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The Real Cost of Becoming an Oenophile

By Judith Sjo-Gaber - 2011-12-08T16:39:51Z

Photograph by Walter Michot/Miami Herald

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Wine Classes

"Most people start out knowing only that there are whites and reds," says Jamie Ritchie, chief executive officer of Sotheby's Wine, "but Americans are becoming more educated and are demanding higher quality."

$250: Wine education lectures, tastings and classes, including Wine Beginnings class, a survey of 2009 French reds with David Raines -- Gordon's Fine Wines and Culinary Center, Waltham, Mass.

$100: Smart Wine Shopping class -- Musings on the Vine, Brighton, Mass.

$200: Classes with Jonathon Alsop, which sometimes includes appetizers or dinner. One class: How to Taste Wine and Why, plus a one-hour wine-pairing dinner -- Boston Wine School, Allston, Mass.

Running tally: $550