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The Instant Sommelier: Choosing Your Best Wine

Hmm ... we're getting ... notes of ... mind = blown. Wondrium shows you how to start sipping and savoring like a sommelier.
The Instant Sommelier: Choosing Your Best Wine is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 48.
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Instant Sommelier I have just started the course. I am not new to wine but thought I could learn some things. I’ve done the first two lectures and was pretty familiar with the concepts. However I did pick up 2 or 3 useful tidbits. I expect the course will have a lot more to offer as i progress.
Date published: 2022-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from VERY ENJOYABLE COURSE This course was very informative and enjoyable. I would recommend it to all novice and intermediate wine drinkers!
Date published: 2022-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wine Course for the Beginner I absolutely loved this course, so much so, that after viewing the series on Wondrium, I had to purchase the DVD series, to share with a friend. Simply put, Mr. Wagner makes wine fun. The course makes you come away feeling you learned something, and excited to go out and enjoy putting to use your new knowledge. My first trip was to Costco, I bought a dozen bottles of the Kirkland brand to see if I could appreciate the difference between a Cabernet, a Merlot and a Pino and taste the different flavors on the label, reminiscent of Kevin Kline demonstrating to Meg Ryan that she could appreciate hints of lavender or vanilla, in the movie French Kiss. I have bought books on wine, and even watched other wine courses online, only to be inundated with too many grapes and names to take anything away from the course or book. Mr. Wagner's delivery is laid back and enjoyable, not pretentious like I have experience in the past, feeling degraded for not spend $75 or more on a single bottle of wine. My biggest regret is the course is only 8 lessons long, as I feel there is so much more I could learn from him. My other regret is that I didn't view the course prior to a recent trip to a Tuscan vineyard. For 25 euros, they offer glasses of 8 different Brunello's, but I came away not being able to really differentiate between the samples, and left thinking the most expensive must be the best. That the experience while fun, would have been more enjoyable armed with an idea of what I should be looking for to differentiate the different wines and asking questions to help me understand the subtle differences between the different offerings.
Date published: 2022-08-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I think instructor likes to drink This was ok as a lecture. I could probably give lecturer another star. He did have some interesting historical trivia. I don't know, I guess I expected to get to know a little more about wines. Sounds like I'm wining.
Date published: 2022-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Puts it all in layman's language Terrific presentation by an expert who is totally relatable. Enjoyed very much.
Date published: 2022-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved the use of humor during his lectures. I thought this was a great introduction to the world of wine. Very good use of wine vocabulary for novice consumers.
Date published: 2022-05-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed I have ordered many courses from The Great Courses and they’ve all been terrific but their catalog in their website has become misleading. This time they offered and charged an additional charge for what I thought was the course book that has always accompany the DVD and it was misleading because the DVD came with the usual course book and this was just a complete transcription which is absolutely useless it was a waste of $35. They need to make it clear that this is in addition to the course syllabus
Date published: 2022-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny and full of great information Paul made learning about wine fun, interesting and easy. The best course I have taken so far.
Date published: 2022-04-25
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Overview

Take the intimidation out of wine selection as you discover how to find the wines that are right for you.

About

Paul Wagner

I’m here to share my knowledge in a down-to-earth, practical, an accessible guide that will take the intimidation factor out of choosing, drinking, and enjoying wine.

INSTITUTION

Napa Valley College

Paul Wagner is a Viticulture & Winery Technology Instructor at Napa Valley College. He is also a guest lecturer at many universities, including the University of Rovira i Virgili, the University of Bordeaux, and the University of Porto. He has judged more than 100 international wine competitions and has spoken at more than 80 conferences throughout the world on wine, wine tourism, wine education, public affairs, and wine marketing.

Mr. Wagner is the coauthor of Wine Marketing & Sales: Success Strategies for a Saturated Market,which won the Gourmand Award for the best wine book for professionals in 2007 and is now in its third edition. He is also the author of Artisan Public Relations: A Hands-On Guide to Getting Your Food & Beverage Creations the Attention They Deserve and coauthor of Wine Sales and Distribution: The Secrets to Building a Consultative Selling Approach. He was a columnist for Vineyard & Winery Management magazine for 10 years, and he previously served on the board of directors for the Society of Wine Educators. He also cohosts Bottle Talk, a weekly conversation about wine, at www.rickandpaulwine.com.

Mr. Wagner is also a founding member of the Academy of Wine Communications; consultant for the International Wine & Food Society, London Branch; member of the nominations committee for the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame; and member of the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference advisory board. He was inducted into the Spadarini della Castellania di Soave in 2005, and in 2009, he was honored with a Life Dedicated to Wine award at the Feria Nacional del Vino (FENAVIN) in Spain. In 2018, he received the American Wine Society’s annual Award of Merit, joining such luminaries as Robert Mondavi and Gina Gallo, and was named the winner of the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award at Napa Valley College.

Mr. Wagner is the founder and president emeritus of Balzac Communications & Marketing. His clients there included the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux; Caymus Vineyards; Seagram Chateau & Estate Wines Company; Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico; FurmintUSA; La Rioja Alta, S.A.; Constellation Brands; Sogevinus; Bodegas Salentein; Villa Trasqua; Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano; Regione Siciliana; and a host of other wine, food, and regional tourism clients.

By This Expert

The Instant Sommelier: Choosing Your Best Wine
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The Instant Sommelier: Choosing Your Best Wine

Trailer

How to Explore Your Glass of Wine

01: How to Explore Your Glass of Wine

In this lesson, we explore how to use four of our five senses to explore a glass of wine, and what these senses can tell us not only about the wine, but also about our own taste profiles and sensitivities. This is the first step toward determining which wines we really like the best.

27 min
Key Elements in Wine and How to Taste Them

02: Key Elements in Wine and How to Taste Them

When sommeliers talk about wine, they focus on a few key elements that define wine style and character. Now that you know how to use your senses to taste wine, let's use those tools to identify these elements and help you understand them. And in the meantime, this will also let you speak to those crazy sommeliers in their own language!

24 min
Choosing White Wines

03: Choosing White Wines

What kind of white wines do you like? In this lesson, we'll explore the best-known white wines and get a basic idea of what each one tastes like. Once you are familiar with these, you'll be able to talk to a sommelier in a restaurant without fear, and you'll be able to use these examples to understand thousands of other wines in the world.

24 min
Choosing Red Wines

04: Choosing Red Wines

Now that you have a firm grip on white wines, let's tackle red wines using the same basic techniques. And since there are even more styles of red wine than white, this one will be even more fun—and more helpful in your visits to a restaurant or wine shop.

23 min
Choosing Sparkling and Dessert Wines

05: Choosing Sparkling and Dessert Wines

While 90 percent of the world's wines fall into the categories of red and white, here is where we discover the rest, from sparkling wines and rosés to legendary dessert wines and aperitifs. Sure, sparkling wine may be perfect for celebrations, but by the time we are done with this lesson, you'll use it for far more than that. And you'll have a lot of other wines that will serve just as well.

21 min
The History of Wine: From Babylon to James Bond

06: The History of Wine: From Babylon to James Bond

Since the beginning of recorded history, wine has enjoyed a special place in social celebrations around the world. In this lesson, we follow the course of wine’s role in society and how it affects the way we enjoy wine today.

23 min
The Wine Service Ritual in Restaurants

07: The Wine Service Ritual in Restaurants

There are few things that cause as much anxiety as ordering wine at a fine dining restaurant. And yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. This lesson explains each step of formal wine service, gives tips on the best way to proceed, and focuses on how you can you best use this moment to make sure that your wine, and your dinner, are a success.

21 min
Having Fun with Wine

08: Having Fun with Wine

Wine isn't just another drink. It's part of a meal, part of a celebration, or maybe just a celebration in itself. This lesson will lead you through the ways that wine can add joy to lots of different occasions and guide you to find the ones that might be best for you or for your guests to enjoy in any situation.

24 min