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KNOXVILLE — Whether you’re a restaurant professional or just a wine lover who wants to get more knowledgeable about the grape, UT’s Culinary Institute has a wine class for you.

This fall, the Culinary Institute will offer four introductory sessions, as well as four sessions focusing on regional wines. Each three-week session costs $189 and will be limited to 20 participants.

The courses will be taught by Carol Costello, a professor in the Department of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management and an International Sommelier Guild Graduate.

Costello said the introductory course is intended to bolster participants’ “wine confidence” by helping them discover what they like and learn how to pair wine with food.

The introductory course will touch on how wine is made, the chemistry involved and how to taste and evaluate wine. Students will learn to read labels and compare domestic and international wines that are expensive and not so pricey.

The courses are also good for bartenders and restaurant employees who need to learn more about wine so they can better serve their customers.

“You’d be shocked at how little some servers are trained,” Costello said.

After taking an introductory course, students can choose to take one of the regional courses and focus on wines from France, Italy and Germany, the U.S. and the southern hemisphere.

In each course, students will sample about eight wines a night. Each sample is only about an ounce — “enough for good evaluation, but still responsible drinking,” Costello said.

Students in the French wine course will get to sample a $1,000 bottle of 1961 Chateau Ausone that the Culinary Institute purchased for $100.

“It could be the greatest thing we ever tasted or it could be vinegar,” she said.

Costello, who admits she always preferred beer to wine, began drinking wine about 10 years ago after a former student who worked for a distributing company helped her organize a wine-tasting course.

She said she began reading a lot and took some courses. She became fascinated — and proficient.

“There are so many varietals and producers of wine that it’s impossible to know them all,” she said.

All of the courses will be held at the UT Culinary Institute in the UT Visitors Center on Neyland Drive.

Four sessions of the introductory course are being offered:
• From 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Mondays, Aug. 17-31
• From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Aug. 18 to Sept. 1
• From 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Sept. 9-23
• From 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Mondays, Sept. 28 to Oct. 12

The focus and times of the regional wine classes are:
• French wines — from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Sept. 8-22
• U.S. wines — from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Sept. 29 to Oct. 13
• Italian and German wines — from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Oct. 20 to Nov. 3
• Southern Hemisphere wines — from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Nov. 10-24

To register for these courses and learn about other courses offered by UT’s Professional and Personal Development Department, visit or call (865) 974-0150.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,