Wine Certification Courses Come to Chicago

The Chopping Block Partners with Fine Vintage for WSET

Wine Certification Courses Come to ChicagoChicago’s premier cooking school, The Chopping Block is partnering with Fine Vintage to bring the prestigious Wine & Spirit Education (WSET) to wine trade and wine enthusiasts in the Midwest.

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is the “gold standard” in wine education, offering certification courses that are recognized around the world as formal qualifications in wine. The UK-based WSET runs courses in 55 countries and has appointed Fine Vintage to provide the courses in several cities, including Chicago. At the end of each course there is an exam which gives formal certification in wine.

Members of staff from restaurants, hotels, and the wine trade will join interested wine consumers to expand their wine knowledge and gain the ability to converse, serve and shop for wine with confidence.

James Cluer, one of only 312 Masters of Wine in the world and only 38 in North America, is the founder of Fine Vintage and has put together a team of the most knowledgeable wine experts in the United States and Canada. He will teach the first courses at The Chopping Block in May himself.

In addition to the expert instruction, Fine Vintage prides itself on offering an array of exceptional wines at all courses, to show students benchmark examples, a major point of differentiation between them and other schools.

Fine Vintage is delighted to partner with The Chopping Block, Chicago’s premier cooking school, event venue and gourmet retail store. With a history of educating home cooks for over 17 years, The Chopping Block offers hands on and demonstration technique-based classes for every type of food lover, from ethnic cuisine to Culinary Boot Camp. Their kitchens in the historic Merchandise Mart offer a large and comfortable space, the perfect setting to inspire lively food and wine pairing discussion at each course.

Owner/Chef Shelley Young says the partnership with Fine Vintage is a natural fit for The Chopping Block. “Our mission is to get the country to cook, and wine education is a part of that. We are pleased to be able to offer this first class experience where students will receive expert instruction as well as taste an array of exceptional wines. We know this type of education appeals to our students, so we are looking forward to welcoming wine lovers and the wine trade to our kitchens.”

Bookings are now being accepted on Fine Vintage’s website for the first classes in May:

Level 1: Foundation – A 1-day course that covers basic wine knowledge and the fundamentals of wine and food pairing.

  • Date: Saturday May 24th 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Location: The Chopping Block at the Mart
  • Cost: $349

Level 2: Intermediate – A 3-day course that provides instruction on professional wine tasting and extensive coverage of the main grape varieties and the regions they come from.

  • Date: Sunday, May 25th, Saturday, May 31st & Sunday, June 1st 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Location: The Chopping Block at the Mart
  • Cost: $950

Both qualifications include all textbooks, wine tasting glasses, course materials, wine samples throughout the course and the WSET exam.

To learn more about Fine Vintage Ltd, please visit

To learn more about The Chopping Block, please visit