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Having solid knowledge of wine is a definite plus, whether you want to manage a fine dining establishment, or just want an interesting conversation piece for dinner parties. Although most Glion students will taste wine as a part of the hospitality management degree program, some students take their knowledge to a whole new level with the Glion Oenology Club.

What is Oenology?

According to the club leader, Marc Herbin, who is also the Subject Leader in Food & Beverage Operations, this is not just a “wine tasting club” because it teaches students the broader aspects of oenology, or “the science of making wines”, including the best combinations for pairing wine with meals and the terminology and methods used in wine tasting.

“The Oenology Club a voluntary activity to reinforce and improve wine knowledge acquired in first semester in a professional and personal perspective.” Marc says, “Club members participate in 12 wine tasting sessions with specific topics designed to build a better understanding of this multifaceted beverage and develop tasting skills under the guidance of experienced lecturers.”

Why join the oenology club?

Students join this club for many reasons, but they all share an interest in wine that precedes the club. Many of the members come from countries where wine making, and drinking, is a part of the culture, such as in France and Spain. Similarly, they all appreciate the value of wine knowledge in the hospitality industry.

As Francois Emmanuel Roche explained, “I got into the Wine Club because I wanted to do an oenology school before coming to Glion; when you want to be an F&B manager, it is better to have the wine knowledge. Similarly, Jeanne Mouchet said, “I participated in the wine club in order to increase my understanding of wines and viticulture. I learnt more about the different types and the characteristics of the “cépages”. I feel, today, I am more able to describe a wine in a professional way in order to promote it.”

But can good taste in wine be taught? Indeed, it appears that an appreciation of wine is a learned art and the students learn to tell the difference. As Miguel Rojas Carulla said, “I participated in the wine club as I love wine and I am amazed by people who can describe wines and feel all of those flavors in the nose, mouth and describe them. Happily, I can now feel what I thought I would never feel when drinking wine.”

Wine Tasting Sessions

Every semester, the club meets for 12 standard sessions and 3-6 external events. This semester, the postgraduate students took a field trip to a winery in Grandvaux, the Domaine Croix Dupleix, and organized a wine & cheese party. The Glion students went to the Aigle Wine museum and were received by local wine makers.

The wine tasting sessions are usually organized around a theme, such as a type of wine or a particular country or region: Cabernet, Bordeaux, Sweet wines, New World, Medoc and Spanish, are just a few examples from this semester. The New World wine session was a particularly popular event this year. Members also cited the Wine and Food Pairing Dinner at the student-run Hotel Des Alpes restaurant on campus as a memorable event which brought home the lessons about how to match wine with different meals and spices. This semester featured the following speakers:

  • Portuguese Wines – Alentejo Wines, master class guided by wine critic Rui Falcão
  • Wine & Cheese – Mr. Philippe Berthoud, President du Conseil Interprofesionel du Vacherin Mont d’orTerravin a delegation from the Canton of Vaud and the Terravin association
  • Medoc Wines – Madame Florence Varaine, Conseil des Vins du Medoc
  • Spanish Wines – Consejo Regulador de Jumilla, Spanish Embassy, Mr David Schwarzwalder

Top wines chosen by our Glion “enomaniacs” (wine-lovers):

Reds

  • Saint Estèphe, Bordeaux
  • Château Gazin – Pomerol – Bordeaux
  • Sierva, Bodegas Carchelo, 2011
  • Juan Gil Silver Label, 2012

Whites

  • Corton Charlemagne 2002 from Louis Latour
  • South African Chenin blanc oak aged from Kanu

Sweet Wines

  • Moscato d’Asti
  • Ardoirie

How to Join the Oenology Club

Who: Apply with Marc Herbin at: marc.herbin@glion.edu

Where: The Oenology Club is currently held only on the Glion campus, open for students in Semester 2 starting in January 2015. In Bulle, Byron Cathéchis is running a WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) certificate class (Note: certification may cost up to 600CHF depending on level).

When: The club forms every semester during the induction week, with approximately one event per week during weeks 3 -18.

Capacity & Cost: The capacity is limited to 25 members with a membership fee of 80.00 CHF. Memberships are attributed on a first arrived first served basis upon payment.

See the photo gallery of the Wine & Cheese event, or the field trip to a Vineyard.

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Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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