Elena Stafano

elena stafano ci racconta la sua esperienza della seconda edizione della vinhood academy

Wine is a fascinating world just waiting to be explored. It whets appetites, tells stories about people, places and passions, eliciting sensations and emotions; it is social, promoting conviviality, while it is itself a topic of conversation.

I have always been totally spellbound by wine, since childhood when I watched my grandfather tend to his vines with love and passion. 

 But what do I really know about wine? 

 Although I’ve been drinking it for years, and although I’ve visited lots of vineyards and I know many winemakers, when all is said and done, I’ve never really attempted to learn more about the subject, going beyond the wonderful liquid in the glass.

So, looking for a bottle of wine to take to a friends’ dinner party, I’ve often been faced with the old dilemma: “Red or white? Would sparkling be better or perhaps a red for a more robust aperitif? And for dessert, should I choose a moscato or a passito di Pantelleria?”

The only thing I was sure about was the classic pairing of white going with fish and red with red meat. The thousand nuances and variations existing in the matching of wine and food were unfortunately a total mystery to me. 

 It was just such doubts and waverings that prompted me, together with my boundless curiosity for the wine world to take the VINHOOD Academy. I was looking for something that was accessible and fun, that would allow me to get a deeper insight into several notions, and which would help me understand what lies beyond the label and gain a greater appreciation of what I was drinking. 

elena stafano ci racconta la sua esperienza della seconda edizione della vinhood academy

I found in the VINHOOD branded academy exactly what I was searching for. The course in fact offers a very laid-back and fun approach to the wine world, designed precisely for those looking to gain a general idea about the subject, and looking to learn and taste wine on their own without getting bogged down by the jargon. 

The lessons, held by Daniele Sironi, Master sommelier Alma Ais and Giuditta Padoan, enologist and sommelier Fisar total five sessions lasting one and a half hours each. Each one focuses on a type of wine: red, white, sparkling and sweet wine.

They feature a theory part, during which the #Characters of the wines are explained, the production stages, aging methods and geographical origin, as well as a practical part dedicated to actual tasting and wine-food matching. The lessons are held on Zoom and supported by explanatory slides.

The most interesting feature is that lessons are interactive, where it is possible to participate directly, ask questions, state your opinions, all while interacting with other course attendees and with the bonus of taking part in wine quizzes and games. The ludic aspect is certainly one of the things I liked most about this course.

The tastings are the most stimulating moments, not just from a practical standpoint but also because they allow you to get to know new winemakers and vineyards that you have never come across before.

And much more … In some cases, you have the opportunity of getting to know and chatting with the producers, asking them questions and exchanging opinions on wine matching, etc. This is certainly one of the most valuable benefits of the entire Academy.

chiara soldati di cantina la scolca che partecipa alla video lezione della seconda edizione della vinhood academy

The course ends with a WINE QUIZ, a sort of multiple-choice test that deals with all the subjects discussed during the Academy sessions. This is the most competitive time, but also the one that is the most fun. The outcome of the test selects three winners who each receive a prize of stimulating experiences at selected wine producers. Not bad, eh!

podio dei vincitori della seconda edizione della vinhood academy

Thanks to the VINHOOD Academy, I learned a lot; however, I don’t consider myself an expert or a sommelier but I’m now certainly more familiar with the subject of “wine” and I know how to move around the shelves at the wine store with greater ease or browse the wine list at a restaurant. 

Now I can’t wait to attend the masterclasses taking me to the next level, which will start at the end of the year. In the meantime, if you’d like to attend the Academy, the third edition kicks off in November. Highly recommended!