Grab the vino, because Florida Wine Academy, a wine and education business, has officially opened its doors in downtown Miami (2 Biscayne Blvd.).
Designed for both wine amateurs as well as hospitality professionals, the school concentrates on all things wine, from taste to business. Explore topics like which wines to buy and where to buy them, as well as consulting and onsite training services for food and beverage professionals, such as wine list design and staff training.
"Miami has experienced a growth in terms of world-class restaurants, five-stars hotels, as well as wine bars and restaurants," director Alessandra Esteves says. "People working in these venues will need training. It's also aimed at consumers who want to learn more about wine and know histories, grapes, and qualities behind a wine label."
Esteves is one of only 8,500 people worldwide who hold a Level 4 Wine & Spirit Education Trust diploma, considered the highest wine certification. Now she wants to spread her love and knowledge of vino to as many people as she can.
"It's all about learning about wine," she says. "For wine lovers, it will be a true chance to mingle and learn. It will also help people complete qualifications to enter the wine industry or for those who want to further their career in the wine business."
Courses will range from basic to intermediate and advanced. There will be themed events too, such as wine and food pairings and "Wine 101." All courses will be taught by Esteves and will be offered in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
To celebrate the academy's opening, snag seats to the school's first two classes, which will be offered to the public. Otherwise, courses at the academy are exclusive to those who are enrolled. Prices vary depending upon one's desired enrollment package.
This Thursday, October 20, find an intimate champagne class for $35 per person. Just in time for National Champagne Day, the session will feature three styles of champagne and will discuss the history of the sparkling wine, its styles, and the foods with which it pairs best.
"I will discuss wine and war, among other things," she explains, "like how some people hid wine from Nazis in World War II."
Wednesday, November 9, Esteves will offer a course on sweet dessert varieties known as sherry wines. Unlike the other class, this one is free and aimed at hospitality and media professionals with an interest in wine pairing.
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"Sherry is one of the most underrated wines in the world," she says, "and they can have very different styles, from bone-dry to sweet."
For more information, visit floridawineacademy.com.