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.



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."





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