Uncork your wine knowledge with the Seattle Wine School

A local expert makes learning about wine accessible.

When Richard Kinssies, founder of the Seattle Wine School, was offered his first job in the wine industry, he had a confession to make. “I really don’t know much about wine.” His soon-to-be boss laughed it off saying, “nobody does!” Fast-forward several decades and not only has Kinssies’ knowledge positioned him as a wine leader, but industry popularity has led to increasing numbers of consumers and professionals looking to building their wine tasting skills. Building on the reach of the online class marketplace Connect2Classes, Kinssies aims to reach a larger audience who are searching for wine classes in the Seattle area.

Through weekly classes at the Seattle Wine School, Kinssies offers some of the most popular classes in the area, particularly because of his pragmatic approach to wine. He believes that wine, like art, can be appreciated on many levels. A painting evokes a certain feeling upon sight and can be enjoyed on a surface level. If the viewer digs deeper, the artist’s intention and processes can be understood and a greater appreciation can be gained.

With wine, a sip can be enough to pronounce it good or bad but if the taster understands the particular characteristics of the grapes used, learns how the soil, altitude, slope of the vineyard, climate and farming processes work, the quality and personality of a wine will lend a greater understanding. Kinssies calls this the ‘geeky’ part of wine and believes that it is what motivates people to dedicate themselves to studying the subject.

In his expansive career, Kinssies has explored a multitude of jobs within the wine industry. He has worked in retail sales, as a sommelier and a winemaker; he has owned a restaurant and a wine bar, written two books and hosted two radio shows. He was the wine columnist for the Seattle Post Intelligencer for nearly 30 years. Kinssies has developed wine certification programs for the Washington wine industry and for the government of France, training American wine professionals in French wines.

Kinssies saw a need within the industry for basic education for wine professionals and started the Seattle Wine School in 1981. He eventually decided to open the school up to the public so that non-professionals can develop a professional level of wine education.

Over the years, teaching has remained a constant in Kinssies’ career. He proclaims it has given him the most professional and personal satisfaction. Guiding students towards understanding a certain aspect of a wine and seeing them grasp it is what fuels his passion. Anyone can learn wine, Kinssies believes, however, time and resources can be a limitation that he wants to help students overcome by making learning accessible.

Classes at the Seattle Wine School offer great value and are consistently scheduled on Monday evenings to make fitting it into a busy lifestyle easy. Kinssies does offer one warning: studying wine is like studying physics. “You can learn a lot, but you will never learn it all,” Kinssies says. “Just savor the journey!”

To find Seattle Wine School classes, go to Connect2Classes.com.

More in Marketplace

Are Seattle Eastside Home Prices Headed Down?

What’s happening in the market, where are prices headed

Are Seattle & Eastside Home Prices Headed Down?

What’s happening in the market, where are prices headed

Domestic violence IS preventable: July 21’s Refuse To Abuse 5k is a unique run/walk through every level of Safeco Field, from the players’ tunnel to the final lap around the field.
LifeWire provides a lifeline for woman fleeing abuse

Refuse to Abuse 5K at Safeco Field raises funds and awareness to fight domestic violence

Join the July 21 Refuse To Abuse 5k, a joint event from the Seattle Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Survivor shares message of strength: Domestic violence is preventable

Lace up for the Refuse to Abuse 5k, July 21 at Safeco Stadium

The Refuse to Abuse 5k, at Safeco Field July 21, supports the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Ben VanHouten photo
Step out – and onto Safeco Field! – to help put an end to domestic violence

Start the discussion and register today for the Refuse to Abuse 5K

4 Reasons Why Summer Is a Great Time to Buy a Home

June is National Home Ownership Month and while there are always many… Continue reading

Low inventory and high buyer demand continue to push the local real estate market, says realtor Mary Lee.
Seattle Housing Market Forecast

What’s happening in the market and where are prices and interest rates headed?

From retaining walls to patios and landscapes, Seattle Rockeries will help you create a beautiful, useable space.
Building quality from the ground up

Retaining walls and hardscaping to make the most of your property

Connect2Classes Tested: 7 Steps to Better Photography

Take the fear out of using those digital camera functions with Hudson’s Photo Workshops

Strength and perseverance pays off following life-changing diagnosis

Dancer shows you can manage your health and life while pursuing your passions

Mary Lee
There is a Better Way to Sell Your Home

5 cutting-edge strategies for ultimate home sale success

Medical marijuana? Expert answers some common questions

From avoiding pesticides to skipping the ‘high,’ here’s what you need to know