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BellaOnline's Wine Editor


Wine De-Mystified - Course Review

If you’re thinking of learning more about wine then who better to explain the facts than a Master Sommelier?

Keith Goldston became America's 47th Master Sommelier in 2001. One of the world's youngest Master Sommeliers he has more than nineteen years experience working in top restaurants and he lectures for the Culinary Institute of America.

Now Keith has produced a wine course for, an impressive new on-line web-based education company.

While there are many videos online and wine courses on DVD the most significant different with’s courses is the interaction you can have with your lecturer and fellow students. If you have a question or want to make a comment you can click on ‘start discussion’, the lecture pauses while you type your question which is automatically linked to that point in the lecture. When the lecturer, or another student, responds you’ll be notified and you can return to that point in the lecture. You can also discuss issues with other students.

Keith Goldston’s Wine De-mystified: A Practical Guide course comprises eleven lectures totalling almost five hours. Keith is a personable host with a ready smile and engaging manner who talks about every aspect of wine, from the choices vineyards have to make when choosing where to plant vines, to serving wines and matching with foods.

I have watched all the lectures and I am most impressed with the Sympoz technology. You can break off at any point and when you return the video continues from the same point. Of course you can rewind and start at various break points in the lectures.

I think the lectures would have been better if Keith spent more time on location in vineyards and wineries. Most of the lectures are of the studio based ‘talking head’ sort, better use could have been made of maps and other visual aids and there is no supporting materials to speak of. But if you want to get a Master Sommelier’s knowledge of wine then this course has it and no prior knowledge of the subject is needed.

Wine De-mystified: A Practical Guide is one of nine courses in Sympoz’s current curriculum, with more are being added. The course price is $49 but readers of this review may benefit from a 40% discount and take the course for $29 by using this link.

What do you think? Tell us as on the wine forum.

DISCLOSURE: Peter F May was given free access to this course. He does not get any fee or benefit from people booking the course or clicking on the discount link.

Peter F May is the author of Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape: Odd Wines from Around the World which features more than 100 wine labels and the stories behind them, and PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine which tells the story behind the Pinotage wine and grape. Now available as an eBook.

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Content copyright © 2018 by Peter F May. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Peter F May. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Peter F May for details.


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