Taste your way to an education in Italian wines (like I did)

By Jim Campanini
If you are truly interested in developing your global wine acumen, there’s no better way to start than with the Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar program that begins Saturday, Oct. 13.
My mentor , Jo-Ann Ross, will be teaching Unit 1 on Northern Italian wines, which covers Piedmont, Trentino, Alto Adige and Val
I began my Italian studies with this class two years ago, and it was exceptional. I met wonderful people in the wine trade, restaurant owners and chefs, sommeliers, and young and older professionals who love wine.
We studied the different Italian regions — their customs and history — and learned about the unique native grapes and distinctive wine-making styles that have given Italy top-tier status with other global producers . The best part, at least for me, was to taste these wines at class — usually six per class — with other students and discuss the characteristics. It was a lot of fun.
According to the Wine Scholar Guild,” this course is designed to provide committed students of wine with the most advanced and comprehensive specialization program on the wines of Italy.”
If you choose to take the program’s final exam — and pass it — you can move on to take Unit 2 on Southern Italian Wines. Successful completion of both exam units is a worthy achievement, earning you official Italian Wine Scholar certification.
Of course, you don’t have to be an “exam student” to participate in the program – just be dedicated to learning about Italian wines.
Ms. Ross is an accomplished Italian and French wine educator. She been to both countries, visited the vineyards and met the winemakers. She’ll be
teaching the Italian class and will be ably assisted by Ciro Pirone, the director of Italian Wines for Horizon Beverages. Pirone, who was born in Italy,  is an expert on Italian wines and an easy-going conversationalist. This pair is a match made in wine heaven.
Classes are held on Saturdays beginning Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the City Winery, 80 Beverly St., Boston. There are five classes in all and the program ends Dec. 1.
The tuition is $675 and includes 15 hours of instruction, tutored wine tastings, a 250-page, full-color Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 study manual ($135 value), and access to the Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1 Online Study Program for class prep and review (a $295 value).
To register, contact Jo-Ann Ross at 508-243-8208 or jrosswine@gmail.com. Tell her Jim Campanini sent you and ask about a 10 percent discount.


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