Fundamentals of Wine Certification Course at Northampton Community College

October 2nd, 2015 posted by Kim Lilly

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If you’re looking to increase your knowledge of wine, I’ve got the perfect solution for you. Why not sign up for the 12-week, two series certification course taught at Northampton Community College’s Fowler Family Southside Center in Bethlehem?

I had the opportunity to check out the first class recently, which was titled “Old World and New World Styles” and I was simply amazed by how much I learned.

This first class was taught by Rebecca Pichetto. Rebecca and her husband own and operate 3rd & Ferry Fish Market and Vintage, both located in Easton. Rebecca was extremely knowledgeable haven taken a five month Sommelier program through the Sommelier Society of America. She also practices it on a daily basis at her restaurants.

Rebecca isn’t the only instructor of all 12 weeks. In fact, each week a new instructor takes the helm to dive into all of the techniques to use from enhancing the dining experience to how to properly pour, decant and which stemware to use. Upcoming instructors are from Southern Wine & Spirits, Centro, and Mountain View Vineyard, Winery & Distillery.

The new course was designed for restaurant professionals, but it was just as fascinating for those of us that were just plain old wine drinkers. This class took us through the history and techniques used in the Old World versus those made in the New World (America).

Some key points I learned:

1.       Our country is very young in the wine making process. We basically started after prohibition ended in the 1930s.
2.       No wine grapes are grown in Antarctica.
3.       I learned the term “terroir.” (Definition: the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. Also: the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced.)
4.       Old World wines take the region’s name.
5.       New World wines take the grape’s name.
6.       I learned how to read Old World wine labels. Fascinating to say the least!
7.       Dom Perignon was a monk!

And, I also learned that I love Domain des Cotes Blanches Sancerre and Mercurey wines. Yes, there is wine sampling involved, and we tried four that night. Old World wines were much better than New World wines. They don’t compete with foods and have less artificial ingredients put into them because they are held to strict guidelines in the production process.

This was just a small sampling of the knowledge I gained. I can’t wait to go to the liquor store and read some labels and start sampling.

If you are a restaurant professional, a winery employee, or anyone looking to learn more about wine in general, you must try these classes.

Each class is held from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. and they cost $49 each. The first class start September 14, 2015 and they run through November 30, 2015.

Series I:

Week 1: Old World and New World Styles
Week 2: Service of Wines & Tasting Wines
Week 3: Basics of Winemaking & PA/NY Wines
Week 4: Food & Wine Pairing

Series II:

Week 1: Wines of Germany/Austria/Eastern Europe
Week 2: Wines of France
Week 3: Wines of Italy
Week 4: Wines of Spain and Portugal
Week 5: Wines of California
Week 6: Wines of the Pacific Northwest & Other U.S. Regions
Week 7: Wines of Australia/Tasmania/New Zealand
Week 8: Wines of South American/South Africa/Other Upcoming Regions

To find out more information, visit


This article mentions the following partners:
3rd & Ferry Fish Market, Vintage Restaurant & Bar, Northampton Community College

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