Discovering Italian Wine - Online Course

A fun, unpressured course, designed for wine enthusiasts who want to get started on their Italian wine journey and those in wine service or sales looking to jump-start their careers.



Discovering Italian Wine™ is the perfect introductory course for those just getting started on their wine journey or those who are expanding out of their comfort zone (California, France, etc.). This self-paced, online course will walk the learner through the complex world of Italian wines. The course comes complete with online visuals, exercises, and an optional final exam to test your new knowledge. No prior experience of Italian wines is required. (That’s why it’s called “Discovering”!) However, learners should be familiar with common wine terms and concepts from previous experience or a general wine course.

Topics covered:

  • Primer on Italian wine terms and wine tasting
  • Brief Italian history lesson and introduction to significant regions
  • Key Italian red and white grape varieties
  • Select wines named after grape varieties
  • Select wines named after places
  • Red, white, pink, sparkling, and dessert wines
  • Places that make multiple styles of wine

Lessons are text based and enhanced with:

  • Short videos, vivid images and clear, concise maps
  • Helpful tools like aroma and flavor keys and audio pronunciations
  • Interactive quizzes to help acquaint you with Italian wines and culture


Successful completion of the online final assessment earns you a personalized certificate of achievement.

Approximate hours to complete:  8

Access to the course:

  • Access to the course is immediate upon receipt of payment.
  • You will have access to the course and the opportunity to take the optional final exam for three months after registration.
  • Upon successful completion of the exam, you will be emailed a Certificate of Completion suitable for framing.

Course cost:  $95

To inquire about volume discounts and corporate rates for Discovering Italian Wine, contact

Below are some frequently asked questions about the Discovering Italian Wine course.

Who should take this course?

Discovering Italian Wine is ideal for anyone in retail and restaurant wine service or distribution and sales. It is also a perfect primer for wine aficionados who want to learn about the culture of Italian wine.

This course is highly recommended for students and professionals pursuing:

  • the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) program between the introductory and certified levels
  • the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program between levels II and III
  • the Society of Wine Educators (SWE) program before attempting the CSW

And, for anyone specializing in Italian wine, this course is a natural lead-in to the Exploring Italian Wine course.

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What topics does the course cover?

Discovering Italian Wine is a fun, pressure-free course that introduces the learner to the most prominent Italian wines and grape varieties. Each of the seven lessons presents a manageable amount of relevant information about Italian wines that are important in export markets. The lessons are:

  • Setting the Stage
  • 11 Key Italian Red Grape Varieties
  • 11 Key Italian White Grape Varieties
  • 11 Wines Named After Grape Varieties
  • 11 Red Wines Named After Places
  • 11 White, Pink, Sparkling, and Dessert Wines Named After Places
  • 11 Places That Make Multiple Styles of Wine

Each lesson includes images, maps, pronunciation practice, and interactive exercises to help learners get acquainted with Italian wines.

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Is there a book with the course?

The course is entirely online, so learners are encouraged to take notes as they go through the course.

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Is there any wine tasting involved?

Tasting Italian wines during the course is a great way to get the full measure of the course material, but it is not required.

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What is the final exam like and what do students receive if they pass?

At the end of the course, there is an optional final exam included with the purchase of the course. The test is 30 questions long, with a variety of question types. A practice exam is available after the last lesson to help prepare for the actual exam. Learners who pass the exam will be sent a printable Certificate of Completion. Students who score 75% or better achieve passing status. Results are reported as Pass/Fail, not numerically.

Most importantly, after completing Discovering Italian Wine, you will be more knowledgeable about Italian wine. Those who work at restaurants or in wine sales will likely see immediate results in their ability to sell more and better Italian wine, and consumers will be more comfortable with shopping for and ultimately get more enjoyment from purchasing Italian wines.

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Now that I’m almost done [with Discovering Italian Wine], going to the wine store and putting the info into action, I have found that I have learned more than I thought, and plan to run thru [through] the course at least one more time to solidify the info. I appreciate having a space to converse about this...
~ Marni Selmanson Davidson, DIW Student, WSET level 2 student

I thought that [Discovering Italian Wine] was just outstanding... Shortly after the end of the course, [my fellow classmates and I] made quite a significant order from the wines we tasted.
~ Amr S. Elnashai, PhD. Vice President/Vice Chancellor for Research and Tech Transfer University of Houston/University of Houston System, Houston TX

I thought Discovering Italian Wines was an excellent course and very much needed. Italian wines can be incredibly confusing. My wife is going to sign up for the Discovering course. 
~ Michael Madison, PhD. Cleveland, OH

This was such a good and fun course to read. It's so well written, and the way it builds up from the basic first units to the later ones makes a lot of sense and imparts a lot of knowledge on the way, way more than just an intro.
~ Tarek Salbak, WSET Diploma Candidate, Abu Dhabi, UAE

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