The Wasatch Academy of Wine is the oldest wine education company in Utah, opening in 1991. They take all things wine very seriously. From wine education classes to traveling tours, these folks can teach you the ins and outs of wine from region to region.
Rhea Cook, French Wine Scholar (FWS), has been a wine educator for the academy for the past three years. She currently teaches the nine-week, French Wine Scholar course. After working for Mike Knight, owner of Kiler Grove Winery in Salt Lake, Cook decided to take her knowledge and passion of wine a step further and take courses herself from Sheral Schowe, owner of the Wasatch Academy of Wine.
“I was fortunate to learn from two of the best in the business,” Cook said. “Mike taught me how to make wine and Sheral educated me on different types and wine regions.”
When you attend a wine education course, you get nine weeks of instruction, tutored tastings of wine, a manual, access to an E-Learning online package, and an exam sit upon completion of testing. Classes are once a week for two-and-a-half to three hours, and are typically hosted in comfortable venues such as La Caille Restaurant. Tuition is $950, and food is not included.
“The French Wine Scholar is a post-nominal course, which means you have learned a lot about France and wine in general,” Cook said. “We also teach wine responsibility and wine service.”
In addition, the class learns about the grapes used to make specific wines, including types, where they are grown, and wine pairings with food. Restaurant training and service is another offering by the academy, along with private events and wine dinners.
“I also assist Chef Drew Ellsworth, owner of Ecole Dijon Cooking School, at his in-home food and wine dinners,” Cook said. “People come and enjoy a wonderful meal prepared by Chef Drew, and Wasatch Academy of Wine is there to pour the wine and provide wine education. It really is best to have a theme. That way we know what types of wines to bring. Some people just want to have a party, others want to learn. We are flexible.”
Wasatch Academy of Wine offers several options for bringing wine into your repertoire. Whether you are a newbie or a wine scholar yourself, there is always more to learn. Schowe will be offering an Italian Wine Scholar class in the fall of 2016 in addition to the French Wine Scholar class.