Wine enthusiasts here’s your chance: Experience Italy, glass by glass, with Jo-Ann Ross

One of my favorite Italian proverbs goes like this:

Anni e bicchieri di vino si contano mai.

Translation: “Age and glasses of wine should never be counted.”

The proverb might suggest a Bacchanalian night of drinking, but that’s not the point.

Jo-Ann Ross is a certified Italian Wine Scholar and educator.

It’s true meaning is: Forget about your age, stay young, and enjoy the company of good friends and good wine. Fully enjoy life – the Italian way.

How do you do it?

When I first began my Italian wine studies more than a decade ago, little did I know the journey would lead me to more than just learning the names of unfamiliar grapes. It became an adventure – an exciting one at that.

The subject of wine is fascinating, but the subject of Italian wine goes to  another level. The heart and soul of life.

When you learn about Italian wine, you immerse yourself in the history,  culture, food, people, and country itself. The best part is that it carries over into your own every-day experiences.

Jo-Ann Ross, my Italian (and French) wine instructor and mentor at the Wine Scholar Guild, is a former voice specialist/speech pathologist. When I asked her why she enjoys teaching about Italy and traveling there, she replied:

“I love the country, I love the attitude, I love la bella vita. That’s what Italy is – north to south – a celebration of life.”

And she started her love affair because of the wine.

For those wine enthusiasts and aspiring professionals reading this who always wanted to learn more about Italy and its wines and culture, now is your chance to do so in a very relaxed, informative, and entertaining manner.

Jo-Ann Ross (DipWSET, IWS, FWS) and the Commonwealth Wine School in Cambridge are offering a special “Wines of Italy Program” that runs on three consecutive Wednesdays in October – 12, 19, 26  – from 6-9 p.m.

You don’t need to be an expert to get involved. In fact, the course – officially called “The Italian Wine Scholar Prep Course” – sets you on a wine-focused path toward understanding what Italy has to offer. Upon its completion, if you want to take your studies to a higher level, you can. But it’s not required.

Ross is teaching the course. That in itself is a guarantee that you’ll be  visualing a glorious evening in Tuscany, or Rome, with a glass of wine in your hand and a plate of Asiago cheese by your side.

Did I say wine? Indeed. As part of the learning experience, you’ll get to taste up to 15 or more “critical” red and white wines from Italy’s top wine regions – north, central and southern. These are exclusive native grape wines, including Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sicilia Nero D’Avola, Soave, and Vermentino di Gallura among others.

While you learn the basics about Italy’s 20 wine regions – including local food and landmarks – you’ll also refine your tasting skills.

The course also includes a textbook containing photographs and colored maps of Italy’s wine zones.

As I mentioned earlier, the prep course can serve as a stepping stone to the internationally-acclaimed Italian Wine Scholar, a professional certification program.

Enrollment in this highly anticipated class is now under way. For in-class students at the school, located at 35 Dunster St., Cambridge, the cost is $425 with wine included.

There’s also an online course being offered for $295 in which a wine list will be distributed.

For more information click on this link

and scroll to the bottom of the page to “Wines of Italy – Glass by Glass” icon.

There’s another Italian proverb you should know about.

“Amici e vini sono meglio vecchi.”

Translation: “Old wine and friends improve with age.”

Take the course and enjoy the Italian experience.