Hi, my name is Gabby, owner of Wine Fantasy Barcelona, a wine tourism company focused on wine tastings and tours across Barcelona and the Penedès region. I’ve been exploring the world of wine for many years now, and people often ask me about the sommelier courses I’ve studied and the online learning resources I turn to.
While all wine-lovers are on their own journey, with their own tastes and preferences, I always encourage customers and friends to keep learning. So in my blog today, I’m going to share a few of my favorite free online resources for people keen to delve deeper into the wine industry. You’ll find in-depth courses and entertaining resources from wine experts and afficionados alike – each offering new learnings and different perspectives.
If the online resources, YouTube channels, and podcasts you find in this blog are of help to you, and you’d like to push onward with your new learnings in-person, I’d love to welcome you to Spain for one of my wine-tastings or tours in Barcelona and the beautiful Penedès region.
There’s a dazzling range of online wine courses to choose from, though it’s not always easy finding the most authentic or useful sources of info. But don’t worry – I've done the hard work for you! Anybody can log in and use the wine education resources and courses detailed below to enhance their wine knowledge, and the vast majority of them are free to sign up and use.
Rioja Wine Academy. You'll find everything you need to learn about Rioja right here at the Rioja Wine Academy site. It’s such a great platform, and one I turn to regularly to keep up-to-date on the latest news, courses, and workshops.
Vins de Bourgogne. The informative and well-written Vins de Bourgogne site is here to help you learn about the wines of Burgundy. You’ll find films, 360° photos, interviews and quizzes, plus interactive features shining a light on the wonderful world of Bourgogne winemaking.
Champagne MOOC. Everyone loves a drop of bubbly, right? The Champagne MOOC website is dedicated to Champagne – it's the perfect starting point to learn about this fascinating region and the world-famous sparkling wine produced here. Aimed at sommeliers, wine merchants, journalists, sales representatives, tourism professionals, and wine-lovers from all over the globe, there are loads of useful resources to explore.
World of Wine: From Grape to Glass. This great resource offers you the opportunity to learn about the finer details of winemaking that could take years for you to master. The From Grape to Glass course will give you a broad understanding of the principles and practices used to grow grapes and make wine, and their impact on wine appearance, aroma, flavor and taste. You’ll also gain an appreciation for how cutting-edge research is helping to secure the future sustainability of the global wine industry. Whether you’re a wine novice or a seasoned oenophile, this course is for anyone who loves wine and wine tasting. You’ll even get to make your own wine, virtually at least!
The School of Port. Discover the wonders of Port with the School of Port. This is an online learning platform aimed at wine professionals and wine lovers alike. You’ll find a number of video courses including the Essentials and the Masters, which take you on a journey through the history of port, its terroir and the fertile Douro Valley, the ageing process, and modern methods of sustainability. You’ll learn how best to pair port, and delve into its production and bottling.
Alison Empower Yourself; An Introductory Course on Wines. An Introductory Course on Wines by Alison Empower Yourself is a free online wine course for people looking to acquire a basic knowledge of wine production, blending, and storage. The course introduces you to the anatomy of the grape, grape varieties, the fermentation process, and classifications of the end product. You also learn things like the terminology used in the wine industry, and the correct storage temperatures to maintain the best flavor.
The Sherry Academy. Discover the magic of the south with the Sherry Academy! These comprehensive courses will teach you everything you need to know about sherry. You’ll find different courses for varied levels of baseline understanding, alongside a wine tourism course, and a program specifically made for sommeliers and professionals in the hospitality or restaurant trade.
The Aldiploma. Designed by wine expert Sam Caporn for the Aldi chain of supermarkets, the Aldiploma is basically aimed at anyone who wants to discover more about wine. It's here to teach you about your favorite drink, from the basics to the finer details, and includes 8 free online modules.
Wine Tasting: Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis. Run by Coursera, Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis is an online wine tasting course in which you’ll learn the process of tasting wine through 4 different modules. It covers different styles of wine, introduces you to wine-tasting vocabulary, and teaches you about uncovering the faults and defects that can occur in wine production. You’ll also learn a great deal about food and wine pairings.
Wines of Portugal Academy Online Education Course. This online education course on Portuguese wines is a great way to study the 14 wine regions of Portugal, with details on the Portuguese wine sector, its history, grape varieties, wine styles and ideal food pairings.
The Napa Valley Wine Academy. This wine academy in the Napa Valley runs mostly paid courses, though they do have 2 free wine courses; Wines of Georgia and Côtes du Rhône. This is a really lovely wine school with very strong links to the Napa Valley community, running informative courses that put the student first.
Wine Scholar Guild. I’ve taken two of the Wine Scholar Guild’s online courses myself, passing the Italian and Spanish Wine Scholar programs, and can honestly say I really enjoyed both. They have new course additions regularly, and a great member portal with weekly webinars. Being a member of Wine Scholar Guild is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the wine industry, with fresh updates from around the world on a weekly basis.
WSET. The renowned WSET wine school is absolutely outstanding, and aimed at wine enthusiasts and professionals alike. You can study right up to your diploma here. They have teachers all over the world, uniting thousands of people around a love of wine, and endless possibilities for further study. As you’ll see on their website, “Our qualifications are designed for those who are just starting out in their careers, as well as established professionals, and the many enthusiasts who have a passion for wines, spirits and sake.” So, open to all!
We all know YouTube is a wealth of knowledge on every topic under the sun, and wine is no exception! On the platform, you’ll find hundreds of informative channels dedicated to the world of wine, with high production values and skilled presenters comfortably sharing their expertise. I follow a few of them closely for both entertainment and education, and can share a few of my favorite wine-related YouTube channels here.
Wine with Jimmy. Jimmy Smith is a famous and very popular wine educator, who has shared his knowledge with over 6000 students through WSET 1, 2 and 3. Recognized as one of the best Wine Scholar Guild educators around, Jimmy has several wine schools in London as well as a wine bar - Streatham Wine House. His YouTube channel, ´Wine With Jimmy´, offers top-quality wine-focused educational content.
Wine Folly. Madeline Puckette is the powerhouse behind the Wine Folly channel, and one of the most popular figures in wine education. A graphic designer and musician by trade, she’s released some amazing house and electronica tracks. The idea of Wine Folly came about because she noticed people want to know more about wine but don't know where to start. Her goal is to share knowledge and inspire new drinkers, and you can find her content just about everywhere. Her books make cool gifts as well!
The Grape Explorer. This channel aims to offer the viewer an informal look at the world of wine. The Grape Explorer keeps things simple for you as he shares insight and information on popular wines like Pino Grigio, but most importantly encourages you to enjoy the subject of wine. Expect plenty of helpful product reviews plus lots of informative tasting videos.
V is for Vino. I just became addicted to this channel! V is for Vino is fronted by Vince, with brilliantly in-depth episodes featuring different wine regions and the communities that shape them. He explores various wineries across surrounding cities, samples tasty food pairings in local restaurants, and takes a deep dive into the local wine culture. He breaks down topics into fun and easy-to-digest videos so I really enjoy his channel, and I hope you do too.
So we’ve covered online wine courses and wine-related YouTube channels, but there’s one more brilliant source of information and inspiration I’d like to share with you – podcasts. If you’re keen to learn more about wine but you don’t have time to sit in front of a screen, podcasts are such a fun and interesting way to listen and learn. Check out these wine-related podcasts for further insight into wines from across the globe.
Wine For Normal People. It’s a husband and wife duo who run Wine For Normal People, with the aim of translating complex wine topics into easy-to-understand info that anyone can relate to. You’ll find the podcast on their website here.
Eat, Sleep, Wine, Repeat. Eat, Sleep, Wine, Repeat is the place to go for entertaining and casual wine conversations, with tips, facts, and tastings from winemakers, sommeliers, and even Masters of Wine. Presenter Janina is WSET Diploma-qualified, with over a decade of industry experience. This podcast is ideal for anyone starting their wine journey, offering an excellent overview of wines across the globe that will no doubt inspire your next bottle or wine trip.
Swirl Suite. Running since 2015, The Swirl Suite is a podcast for wine lovers interested in the growing topic of black voices in wine. Hosted by Sarita, Tanisha, Leslie, and Glynis, The Swirl Suite makes welcome space for black women in an industry dominated by white men. With their collective experience in wine sales, wine education, and wine tourism, there’s no other podcast to match the Swirl Suite in this area.
Wine Blast. Run by a married couple who are both Masters of Wine, this all-encompassing wine podcast offers a really broad appeal. With not one but two Masters of Wine on the mic in one home, I kind of see it as double the value. The Wine Blast podcast will have you relaxed, entertained, and reaching for a refreshing glass of wine in no time – and why not?!
Matthew’s World of Wine and Drink. On this brilliant blog site and podcast, you’ll meet Matthew – a DIP WSET-certified wine-lover and a WSET Educator. Matthew’s World of Wine and Drink is a podcast for wine students, and I love that his episodes are to-the-point but great for specific wine topics. It's a great resource to turn to for help along the learning process.
Wine Fantasy Barcelona is a truly unique wine-tasting experience, running tasting sessions in an elegant Barcelona wine store along with vineyard visits deep in the Catalonian countryside.