By Robert Isenberg
There are so many ways to study alcohol, but starting this fall, Spirited Grape will offer a different kind of education – you can get certified in the very theory of wine and spirits.
“This kind of certification is recognized widely in the industry,” says Brenda Audino, creator of Spirited Grape and its chief education officer. “You know that [graduates] have a particular base-level knowledge. I have so many people who say, ‘I want to do something in wine, because I like wine.’ But there are also enthusiasts – people who collect wine, who want to know more about it.”
Audino has worked in the industry for 18 years. There are only 9,000 people in the world who hold a diploma from the UK-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and Audino is one of them. She taught extensively in Texas and California, first in retail settings and later at the Napa Valley Wine Academy.
Courses will be held at the Providence Marriott, and students will study theory, participate in tastings, and learn cocktail preparation. In the past, Audino says there’s been a 50-50 split between aspiring sommeliers and curious consumers, but the courses are particularly beneficial for professionals.
“I always find that [participants], once they’ve gone through a program, feel a lot more confident,” says Audino. “They go out on the floor and engage with customers. They want to talk about what they know.”