While making wine does involve the two sciences of viticulture and enology, for those of us wanting to learn about it, is doesn’t have to so complicated that it loses its luster. I do have 60 college units dedicated to understanding it, so I could work with wine clients and not be a dolt on their behalf. But, for the average consumer, the pace is slower. Becoming a Master Sommelier or Master of Wine is not for the average consumer.

And so, learning about wine can be a very slow and enjoyable process.

In education, there’s no such thing as dumbing it down. It’s called reducing it to the lowest common denominator… Baby steps, so one doesn’t fall backwards, while climbing up the ladder. Years of teaching, which involved anatomy and physiology of the head, face, and neck taught this to me. I had a state board examiner watching my students, as I went from one school to the next to teach in three separate locations… so my students were easy to track. They tested as the highest in the state. RESULT: The state board examiner hired me, when he started his own school, as its director. This was by the time I was only 23 years old. I still shake my head. It seemed to be natural at the time. Now I look back and think, “my gawd…”

The other side of baby steps is called “learning in giant leaps.” An educator walks into a class room and spews sternocleidomastoidius muscle of the neck, the 12 cranial nerves, whether they’re sensory, motor, or mixed, and “You all go home and figure out how they’re related.” Those were not the students who easily passed a state board examination, so they could practice their craft.

My point should be clear here.

Wine education, for the average consumer, follows the former example of how people are learning about wine, on their own time. There’s a great Wine 101 program offered to wine lovers through The Rubin Family of Wines “Wine 101” program. Directed by proprietor Ron Rubin, in seven E-mails wine consumers are walked through a process of from vine to wine. It’s at a good pace, for those who want to learn more… Like, “what’s malolactic fermentation?” for example.

For others who don’t care about a scheduled pace, a great Website for casual learning is Wine Folly. From their site:

Wine Folly is the best place to learn about wine. Browse our visual wine compendium or our playful weekly articles. Start your wine education today.

Their info graphics are great, and they’ve published a book – which is a massive undertaking, in and of itself. This page takes readers to a wonderful beginner’s program of learning some basics.


This is a dedicated crew who came together to help others enjoy wine:

  • Madeline Puckette is the content producer and host of  their videos.
  • Justin Hammack is the film/photo, developer, and marketer.
  • ‘The Shadow’ Mysterious Grammartologist: In a word, I do what ever I can if its in there best int-rest to re-manipulate the grammatical structuring of the sentences to facilitate you’re understanding of the articles.
  • Chad Wasser, Advisor / Super Pal: I like abstract strategy mechanics, amateur woodworking, recreational nonviolent conflict, invisible forces, and double short americanos. I live in Seattle, where I touch really fragile things with kid gloves for a living.
  • Hilarie Rumball Larson, wine educator.
  • Dr. Edward Miller, physician and Certified Sommelier.
  • Rina Bussell, Sommelier

Get the book, if you want this type of education to follow you around from one place to the next, one sound bite at a time. I believe a “New York Times” best seller tells you all you need to know about it’s authenticity, right? The info-graphics are great for visual learners. The flow is perfect as you perfect wine in your mind’s eye. Congratulations, Wine Follies… You’re far from lunacy, as the word “folly” would suggest.

[Images have been borrowed from the Wine Folly Website.]