Understanding Wine

WEEKEND UNDERSTANDING WINE – 2 Consecutive Saturdays

A course for the enthusiast who wants to discover more about wine    Book Now 

The world of wine and wine tasting doesn’t have to be intimidating.

This class is ideal for those who enjoy drinking wine and aspire to learn more, those who would like to gain confidence tackling wine shop selections and restaurant wine lists and is perfect for those starting out in the hospitality or wine industries.

We’ll introduce you to Australian wine regions and styles and focus on tasting techniques and wine vocabulary so you can understand what it is you are tasting and be able to express yourself. You will learn the fundamental principles of wine making and how factors such as climate, soil and wine making techniques will affect wine style and quality. You will enjoy a number of popular styles of wines from different regions and have fun learning in a relaxed environment.

This course is held at the National Wine Centre over two consecutive Saturdays and includes a light lunch on both days.


Day 1

Session 1 – Sensory evaluation of wine

  • The theory of sensory evaluation
  • Aroma exercise
  • Palate exercise
  • Wine faults
  • The practice of sensory evaluation – tasting 4 wines
  • The theory behind matching wine with food

Session 2 – Wine making practices + white wine

  • Vine and grape physiology + vineyard management
  • Wine making fundamentals
  • An in depth look at a selection of white wine varieties
  • Sensory evaluation of white wine – tasting 8 wines
  • Aging white wine

Session 3 – Dessert and fortified wines

  • Dessert wine styles
  • Botrytis wines
  • Fortified wine styles and how they are made – tasting 4 wines

Day 2

Session 4 – Factors effecting wine style and quality + sparkling wine

  • Climate and weather, soil, altitude and aspect
  • An in depth look at how sparkling wine is made
  • Sensory evaluation of sparkling wines, tasting 6 wines
  • Serving wine – glassware and decanting

Session 5 – Reading wine labels, blending wine + rose and red wines

  • Wine labels
  • Rose wine making fundamentals
  • Red wine making fundamentals
  • Blending wine
  • Sensory evaluation of rose and red wines, tasting 8 wines
  • Ageing red wine

Session 6 – Options Game

  • Options Game and DIY tasting note, tasting 4 wines

After successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand the principles of sensory evaluation and apply them to a diverse range of wine styles;
  • Competently discuss sensory characteristics of various varieties and styles using a common set of terms;
  • Understand basic wine making processes;
  • Understand basic viticulture practices;
  • Understand the impact of climate on wine styles;
  • Understand the changes that may occur in wines during the production and the aging process;
  • Appreciate the variances and influences of blending different wine varieties;
  • Have an understanding of varietal profiles and begin to develop an understanding of the regional characteristics of South Australian and Australian wines styles.

Meet Helen and Peter.

They recently retired from busy careers, their children have left home and they have plenty of free time on their hands. And they both love wine. They also enjoy leisurely drives through the wine regions of South Australia and would like to learn more. But where to start?

They were having lunch in the city recently and saw a poster for the National Wine Education & Training Centre. They rang the centre and spoke to a friendly lady who told them all about the Understanding Wine course, held over two consecutive Saturdays with a light lunch included.

It’s a comprehensive foundation of wine education, delivered in a relaxed manner – nothing is rushed.

“We had a fantastic time,” Peter said. “There were a dozen or so other wine lovers in the course who were all keen to learn, but we also had plenty of laughs. The educator did a wonderful job.”

Helen and Peter hit it off with another couple at the course and they’ve started planning a group wine tour to the Barossa.