types to geek out about. Start learning more about what’s in your glass and you might find you’ll quickly become eager to indulge even more.
Online wine classes are the perfect way to quench your literal thirst for wine. You can take a course about the best food and wine pairings or uncover a wine region you’ve never explored, right from the comfort of your own home. The virtual offerings are extensive these days, so what’s actually worth your time? These are our top picks for the best online wine classes.
Best Online Wine Classes of 2021
Why We Chose It: Corkbuzz is a reputable organization that puts education at the forefront.
Less beginner-friendly than some
Expensive with wine pairings
Corkbuzz is a wine bar and restaurant in New York City. It has long been a spot to sit down to a great glass of wine and some food, but it's truly invested in the educational side of wine. This establishment used to regularly host in-store wine classes and tastings that were informative and fun, but those have since moved online—which is a boon for wine drinkers because it means you don’t have to live close to one of the bar's locations to benefit from its informative classes.
What makes Corkbuzz’s wine classes stand out among the rest is how approachable and diverse they are. Offerings range from A Tour of Italy and Everything Rosé to Exploring Terroir and Wines of New York State. While it does help to have a little bit of wine knowledge to appreciate the breadth of some of these classes, they’re accessible enough for almost anyone who enjoys drinking wine.
Virtual classes cost only $15 for a one-hour session. Up to two people in your household can participate at this rate. You can choose to attend the live class, join via Zoom, or buy a virtual class recording, which can be accessed at any time. While you’ll need to purchase your own wine to enjoy with the class, Corkbuzz also offers the opportunity to deliver wine right to you. For $80 to $150, depending on the class, you’ll get the virtual class plus two 750ml bottles of wine that suit the class’s theme. While this price includes shipping, it’s still a bit costly, so you might be better off choosing your own bottles.
Why We Chose It: Fun themes make these classes especially well-suited for all wine drinkers.
The Wine School of Philadelphia is a well-established school in the city center that offers a wide range of classes for both casual wine drinkers and wine professionals. It offers a diploma program for the latter, but it’s the easy-going wine tasting classes that we especially love because they’re fit for even the most novice wine drinker.
For $13, you’ll get access to a live one-hour Zoom session. Themes vary, but offerings include Great Wine Made Simple, Food & Wine Pairing, and Sommelier Secrets. These classes are intended to be casual and fun; while wine isn’t included, the school encourages you to pick up a bottle on your own to sip while participating.
Since online wine classes at the Wine School of Philadelphia only became available in 2020, this section of the website still has some kinks to work out. It’s a little hard to navigate and some of the individual class pages don’t load properly on occasion. Despite this, we still highly recommend taking a class with this reputable school.
Why We Chose It: These focused classes will satisfy those who especially love to dive deep.
Class series, longer sessions
More expensive than our other picks
The Cellar Muse Wine School is run by educator Tanya Morning Star Darling, who has an incredible wealth of experience. The school offers a wide range of in-depth programming, including study trips and one-on-one mentoring and coaching for wine professionals. Its live online lectures are a great way to learn more about wine.
While the schedule is quite limited, you’re sure to dive deep into wine education if you do purchase an online class. As of April 2021, The Cellar Muse is offering a three-part series on Italian wine. For $90, you’ll have access to all three 75-minute virtual classes that cover everything from soil to regions. Wine isn’t included in the price, but you’ll be given a recommended list of bottles that you may purchase on your own.
These online classes are more expensive than our other recommendations, but they’re a great choice if you’re an oenophile who is passionate about really diving into the inner workings of a wine region.
Best Free Wine Class: Coursera’s Wine Tasting: Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis via UC Davis
Why We Chose It: Take a seat in a classroom at one of the country’s most lauded wine programs totally free of charge.
Pre-recorded, less interactive
Coursera allows you to virtually sit inside classrooms at universities such as Yale, University of Pennsylvania, and more. There is really something for everyone, but we’re big fans of the wine class offered through UC Davis, which is the home of the country’s most respected enology program. You don’t have to head back to college to take advantage of it, though. Coursera’s Wine Tasting: Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis via UC Davis is an online class that will cover all the basics. Better yet: It’s totally free.
To be clear, if you’re looking to gain a certificate from this program, there is a charge to participate. However, if you simply want to take the class to increase your own knowledge, you can audit it for no charge. The course is self-directed and takes roughly four weeks to complete, though you can totally go at your own pace. If there is a component that isn’t of interest, you can easily bypass it. The course is made up of mostly videos, but there are also readings and a few quizzes to test what you’ve learned.
If you’re seeking a solid foundation in wine but want it to fit your schedule, you can’t go wrong with this great course. Over 50,000 people have already taken it on Coursera, which speaks to its approachability.
Online wine classes are a fun way to quench your interest in the subject. They range from beginner-friendly to advanced, so there really is something for everyone. Corkbuzz is a pro at wine education and its diverse offerings prove it. The Wine School of Philadelphia meets even the most novice wine drinker where they’re at. The Cellar Muse dives deep into wine regions with its virtual lecture series approach. And Coursera’s Wine Tasting: Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis via UC Davis is a no-cost way to learn a whole lot about wine at your own pace.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Online Wine Classes?
Online wine classes are virtual courses that teach you about wine. Subjects range from the basics of wine tasting, specific wine growing countries and regions, food and wine pairing, and more.
How Much Do Online Wine Classes Cost?
Prices vary quite a bit. While there are free options, most online wine classes come with a cost—albeit an affordable one. Our top pick is $15 for a one-hour session.
Is Wine Included With the Classes?
Bottles are not usually, though some programs do give the option of shipping wine to you. Most, however, will give you suggestions of bottles that you may purchase yourself.
There is a wide range of online wine classes available, a number that has grown significantly in recent years. To select the very best options, we opted for those that are affordable, easy to navigate online, and fit a broad range of wine drinkers.