Who should attend
- Wine enthusiasts
- Restaurateurs and hoteliers
- Wine distributors and retailers
- Professionals who entertain clients
- Aspiring hospitality professionals
- Anyone looking to increase their knowledge of wine
About the course
France produces many of the planet’s best old-world wines.
The Wines of France certificate leads you on a virtual tour, from grape to glass, of eight important French wine regions. To prepare for this journey, you will first complete the “Wine Essentials” course to build a foundational understanding of viticulture, winemaking, and wine evaluation. You’ll then have the opportunity to explore the French wine classification systems, the varietals grown in different regions of France, and how the climate affects the grape and wine outcomes in the next course, “Grape Varietals of France.” You’ll also examine terms you will encounter on French wine labels so you are prepared to anticipate the characteristics of a given wine. During the third course, “Experience Wines of France,” you’ll select French wines to taste, share, and compare.
Whether you’re working in a professional hospitality setting, entertaining, or simply enjoying, after completing the program, you’ll be able to select, experience, and recommend French wines with greater confidence — not to mention impress your guests!
For the best experience in this program, it is strongly recommended to take these courses in the order that they appear.
Interested in expanding your knowledge of wines? Whether you're an industry professional or simply a wine enthusiast, this hands-on course takes you on a journey through the winemaking process, from grape to glass. Learning from world-renowned industry experts from Cornell, you will learn to successfully identify the components of wine and how they affect perceptions before exploring your personal palate and conducting sensory evaluation, using sight, smell, taste, and touch. You will explore various wine growing techniques and analyze how geography and climate impact the grape. Finally, you will identify the correct service and storage approaches to use based on the type and style of wine.
This program is intended for use by persons of legal drinking ages under the relevant applicable laws where they reside. Students will need to purchase wine, sugar, and other items commonly found in grocery stores to participate in tasting exercises.
Grape Varietals of France
This course will guide you in exploring eight important wine regions of France: Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Provence. You will start with an overview of the French wine laws and classification system, then you will begin your study of each region. Within each region, you will consider its unique history with winemaking, how the climate affects grape growing and winemaking, the grape varietals and wine styles most associated with that region, and its unique classification system and labeling requirements, You will finish your course by selecting a winery from four of the regions and researching them, along with a specific wine from each, to summarize how these varied aspects of wine production — climate, viticulture, winemaking practices, and classifications — work together to produce the great French wines that are known and respected worldwide.
It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed "Wine Essentials" or have equivalent experience.
Experience Wines of France
In this course, your journey with French wines culminates with a wine-tasting experience. You will select and compare two to six wines from the eight wine regions we studied. In addition to reviewing important wine label terms, you will explore how the French wine market works and the factors affecting wine prices. You will then prepare for a casual, at-home wine tasting, which includes selecting wines to share and determining appropriate food pairings. During your event, you will observe how different people interpret different wines. You will also consider the ways in which the wines are distinct from each other and compare your expectations to your experiences as well as the experiences of your guests.
Important: Alternatives can be made for those who do not drink alcohol or who are in areas where alcohol purchases or consumption are not allowed.
It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed “Wine Essentials” and “Grape Varietals of France” or have equivalent experience.
Key course takeaways
- Describe the process of making wine and its components
- Evaluate wine using sight, smell, and taste in order to make informed decisions and recommendations
- Interpret French wine labels and select wines from France with confidence
- Pair wine with food appropriately
- Store and serve wine properly based on the type and style of wine
Cheryl Stanley is a lecturer in food and beverage management at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration (SHA). She has been involved with food since the age of ten, when she started her own chocolate business, "Cheryl''s Chocolates." Following her interest in food, she attended SHA and graduat...
Videos and materials
Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.
We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.