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Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 1 of 21

Intro to Becoming a Great Wine Taster


Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 1 of 21

Intro to Becoming a Great Wine Taster


Lesson Info

Intro to Becoming a Great Wine Taster

Why do you want to become a great scientist, sir? I, uh I'm a big believer And, um look, we can we can go and dive in and read big, thick tomes like Like I did at one point to try to understand, like, I really want to learn all that wine. And there's the role that less of wine and these guys to graves and so on and so forth and a stack of books taller than me and I was into it. And that was great. And and it was very useful at the time. And part of what I really see. My role as now is is giving back. And I'm here to, you know, make your lives better, make it more enjoyable, make you know, make every day a little bit brighter. And I don't want to advocate that you do what I did to get there. I think that we can We can supercharge your contact, supercharge your learning, and you can get a whole lot farther and much closer to the to the or actually start embracing the enjoyment of wine before you instead of apartment instead of having to, like, pore through all of these books and all of t...

hese tomes. Um, so the way I want to do that is almost in reverse order. By tasting it's instead of reading about it and then tasting it, I want you to taste and I think, via tasting we can understand tap into what I call the intellectual value of wine. So every wine, if we want to pay attention to it, can talk to us about a people and a place. And in geology and geography and history and a cuisine. It's all in there if we want to pay attention. And that's that's the cool part. That's the thing that really makes wine. I think the most intellectual of alcoholic beverages and let me justify might my life in drinking. Um, so we're going to do that. We're gonna learn how to do that. And once you then understand how to do that, you can objectively evaluate a wine. You can say, you know, I really like that, and I want to learn more. So I'm gonna read about that, or you know what? That's not very interesting to me, so I'm not gonna waste time really about that, so it gives you a much a much more personal and democratic view of the wine world And where you want to spend your time before we do get started. Actually, have some questions for you. I'm curious to hear from all of you. Who are you? Why are you here? And where can we find you? Online? We'll start with you. My name is Julie, and I am actually from San Francisco. But where you here? I'm here because I really enjoy wine and really want to understand what I'm drinking in. You know, the what I'm tasting. Okay. Great. Great Mark. And from some years ago as well. And I'm here really to expand my knowledge on two types of rivals. I don't know, Getting a little more, I guess. Structured And how I taste the wine. Very fake. Thanks, Mark. Hi. I'm Jessica. Um, and I work here a creative life on the marketing team. And I also run a cocktail block called Geeks With Drinks. But I have a lot of interest in learning about cocktails, learning about why memory about beer. And I'm here because I want to break out of the things I already know. I like and kind of expand. A little bit of the things that I don't know that I like. Great. But I will like fun. And where do we find your book geeks with drinks dot com? Perfect. Or on Twitter? Facebook Instagram. Thanks with drinks. Great. Thank thank you. Um, I'm Jenna, based in San Francisco. And, um, in the world of marketing also do a lot with events. Um, I haven't done any centered around line, but even just choosing what's going to be served would be beneficial to know a little bit more about and even to social settings. Like knowing what to bring to a party or like a cookout versus Thanksgiving on Be good work, we find you. So I just started. Promo analyzer dot com. Probable analyzer dot com. Great. Thanks. Thanks, Tim. I came because I love wine and always want to learn something new. You can find me at rally point wines dot com on Facebook. Great. Thanks to high. I'm Natalia. I'm actually a ah, travel landscape photographer, but I also love wine. Eso perfect loss for that. And where can we on Natalia stoned outcome Italia stone dot com. Great. Thanks. So if you're at home how to fall along with this course, if you've got the wine's great and if you don't, you can go and get the shopping list and, uh, do it whatever pace you want. Um, what you'll learn in this workshop we just talked about essentially, I want you to You're going to embrace an idea of deductive blind tasting and that's not about that's really the world of wine is this big? And what we're gonna do is look at look at each one and say, Okay, based on what I see, how big is the world now? How big is the world? Now you're starting to eliminate things. And when you do that and you understand exactly what makes the wine what it is, you then in reverse get really smart about how wine came to be, right, So we're learning to do that. And then, um, with that said, you're gonna know what you like. What, you like it, what, to chase a little bit about my background. I'm actually supposed to be an attorney. Um, or that was the path I was on. And it was a glass of wine that changed my life. What school worked on Capitol Hill. Worked for a large law firm, Um, blew off my senior year to go live in Italy, Learned how to ride bikes, learned how to cook when I speak Italian and I wouldn't have a drink. Wine and there, um, you know, student budget, no money. Wine came in a picture you poured into a tumbler, but it was on the table at lunch and dinner every day. And that's that's pretty magical. That's where I started. Develop that ism of one is a grocery and not a luxury. Um, come back to the States, finish school, go to a graduate thesis in geology, really bent on doing environmental law and find that, um, you know, it doesn't matter. I found I clerked in a big firm called Skadden, ARPs, that I worked in a very, very small firm. Um, and in the first I was doing bankruptcy in the second of June environmental, and I found that it didn't really matter. What you were doing is the same board. You make the same motions around it. You're just like the hat or the car of the shoes are all a monopoly and it wasn't a game that I enjoyed, Um, so perhaps well, set up for this moment. It's like this disenfranchised with the idea of law. But it was thesis defense. Lee Week and I was about Teoh. I spent the whole day in a small, dark lab with a scanning electron microscope, looking at slides of petrified wood. And that's like, you know, this. I'm not having much fun with the science, either. Um, so I was I was Ah, the day is done. I hopped the fence and ran across what's Route 66 there in Flagstaff to a wine shop. Those owned by friend And he wasn't there, So I walked in. I was like, you know, like, I kind of recognize that and picked this bottle and all $10 they had to my name. It's like there it is. Took it, took it home. Port a glass stuck my nose in it and that very first smell. It took me back to a meal I'd had almost five years earlier, when I was living in Italy, remembered where I sat where my companion sat in what she wore, what she ate, what I wore with the waitress did right and wrong, all from a smell, pretty compelling stuff. So the next day I was supposed to be in the legal library again on someone's billable hour, and I was in the coffee shop with my friend Bobby, and I described this to me, is like a man. This happened last night and it was really compelling. And I don't I don't want to go to law school, and I think I'm done with the science I want to do. I want to food wine And he said, Well, I think you should and I said, Well, I think I will. And so I walked back to the firm and I quit. And I was supposed to go to law school six weeks later and called him not coming, um, and freaked out. My parents, which was totally find they're very supportive now, but it was a great moment, and I did defend my thesis but then hopped right in and got a job flipping eggs in a restaurant, and that was the beginning of it. It's now 18 years ago, 17 years ago, so so time has flown. But it was all from that glass of wine, and that's that intellectual value that I'm talking about. You can smell that any glass, and it'll take you back and you can understand all that stuff.

Class Description

Do you cower when presented with the wine list? Feel at a loss while walking the wine aisle? You are not alone! Many of us struggle to differentiate between the subtleties of the world’s oldest beverage. But wine is not destined to be difficult! Join Master Sommelier Richard Betts for a fun and informative guide to buying, tasting, and enjoying wine.

Become a Great Wine Taster is your guide to wine varietals, trends, and tastes. You’ll learn Richard’s “wine is a grocery, not a luxury” approach to wine while exploring the differences between regions and the history behind them. Richard will teach a simple method for looking at, smelling, and tasting each wine so you understand the nuances and the provenance of the drink in your glass. You’ll study the important factors and features of winemaking by exploring ideas through related varietals. Richard will discuss:

  • Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc – the impact of climate and oak
  • Riesling, Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Zinfandel – balance, sweetness, and alcohol content
  • Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio, Gruner Veltliner, and Chenin Blanc – important grapes, small subtleties
  • Cabernet Sauvignon and it’s subjects – regional expression of the ubiquitous reds
  • Pinot Noir – temperamental grapes and growing in France, California, Oregon and Australia
  • Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo – wine production in Italy and Spain
  • Syrah/Shiraz, Grenache and friends – blends and winemaker’s intent

You’ll also learn about the unique ways we modify wine, like making it sparkle, heating it, turning it into Port, and so much more! This class will help you get more comfortable with wine, remove much of it’s mystery, and show you how to integrate it into your everyday life.

Pair your appreciation for wine with knowledge in this accessible and educational class. Join Richard for Become a Great Wine Taster and never fumble over wine selection again.


a Creativelive Student

This course was amazing. As someone who felt really intimidated by wine before, I finished the course feeling a lot more confident and excited to try out my new wine knowledge. Great instructor with great content. Would definitely recommend!


Good course, needs to identify wines to set up tasting. It was fun to do with friends. Perfect to watch in the segments.


Fabulous! I've passed the Introductory Exam for the Court of Master Sommeliers, but, never ginned up (pun intended) the deductive tasting. This did it. There are several of us who purchased this course and are doing out best to re-create the tastings and memorize the map. Thanks so much for the class and for Richard Betts.