Pursuing Your Passion for Wine...in Chicago

  • The Chopping Block at the Merchandise Mart 222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza Chicago, IL, 60654 United States

Getting in touch with your love of wine

James Beard Award-winning wine journalist and educator Lyn Farmer will be leading WSET Courses for Fine Vintage, Ltd. in Chicago

James Beard Award-winning wine journalist and educator Lyn Farmer will be leading WSET Courses for Fine Vintage, Ltd. in Chicago

The WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) is considered one of, if not the, most prestigious routes to wine education available. Lyn Farmer will be leading several courses this Spring for Fine Vintage, Ltd, the most comprehensive WSET provider in North America - including this one-day Level 1 course in May that covers the fundamentals of wine - how it's made, and how to find the wines you love. 

The Level 1 course is a "foundation course" that is ideal for everyone who loves wine and wants to understand it better. This full-day course focuses on learning the art of wine tasting (including demystifying the vocabulary you might have once found daunting), pairing food and wine, and exploring the characteristics of the major grape varieties with intensive exercises. We also delve into grape growing and winemaking, and serving and cellaring wine. 

Who is this class for?

This class is the ideal place to hone your wine sensibility, whether your interest in wine is as an occasional consumer hoping to demystify a wine list when you go out to dinner, or a culinary professional looking to expand your wine knowledge beyond the basics that are part of culinary training. It's a full-day course that includes tasting 16 world-class wines from Vintage Champagne to classic wines from Spain, France, Italy and the United States. 

Some of the wines from a recent Level 1 course at The Chopping Block

Some of the wines from a recent Level 1 course at The Chopping Block

An important benefit of the Level 1 class is the opportunity to have an introduction to WSET's much-admired systematic approach to wine tasting and evaluation. Prepare to be amazed at the skills you will develop through the day's guided tastings of 16 wines. This approach is expanded on in Levels 2 and 3, so this is a fine place to build a framework for tasting and, better still, for sharing your impressions of wine. In this course, you will sample wines made from the same grape but two different regions to compare not only taste but regional style.

The course concludes with an exam that, when passed, provides you with a Level 1 Certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. Increasingly, restaurants, importers and distributors want their representatives to have a verifiable certification of their interest in and knowledge of wine. There is no more respected, nor globally recognized, certification than that from WSET.

For more information on the Level 1 Award in Wine course, click here to open a new window on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website. And to register for the course with Fine Vintage click here. One caveat is in order: if you want to take this class, you are well-advised to sign up as early as possible. It's easy to put things off, but registering early gives you time to receive all your materials and to prepare for the class. We have an extensive online version of the text you can read before you come to class and then I provide a hard copy in the class on which you can make notes and keep in your wine library. So, read up and then come to perfect your tasting techniques! I'll have 16 wines waiting for you to taste. And this prepares you for the Level 2 program that will be offered in Chicago in July. All our Chicago classes are offered at the spacious Saffron Kitchen in The Chopping Block at The Merchandise Mart.