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Wine in a Can – Why Not?

We drink beer out of cans, we drink soft drink out of cans, we drink RTDs out of cans … and for a couple of years now, it’s been widely predicted that wine in a can is the next ‘big thing’. As with a lot of ‘big things’ it’s actually been a bit of a slow burn … with its market share remaining small and growing slowly. But, if we look abroad, we see that that might not last for long: while still small in market share, sales in both the UK and the US have seen double digit percentage growth in the last couple of years.

If you think about it, there are plenty of excellent reasons to buy wine in a can:

  • Aluminium is light – so easy and cheap to both ship and store
  • Aluminium is recyclable (10c refunds – yes please!)
  • Aluminium won’t smash if you drop it – also good for shipping
  • Smaller serving sizes mean more flexibility and less wastage – you don’t have to open a bottle that won’t get finished
  • Perfect for outdoor consumption – festivals, picnics, even parties – no need for a corkscrew (remember those?) or a glass
  • From a technical perspective – no light, no oxygen, no chance of bubbles escaping

My own experience with wine in a can has been limited. A few years ago I attended an event where we were served a glass of sparkling on arrival. Both my friend and I noted that the wine had a very distinct taste to it which we couldn’t put our finger on. Eventually, we put it down to the wine being poured too soon and left to sit around in the glass. But later, we googled the wine and discovered it had come from a can – and everything fell into place.

So when I was in England and spotted wine in a can on the supermarket shelf – I just had to try it. For the princely sum of £2.50 (approx $AU5) I was able to nab myself 250mL of Chilean Pinot Noir in a slimline can. While this works out at £7.50 (approx $AU15) for a full bottle – well above the average spend on a bottle of wine in the UK – it’s interesting because in general Pinot Noir isn’t producers’ first choice of fruit for cheaper wines. I was keen to see what I was going to get for my money …

You can see the result for yourself in this video. A significant caveat – the wine did end up travelling back to Australia so that may have had an affect on quality. Although – given that it did travel halfway around the world with not a skerrick of damage that speaks volumes for aluminium’s robustness!

What about you? Have you tried wine in a can? Do you have a favourite?

And, if you’re looking for some wines not in cans … don’t forget to get your orders in for our Wine Advent Calendar – 12 Days of Christmas!

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WSET Foundation and Congratulations

The date is set for our first WSET Foundation course for 2011:  Saturday 19 February, running from 9am at the Edinburgh Hotel and Cellars in Mitcham.  Registrations close at 5pm on Monday 7 February (this allows us time to order the exams from the UK) and places are limited.  The course fee remains $200 and, as usual, this fee includes lunch at the Ed, all textbooks and notes, and (most importantly) the wine tasting.  All you need to bring is yourself!  If you’d like to join us, or you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

On the same day we’re also offering a very limited number of places for distance learning students to sit the WSET Intermediate exam.  The fee for this is $250 and if you are interested in sitting the Intermediate exam on this date please contact me as soon as possible.

Last week I headed to Melbourne to participate in the L’Erudito Lorenzo Galli Scholarship.  This is an annual two day Italian wine masterclass, held in honour of Lorenzo Galli who founded Galli Estate, a winery in Sunbury, Victoria.  Fifteen scholars were invited from around the country so I feel very privileged to have participated.  The dux of the masterclass won a $10,000 trip to Italy to further his  studies of Italian wine.  And the dux was a former Wine Academy student, Brendan Carter.  Brendan completed WSET Intermediate with us in 2010 and has just finished his first year at the University of Adelaide studying (naturally) oenology and viticulture.  So massive congratulations to Brendan and hopefully he’ll keep us all up to date on his adventures in Italy!

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Final WSET Foundation Course for 2010

There’s just one week left to sign up for our final WSET Foundation course of 2010 … registrations close at 5pm on Monday 27 September for the course running on Saturday 9 October.

The course is running at the Edinburgh Hotel in Mitcham, and starts at 9am.  During the day we taste seven wines from around the world while focussing on the basics of all aspects of wine appreciation – from the vineyard through to the glass.

We wrap up the day with the exam and successful students are issued with certificates from the WSET in London.

The course fee is $200 which includes the study guide and course notes, the exam, lunch at the hotel and all wines tasted.

Don’t be worried about the exam – it’s a fun day out and, just before the Christmas party season is the perfect time to brush up your wine knowledge.  Not only will you be able to wow at parties but you should be able to find a perfect wine match for Christmas lunch.

To join us, get in contact or call Alex on 0414 562 859 – but make sure you do so by Monday 27 September.

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PayPal Payment Problems

We’ve just discovered that our online payment system, which uses PayPal, has not been working.  At this stage, we’re not sure why, so we’ve removed the option from the website.  Unfortunately payments appear to ‘work’ while in test mode but not when switched to live.

I’d like to take the opportunity to apologise to anyone who has been affected by this.

This means that payments for our forthcoming WSET Foundation and Intermediate courses (Saturday 17 April for Foundation and starting Saturday 1 May for Intermediate) can only be received via direct bank deposit or by cheque.  If you need to make alternative arrangements, please do get in touch and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

As registrations for Foundation close at 5pm this Thursday (Thursday 1 April), I would urge anyone who wishes to participate to get in touch, either through our Contact page, or by calling me on 0414 562 859 (please be sure to leave a message if I don’t answer right away).

Once again, apologies from Wine Academy for this technical glitch.  We’re fortunate that wine tasting is not dependent on technology!

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WSET Foundation Congratulations

Wine Academy’s results for its second WSET Foundation course, held in January at the Edinburgh Hotel, are in and we’re pleased to announce that all candidates passed with flying colours! Results were even higher than our first course, with an average mark of almost 94%.

Congratulations to all the students. You should all feel very proud of your achievement!

And a reminder to anyone interested in either WSET Foundation or Intermediate – registration is now open for both courses. WSET Foundation is on Saturday 17 April and WSET Intermediate begins on Saturday 1 May.

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Time Running Out to Register for WSET Foundation Course

Seasons greetings from Wine Academy!

We hope everyone had a relaxing Christmas and still has some energy left to welcome in the New Year in style!

If anyone does have a New Year’s resolution to learn more about wine, our WSET Foundation Course would be an excellent way to tick it off the list in January.  You’ll have to book your place quickly, though, as registrations close at 5pm (Adelaide time) on Monday 4 January.  There are still places left, but the class size is strictly limited to 12 students, maximum.  You can sign up online here.

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Wine Course Christmas Gift Certificates

Along with last week’s course announcement we mentioned that gift certificates are available for both the WSET Foundation and Intermediate Certificate courses that we’re running in January.

We’re so pleased with the design of the gift voucher that we thought it deserved a show-casing post of its own!


The personalised gift certificates are printed on a smart cream glossy card, making an ideal stocking filler for the wine lover in your life.

They are an ideal Christmas present for anyone with an interest in wine and would also make a fantastic corporate gift.  Of course, if you need a certificate for an occasion other than Christmas please get in touch.  We can customise them appropriately.

Bear in mind that both courses are limited to strictly 12 people.  In particular, if you are interested in the WSET Foundation course, a third of places have been sold in the first week registrations have been open.

Time to get shopping!

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WSET Wine Education Courses for January 2010

If you’ve visited the Wine Academy website over the last week you’ll have noticed that we’ve announced course dates for January 2010.

In summary, we’re running the WSET Foundation and Intermediate courses, both starting in January.

We’ll be starting the year on Saturday 16 January with the WSET Foundation course.  This is a full day course (so yes, we start at 9am) and the emphasis is learning basic wine tasting technique along with what it can tell you about a wine.  We taste seven wines with a focus on the main grape varieties used in wine making around the world and take a look at wine making and food and wine matching.  We wrap up with the exam and you can expect to be finished around 5pm.  The day is a lot of fun and offers a solid grounding in the principles of wine and wine tasting.  It’s suitable for front line retail or hospitality staff who want to gain confidence and wine drinkers who want to expand their palate and formalise their knowledge.

The course costs $200 and includes study guide, exam, all wines tasted and lunch.

Being a one day course, Foundation makes a great Christmas present and we offer personalised gift certificates.

Details about the WSET Foundation Course and sign up here.

The WSET Intermediate course starts on Saturday 30 January.  We commence with a full day on the Saturday and then follow this up with 5 Monday evening sessions (7 – 9:30pm), from February 1 through to March 1.  Intermediate is more detailed than Foundation and, again, the emphasis is on learning through tasting.  As well as a more in depth look at what happens in the vineyard and the winery we take a tour through the main wine producing countries of the world.  You’ll need to have your wine tasting boots on for this course as we taste around 50 wines, but it’s also a great way to try something (or somethings!) new.

The course is suitable for anyone who has a keen interest in wine.  It’s ideal for more experienced frontline staff or those who work with wines from around the world.  If you’re a consumer who wants to learn in more depth about wines of the world then this is the course for you.

WSET Intermediate costs $650 and this includes study guide, exam, lunch on the Saturday and all wines tasted.  We’re happy to provide gift certificates for Intermediate but please check with the recipient first, as it does require considerable commitment!

Details about the WSET Intermediate course and sign up here.

Both courses will be held at the Edinburgh Hotel and Cellars in Mitcham and class numbers are strictly limited to 12.

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A quick note to congratulate the students from the WSET Foundation Course run at the Edinburgh Hotel and Cellars at the end of August.  Everyone passed  with flying colours and there were some very high marks!

I’d also like to apologise, on behalf of the WSET, to these students for having to wait so long for their results.  Postal strikes in the UK have been causing chaos and continue to do so.

We’re in the throes of planning both Foundation and Intermediate courses for early 2010 and hope to have details ready by late November.  If you’re interested in further details, please do contact us!

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Wine Academy now offering WSET courses

Here at Wine Academy we were very excited to receive our Approved Program Provider (APP) status from the WSET.  This means that we are now able to teach the WSET’s Foundation and Intermediate courses in Adelaide!

The WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) was founded in London in 1969 and has become the world’s foremost wine and spirits education body.  The courses are highly regarded world wide and provide both consumers and industry with a structured and methodical approach to wine education and appreciation.

In order to deliver the courses in metropolitan Adelaide, we’re thrilled to have join forces with the Edinburgh Hotel and Cellars in Mitcham.  Our first Foundation Course is running on Saturday 29 August, from 9am.

The course fee of $200 includes study guide, exam, light lunch and, of course, all wines tasted.

If you’re interested  in wine and want to learn more, this is a fun way to spend a day!  The fact that you’ll also come away with an internationally recognised qualification is just a bonus!

Find out more about the Foundation Course or sign up now!