What are the prerequisites? No prior knowledge of Italian wines is required. (That’s why it’s called “Discovering”!) However, students should be familiar with common wine terms and concepts from previous experience or a general wine course.
Discovering Italian Wine is a fun, unpressured course that provides an introduction to Italian wines and grape varieties. There are seven lessons, each presenting a manageable amount of relevant information about Italian wines that are important in export markets. The lessons are:
- Setting the Stage
- 11 Key Italian Red Grape Varieties
- 11 Key Italian White Grape Varieties
- 11 Wines Named After Grape Varieties
- 11 Red Wines Named After Places
- 11 White, Pink, Sparkling, and Dessert Wines Named After Places
- 11 Places That Make Multiple Styles of Wine
Online Proctored Exam consists of 30 multiple-choice questions that need to be answered in 40 minutes. Students must score at least 75% to achieve the IWC Level 1 Certificate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the course
Is there a book with the course?
No, the course is entirely online, so students should take notes during the course if they want hard-copy study materials. However, students may want to purchase the Level 2 book, Into Italian Wine, as a reference guide.
When is the course taught and how long does it take?
Discovering Italian Wine is entirely online, so it is available on your own schedule. You can start at any time. The entire course will take most students approximately 3-weeks provided they spend 3-hours a week in the course. It is recommended taking it slowly and concentrating on each lesson individually, so you will have three weeks to complete the course from the time you start.
Is there any wine tasting involved?
Tasting Italian wines during the course is a great way to get the full measure of the course material, but it is not required. There is no tasting component to the final exam. However, through a special arrangement between our partner the Napa Valley Wine Academy and Wine.com, students in the U.S. can purchase sets of wines specifically chosen to accompany the course, with a 10% discount and free shipping. (Naturally, students must be of legal drinking age and must comply with local and federal laws.) Those employed in the wine trade may prefer to taste wines from their own company’s portfolio, as appropriate.
What is the final exam like and what do students receive if they pass?
At the end of Discovering Italian Wine, there is an optional final exam. The exam is taken online by appointment with a proctor, any day, anytime. There is no additional cost for this exam. The test is 30 questions long, with a variety of question types. A practice exam is available after the last lesson to help prepare for the actual exam. Students who pass the exam will be able to print a certificate of completion (or can have one printed and sent to them for a small fee). Most importantly, after completing Discovering Italian Wine, you will be more comfortable with and knowledgeable about Italian wine, and those who work at restaurants or in wine sales will likely see immediate results in their ability to sell more and better Italian wine.
How does this course fit in with other wine courses?
For anyone pursuing an extended program of wine studies, Discovering Italian Wine is a great way to break the ice in the difficult area of Italian wine. Situations vary depending on each individual’s background and goals, but we would generally recommend that those following the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) program take Discovering Italian Wine between the introductory and certified levels, those working through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program take it between levels II and III, and those in the Society of Wine Educators (SWE) program take it before doing the CSW.