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Wine 101 Education Classes in Austin

published on June 20, 2012

Austinites don’t have to be certified sommeliers to enjoy good wine because, lucky for us, there are plenty of people in town who are sommeliers and are more than willing to help stock our local wine shops, select perfectly paired wines for our meals, design a wine cellar for an Austin luxury home, or teach us how to select and appreciate a good glass of wine. Wine classes are offered throughout the city, both in public and private classes. Below are a few places where you can learn the basics of wine tasting and terminology: 

Twin Liquors

Twin Liquors, born and raised in downtown Austin,began as one small store in the 1800’s and has emerged into a “home grown,” successful Austin company. Twin Liquors offers Wine 101 and Bordeaux 101 classes, both free to the public. In Wine 101, learn how to look at, smell, taste, and describe wine. In Bordeaux 101, learn what taste and style to expect from most Bordeaux wines sold in stores and restaurants just by looking at the label or wine list entry, what the major grape varieties used in Bordeaux are, about Appellations, about the six wine families of Bordeaux, and about pairing Bordeaux with food. All classes require an RSVP online to attend, and are held at stores throughout the city, including locations close to River Place, West Lake, and Circle C. 

Central Market 

Central Market Cooking Schools offer a variety of classes for customers, from knife skills, to a total French cultural immersion, to wine appreciation classes. Classes feature culinary expertise from talented instructors as well as a diversity of local, regional and nationally known chefs. In a Wine 101 class, join a wine expert on a tour of the most popular varieties of grapes that provide us with some of the world’s most sought after wines. In addition to tasting the featured wines, you will also learn about what to look for when tasting wine, how the grapes are grown, techniques utilized in the winery and much more. Check the Central Market calendar to learn when the next wine class located in a store close to you will be held. 

East End Wines 

East End Wines offer wine tastings and education every Friday, from 4pm – 8pm, with a special selection of wines chosen by owners Matt Miller and Sam Hovland. Both Miller and Hovland has extensive background in the Austin wine community, working as buyers and consultants before teaming up to open East End Wines. Hovland has a degree from The International Sommelier Guild.To achieve certification, candidates must successfully pass all parts of a five-part, two-day examination that covers wine knowledge, restaurant wine management, wine service, and blind tasting. Patrons of East End Wines do not need to expect a test after their tastings, just the joy of good wine. 

Wine for the People 

Rachel, ‘Rae’, Wilson is a wandering wine consultant based in Austin, Texas, with a passion for deconstructing wine culture and making it accessible to all through educating people to make their own selections, or making selections for them. Wilson contributes to the Austin wine community, both experts and novices, through bar or restaurant consultation and staff training, wine program promotion, event wine and food pairing, wine etiquette training, and private wine and food events. 

Austin Wine Guy 

Rob Moshein is the Austin Wine Guy, who can help with everything from wine education, to party hosting and planning, to wine collection and cellar planning, appraisals, wine list building, and more.Moshein started his career in law, but after studies in Europe introduced him to some of the great first Growth Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundies, his fascination with fine wine grew, leading to time spent in Napa Valley and Sonoma County wine regions, where he honed his skills as a sommelier.

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