If you are serious about wine, and not just concerned about how it makes you feel after a bottle or two ... and telling people about it afterwards, taking a wine management degree could be an extremely good investment for you.
In some parts of the world, drinking wine might be seen as a very typical thing; in Asia, wine is a status symbol and 'the rich' like to drink expensive French wine.
In many parts of the West, drinking wine with your meal is a ‘normal’ thing, as wine is generally affordable. In Asia however, even 'cheap wine' is relatively expensive and only the more financially endowed drink the select high end French wines that are available. It is also not part of many of our Asian cultures to drink wine with meals; it's actually the other way around. Consumption of hard liquor is more during the main course, and in Thailand, we will consume it with a class of food called 'Kap Kham'.
Wine Drinking is a 'Statement' in Asia
So drinking wine is almost a 'statement' made by affluent Asians, and those who do it, don't generally do it half-heartedly. It becomes a lifestyle choice, and along with their consumption will go education about their wine. The most renowned wine courses in Asia are the WSET accreditation programmes. There are also other high-end private classes that can cost up to USD$6,000 per course. In reality, many of these private courses amount to exclusive social gatherings with friends and 'peers' of the same social status where you get together and learn about the different brands that will make you sound knowledgeable, visit vineyards and just network with other people who you can share your new passion with.
But, if you are serious about wine, and not just concerned about how it makes you feel after a bottle or two ... and telling people about it afterwards, taking a wine management degree could be an extremely good investment for you. It's particularly important for anyone looking to incorporate wine in their business.
In Asia, we have seen shifts in wine consumption over recent years. According to wineintelligence, wine has a very high appeal to both men and women, especially in China. In Mainland China and Hong Kong, red wine is still dominant, but white wine has continued to increase its consumer reach.
Another wine-focused trend that has become more and more popular in Asia is 'food-pairing. Studies have shown that a majority of diners in South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan all think that it's 'important' or 'very important' to buy wine that complements food. That doesn't just mean red wine with red meat and white wine with seafood. The pairings are very nuanced and extend to local cuisines that don't fall under the traditional European-centric categories of food around which wine-connoisseurs have traditionally framed their selections.
What do you Need to Learn About Wine?
In order to become an expert in wine in the Hospitality Industry, you need to learn about:
- Viticulture and Oenology;
- The Wine Business Environment;
- Brand Management and Communication in the Wine Business;
- Wine Economics;
- Conducting professional research and analysis;
Wine management, like many other management practices, is just as much of an art as it is science. If you want to be a leader in your wine market, you'll need to develop a taste for good wine, know how to market it, and have the analytical skills to do your own research and forecast what you'll need to respond to the market(s) you're targeting.
Take a tour of a vineyard and see how much you might learn at Master of Science (MSc)/Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) in International Wine Management