• Sarah O'Kelley

Wine Classes : My True Passion


Hooray! We are about to kick off another round of Somm School at Edmund’s Oast Exchange. This seriously must be about the 8th time we have kicked off our wine class series, and I am still just as excited as the first time! I have always been drawn to teaching in all chapters of my professional life (from adult literacy to kids cooking classes and now wine classes)! There’s just such a joy from sharing knowledge, and I especially love when we kick off the Somm School series as it truly feels like we are starting off on a journey together.

I also love the close bonds that are often formed in these classes. We have seen so many new friendships and even one raucous class party! And we have also seen several of our students pass the intro somm test (through the Court of Master Sommeliers). All this gladdens my heart!

So I would love to meet some new faces in mid-May when the new series begins, and I realized one way to facilitate that could be to answer some frequently asked questions! Here ya go (but also don’t hesitate to email me with more specific questions – sarah@edmundsoast.com)!

P.S. Tickets are $30 per person, but there will be a 50% discount for those in the food and beverage industry. To purchase tix you can call the shop – 843-990-9449 – or click here. To receive your industry discount when checking out online simply enter “sommfandb” as the coupon code. We are keeping the class size small and per our new COVID policy we are asking for proof of vaccination from all our class attendees.

Somm School FAQ

Q: Do you need to have wine experience to enjoy these classes?

A: Absolutely not. We start at ground zero and build from there! All you need to bring is your curiosity and a thirst for some great wine!

Q: Do you need to take the entire series?

A: No, each class is stand alone. So you can take as many or as few as you like. (If possible I do recommend taking the first class on grape growing and winemaking as that lays the foundation for the entire series. The blind tasting class also builds on that foundation.)

Q: How many wines do you taste per class?

A: We generally taste 4 wines (but sometimes 5) – from classics to more off the beaten path. We usually taste an even amount of whites and reds.


Q: How much further study is required to pass an entry level wine certification after taking this series?

A: Of course, a lot of this depends on which certification you plan to take and also your intensity of study outside of this class. With proper outside study of the materials provided in the class, you should be able to easily pass an entry level wine certification.

Q: What are some of the topics covered in relation to each wine region?

A: We cover all of the elements that makes each region unique. Things like: climate, soil type, culture/tradition, etc.

Q: What materials are provided with the class?

A: For each class you will receive a very detailed handout (we are happy to email you an example) and a map of each major wine region we cover.

Q: Do Somm School students receive any wine discounts?

A: Yes, we offer 15% off all wine in the shop to students on the day of the class.

Q: Are there classes that go beyond this intro series?

A: Yes, we call our next level wine classes Somm School 2.0, and we often offer these classes on Sunday afternoons. They offer a deeper dive into some of the more iconic wine regions of the world like Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, the Piedmont, and Tuscany.

Q: Who teaches the Somm School classes?

A: All classes are taught by either myself or my assistant manager Colin Lee. We are both certified sommeliers, and I have also passed level 3 with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). But of note, we are lucky enough to have several certified sommeliers on our staff, and others who have passed WSET levels.

Q: Why take Somm School classes if I don’t work in the hospitality industry?

A: It’s a great way to explore different parts of the world and learn history, geography, and geology. This is fun if you are just an armchair traveler but even more fun if you decide to take trips to these regions. Also, learning about regions gives you a greater appreciation for what’s in your glass!

Two of the most common comments I hear from folks after taking the series:

  1. I had no idea that I could actually like white wine!

  2. I actually drink less now because I take my time truly appreciating every glass!

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