Whether you are a novice only interested in increasing your wine knowledge for pleasure, or whether you are an active member of the trade wanting to take your career to the next level, The Texas Wine School has a class for you!
Many of our classes are one-time classes; a two-hour night out in which you will learn about and taste through a variety of wines. These classes are suitable for students of all skill levels. Each class will introduce and utilize a systematic approach to tasting wine.
Some of our classes lead to a certification. While these are helpful for members of the trade, they are also completely appropriate for hobbyists. These classes typically come with a book and culminate in an exam, and most include tastings (the exception being the Certified Specialist of Wine class).
The easiest place to start is the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 1. This class is typically offered over three weeks, for three hours per night, once a week. Occasionally it is offered as an intensive class over one or two days. This course is perfectly suited for beginners, and will cover, in broad strokes, the world of wine.
WSET Level 2 is twice as long and gets into much greater detail, again covering the world of wine. WSET Level 1 is NOT a prerequisite, and many students choose to skip Level 1 and dive right into Level 2. This is a great option for those in the trade, or who have been collecting wine or traveling to wine regions. The course is typically offered over six weeks, and is occasionally offered as an intensive class.
WSET Level 3 is twice as long again as Level 2, focusing in much greater depth on viticulture and winemaking, and how they influence the style, quality and price of a wine. While Level 2 is not a prerequisite, it is rarely recommended that a student skip Level 2, which provides a solid foundation about wines from all over the world. WSET Level 3 is a twelve week course that culminates in a two-part (tasting and theory) exam.
The Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), developed by the Society of Wine Educators (SWE), is usually offered over 6 weeks. There is no tasting component to this class. We typically recommend that students take WSET Level 2 before the CSW.
We also offer some regional certifications. The Specialist of Texas Wine and Italian Wine Essentials are short courses that aim for breadth rather than depth of material covered. Both are well-suited for beginners, while still offering sufficient depth to engage more seasoned students.
The French Wine Scholar (FWS) and Italian Wine Scholar programs, both created by the Wine Scholar Guild, are in-depth, comprehensive courses on these regions. FWS is a 9-week course, while the IWS is broken into 2 halves, each half lasting 8 weeks. We strongly recommend that students take WSET Level 2 (or have equivalent knowledge) before taking these courses, which will go into greater depth than WSET Level 3 (but of course not offer the breadth in that they cover only one country).
WSET classes are occasionally offered in Austin, San Antonio or Bryan, but all the other classes are held at our location in Houston.
The Texas Wine School is the first independent company to offer Wine Education Classes in Houston for the consumer and the wine industry.
The TWS wants all its students to become confident about their wine choices, whether they’re in a restaurant or a retail store.