Discover the Best Wine Tasting Classes in Chicago
Wine has become increasingly popular in the US over the last decade. Wine drinkers are estimated to consume 2.8 gallons of wine per year on average. The beverage’s rise in popularity is thanks to the introduction of online wine retailers who will ship bottles to your door along with the exponential growth of American wine production, and the drink’s health benefits.
The first traces of a wine-like substance were found in 60-million-year-old fossils. Different cultures contributed to the production of wine across history, finding the best ways to de-stem, crush, and ferment varieties of wine grapes. As the production of wine evolved, so too did the way people enjoy wine. Wine tastings are evident in the writings of Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato. Wine enthusiasts since have come up with formalized the wine tasting process.
There are wine tasting classes available across the US that can teach you about the wine tasting process and how to assess the quality of wine.
Why You Should Learn Wine Tasting in Chicago
Wine tastings can help broaden your palate. Many people try a specific type of wine and never branch out to other varieties. Attending a wine tasting will introduce you to several wines you may have not tried otherwise. An instructor will help you pick out flavor notes in the wines you try, which can help you find other wines that pique your tastebuds.
Wine tastings are also great social activities. They encourage conversation with others at the tasting and can be attended as a fun group activity. Wine tastings are often booked by couples on Valentine’s Day or as anniversary dates. They also make good corporate events if your business or organization is looking to schedule an event to encourage socialization.
In-Person Wine Tasting Classes & Schools in Chicago
Wineries, community centers, and restaurants around the Chicago area host in-person wine tastings. Wine tastings are led by experts, or sommeliers, who can teach you the basic principles of wine tasting and tell you about the history behind the wines you are trying. Classes may provide you with general wine knowledge and vintage-specific knowledge.
For a casual night of wine tasting check out Raise a Glass, a happy hour experience provided by The Chopping Block in Lincoln Square. You’ll receive a mini-lesson on the history of wine as you snack on wine-friendly foods. Your tasting will include several wines and all wines purchased during the tasting will be 10% off.
Region-specific and history-focused classes are also available. The Chopping Block offers the class, Wine Lands of Spain, which discusses Spain’s wine heritage across the globe and a tasting of six Spanish wines. History buffs are welcome to join their War and Wine: Grand Cru of Wine class. This two-hour class will walk you through the history of World War II and the role that wine played in France’s resistance movement.
The Discovery Center, located in Irving Park, hosts a wine tasting and appreciation class for in-experienced and experienced wine tasters alike. You’ll expand your palate and wine vocabulary in this workshop. Come prepared with your questions about vintages, pairings, and more, as your instructor will be happy to answer them.
Virtual Wine Tasting Classes & Schools
In-person wine tastings are a hands-on way to learn about and try new and flavorful wines. They also provide you with the chance to meet other wine enthusiasts. However, you may not have time in your schedule to attend an in-person class. If that’s the case, virtual wine tasting classes might interest you. Virtual classes are taught by live instructors who are wine experts. They’ll be able to answer your questions while informing you about the session's tasting choices.
The San Francisco Wine School offers a large number of online wine tasting classes. Some classes focus on wines from specific regions while others introduce several different wines and the process of wine tasting. If you’re new to wine tastings and would like to be led through the process, sign up for their Wine 101 class. In this class, you’ll taste six different wines while focusing on the structure of the wine and the main grape varieties.
If you’re interested in tasting and learning about wines from different countries, the San Francisco Wine School can provide you with an introduction to Italian wines and an introduction to French wines. You can find the other introductory courses the school offers on CourseHorse.
You can also take virtual tasting classes focused on other types of alcoholic beverages. The San Francisco Wine School, for example, offers a class on beer and sake, and Whisky Gourmet hosts a Cognac tasting class.
Private Group Wine Tasting Classes in Chicago
Is your business or organization interested in scheduling a wine tasting as a socialization event for your team? Or are you and a group of friends looking for a fun activity to do together over the weekend? CourseHorse offers private group wine tasting classes that they can deliver to you.
CourseHorse offers two different virtual wine tasting workshops. The first workshop features wine from Spain, Italy, New Zealand, and California. The second workshop features a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a Spanish Rosé, and a Californian Pinot Noir.Both classes can accommodate up to 500 people.
For groups interested in learning about wine and cheese, CourseHorse offers a virtual wine and cheese workshop. The instructor of your class will teach you about the methods used to produce wine and cheese and how to elevate your conversation about the two. All participants in this class must be over the age of 21.
CourseHorse supplies your group with all necessary class materials. Bottles of wine and food pairings will be shipped to each participant once participant addresses have been submitted to the fulfillment team.
You can use the contact form on CourseHorse’s website to inquire about what other wine tasting classes they can offer you and your group. You can ask them about specific vintages or pairings and discuss the size of your group to ensure that they can accommodate it. If you don’t know the size of your group when booking a class with CourseHorse, you can provide them with the minimum group size and update your headcount later.
CourseHorse does not charge booking fees and allows free cancellations up to two weeks before your class. There is a $150 rescheduling fee if you reschedule less than 48 hours in advance. It’s recommended that you take your class using Zoom. CourseHorse can accommodate WebEx, Microsoft Teams, and Google if you provide them with the meeting details.