ABOUT LearnAboutWine School
4-Week Credential Program & Certification


For years, thousands of people have turned to Ian Blackburn as they struggle to navigate the vast world of wine knowledge. Ian specializes in giving both wine trade professionals and curious consumers the tools they need to enrich their wine experience, and help them grow their passion for wine.

In 2008, Ian launched an ambitious program to give wine lovers of every level the credentials that will help them build their foundation of knowledge, and create what he calls “World Wine Competency.”

LAW (Learn About Wine) School is the result of Ian’s work, and as he says, “it’s a serious program with a fun name that is perfect for everyone from the wine novice to the professional who wants to fill in the gaps of their wine knowledge.”

The culmination of the 4-week program is the “Beverage Aptitude Review” (aka BAR EXAM). With Ian’s fun but structured approach, the students who have completed his curriculum have achieved a better than 90% success rate on this challenging exam. Over 800 LAW School students have passed and gained the experience to build their wine knowledge for the future!

Enroll now, so you can complete our program and join a large and growing force in the wine world. Graduates will receive a Junior Wine Executive (JWE) credential, lapel pin, wall certificate, and confidence in the application process for future placement in the wine industry. Perhaps best of all, you’ll be able to confidently pick the wine off the list at all of your social functions!


  • Culinary Institute of America’s Exploring Wine Textbook (you may purchase this from us when you enroll, or you may source your own copy of the current edition)
  • Homework Project (Wine Buying; information given in curriculum)

No prior wine knowledge is required, but if you have the materials and textbook with as much time for review as possible, you’ll have the advantage you need for success in each of the four sessions.


  • Four-weeks of hands-on tasting and instruction (each session meets for three hours – one session per week for 4 weeks)
  • An introduction and exploration of tasting skills. Approximately 80 wines in all will be shown to teach varietal characteristics and regional wine styles
  • World wine competency
  • Varietal descriptions
  • Wine laws and history
  • In-class tasting exam
  • Take-home final "BAR Exam" (Beverage Aptitude Review). JWE Credential Certification awarded on successful completion of the program and the BAR Exam – our candidates have over a 90% pass rate!
  • JWE Certification is widely recognized by the wine trade, including many distributors, restaurants, wineries, wine shops, and others in the wine industry.
  • Successful Certification includes: Wall Certificate, Certification Lapel Pin, listing on website of all graduates.




REQUIRED TEXTBOOK - CLICK TO PURCHASE Culinary Institute of America's "Exploring Wine" ($60 includes tax and shipping)

Culinary Institute of America's "Exploring Wine"
($60 includes tax and shipping)


Is this every day?

No, this class is hosted one day a week for four weeks. Homework is assigned each week, mostly reading in the comprehensive text book.

What if I need to skip a week?

You can do that, or if we have two classes that week, you can opt to attend the other session. Skipping a week, we will provide you with a list of wines we taste in class and you can research them to catch up and work with the current students to provide you important notes and information.

Who endorses this credential?

LearnAboutWine was established in 1995 and continues to maintain one of the most active calendars of wine education and events in the United States. With over 1/2 a million students, LearnAboutWine is a great place to get your start in wine education and maintains a very high approval rating. Most competing schools of wine are based out of London, and depend on their history and reputation as well. We intend to infuse modern ideas; appreciate the classics and also include more context and texture to the conversation about the new world. Based in California, that means we do taste a larger percentage of California wines than other programs, but we also taste more European wines, and more wines of the world too.

Why sign up now?

 Get your textbook and secure a space, you can get ahead on the reading. 

How big are the classes?

Each session tends to sell out at 24 students.

Can I bring food to the class?

Yes. No food is provided, you are welcome to bring snacks to enjoy in the break. We limit the aromas in the room and ask that you consider this before eating in the classroom. Also watch the amount of fragrance that you use; please keep it to a minimum.


"I thoroughly enjoyed LAW school and feel that I've gained a better appreciation for wine."

"It was challenging but I liked the explanation of every wine, from smell, taste, look. Very thorough."

"Opened the door into an undstanding of wine and built my confidence to develop my palate and taste preference. Gave me the push I needed to persue a career I've always wanted in the wine industry."

"Ian and his crew are very knowledgeable andt make the process/class very enjoyable."

"Absolutely adore the class, beyond my expectations."


wineLA is about enhancing the wine culture of Los Angeles. To do so, wine must be in rhythm with fashion, music, food and other beverages. It must take advantage of the geography, the architecture and the centers of interest. Los Angeles is a giant playground with an amazing array of venues, spaces, wine bars, restaurants, beaches, roof tops, gardens, and magical views. We want to be a part of the LA lifestyle, the wine lifestyle, and celebrate the people, the place and the passion.

wineLA will promote significant events, occasional classes, and tastings of merit. This is phase two of what we started 20 years ago at LearnAboutWine.com - America’s first wine education website and first in wine event creation. LearnAboutWine will now evolve onto a digital platform; the transformation will take some time; so we will slowly rebrand our event efforts onto wineLA, reduce the number of activities we focus on, and elevate our efforts to focus on the next big thing… Doing what is best for the wine industry and the communities we serve. Edicts: innovate, evolve and excite.

We thank you for joining our newsletter, we will be sending fewer emails and packing them with amazing content. We want to be your wine content provider and would love to hear about your favorite places, your music, your locations - we want to be under the influence of what ignites your passion for Los Angeles.

Ian Blackburn, CSW, JWE ­‐ LearnAboutWine & wineLA Professional Sommelier, Candidate for the Master of Wine

Ian drinks wine for a living and plans 50 ­‐100 public and private events a year. Ian stays busy buying collectible wines for high profile clients, planning luxury wine trips for his audience, hosting corporate events, and studying for his Master of Wine. Since 1995, LearnAboutWine has done the hard work of building a better culture for fine wine, opening the doors for more quality products to enter the marketplace and has taught over 800,000 students. With a reach of over 80,000 current subscribers and followers, LearnAboutWine now focuses on the best quality events and classes, and wine credential programs which have graduated over 1000 wine students in the last 9 years with a Junior Wine Executive credential (JWE). See what is happening NOW at our new website winela.com.

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