LearnAboutWine.com (Formerly WineLA and L.A.W. School)
530 Molino St Los Angeles California USA
Wine is always at the core of great gatherings. It enhances the fashion, the music, the food and more. It’s not enough to just like wine; you need to know about its subtle nuances and how to pair it with its surroundings properly so that it can really shine. What better place to learn than Los Angeles, a giant playground with an amazing array of venues, spaces, wine bars, restaurants, beaches, rooftops, gardens and magical views. Attend a wineLA event and explore the diversity of California wine, from delicate Pinot Noir to bold Zinfandel and everything in between.
An independent school for wine education with its own proprietary sommelier certification program. Founded by Ian Blackburn in 1995, WineLA is a well-respected wine school in Los Angeles.
Ian Blackburn, LearnAboutWine.com Founder
Ian Blackburn is one of the top wine instructors in the United States. His depth of knowledge and experience is the driving force that put WineLA on the map. He is one of two wine school founders that has worked as both a sommelier and a professional winemaker (Keith Wallace at the Wine School of Philadelphia is the other one). Before opening WineLA, he made a name for himself as a winery representative for Kendwood Vineyard and Kobrand. He also was the wine manager for Young’s Market Company, a major west coast wine distributor.
In 2009, Ian started Beekeeper Cellars, which produces single vineyard Zinfandels. Along with his winemaking partner Clay Mauritson (of Mauritson Wines), he has earned dozens of accolades for his wines, which often are prices in the high double and triple digits. At the time of this writing, Beekeeper wines are not distributed outside California and are highly allocated.
Sommelier Wine Course
WineLA offers a single credential: Learn About Wine School, better known as L.A.W School. This is a four-week program. While it does not neatly fit into standard sommelier school classifications, it is roughly a Level One/Level Two certification. In each class, students will taste around two dozen wines. The program uses the textbook “Exploring Wine” from the Culinary Institute of America. The final exam is a blind tasting and a written exam.
The Case of the Juggling Wine School Site
LearnAboutWine.com originally registered in 1998, and by the year 2000, Ian Blackburn’s wine school was online. By 2016, LearnAboutWine.com was redirected to WineLA.com, and the school was rebranded as “WineLA.” Then at some point in 2019, LearnAboutWine.com emerged from the grave, promising free wine classes coming soon. In early 2021, WineLA is redirected to LearnAboutWIne.com with a whole new site, with all new branding.
Confuses? So were we. It took a little bit of sleuthing to uncover exactly what was going on. We noticed the major change is that the old “L.A.W. School” moniker is nowhere to be found. We really liked the tongue-in-cheek aspect, but perhaps a few lawyers had a problem with it.
Sponsorships and Retail Sales at LearnAboutWine.com
In the pandemic, we saw wine schools hustle to create new markets. LearnAboutWine.com went in another direction, showing Ian’s brilliance and strong personal connections to the power brokers within Los Angeles and beyond. Ideal55, a wine storage facility, now sponsors his classes. Ian also unveiled a new series of wine classes entitled “Stars of Wine,” is sponsored by Los Angeles Magazine, Ziply, and Unite the United Foundation. The site also offers wine sales in combination with their wine classes and an entire Coravin store.
The Ian Blackburn Show (and that's a good thing)
Description: An independent school for wine education with its own proprietary sommelier certification program. LearnAboutWine.com is a well-respected wine school in Los Angeles.
Price range: $40 - $900
Payment accepted: Credit Card
Currencies accepted: USD
Address: 530 Molino St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
There is a lot to like about this wine school. It’s become a pillar within the wine trade. However, its certification programs are not accredited nor backed by a trade group. The lack of a state agency or a national foundation backing these certifications is a significant program.
- Sommelier Certification
- Wine Trade Certification
- Quality of Instruction
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