James Suckling Masterclass Review: Worth the Investment?

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Before starting this article, let me tell you that I am not a true wine lover or an avid wine drinker, but I enjoy a few glasses of wine, especially at family gatherings or parties with friends.

However, I have always been curious about the world of wine, and I love to research the various types of wines, their distinct tastes, and how they are produced.

But this time, I decided to take my curiosity to the next level, dive more deeply into the nuances of wine, and learn from the experts who have been in this industry for a long time.

Quick Summary of James Suckling Masterclass

What you will learn: The art of identifying the taste of wine, Fundamentals of the winemaking process, advanced techniques of tasting and evaluating wines, and many more.

Run Time: 11 video lessons (2 hours 22 minutes)

Who should consider: Wine Enthusiasts and Hobbyists, professionals of the Wine Industry, James Suckling Fans, and anyone who wants to learn about the wine world prior Knowledge.

Recommendation: 8/10 (It is one of the comprehensive guides on Wine appreciation that covers everything you need to know, along with case studies and real-life examples)

James Suckling Masterclass Review

That’s when I came across the James Suckling Masterclass and decided to enroll in it to discover the secret of identifying the perfect wine and understanding the winemaking process.

In this James Suckling Masterclass Review post, I have shared everything you need to know about this masterclass and discussed whether it’s worth your hard-earned money, but before that, let’s have a quick preview of what this post covers.

  • About James Suckling
  • Overview of the James Suckling MasterClass
  • Things covered in James Suckling MasterClass
  • Who should consider James Suckling MasterClass?
  • What did I like about James Suckling MasterClass?
  • Pros and cons of the James Suckling MasterClass?
  • Is it worth buying the James Suckling MasterClass?

Now you have the preview, and it’s time to jump right in and explore the James suckling masterclass and see what he teaches about the wine world.

About the Instructor: Who is James Suckling?

James Suckling is a renowned wine critic and expert with over 40 years of experience in the wine industry. He is known as one of the most influential personalities in the wine industry, having tasted over 200000+ wines.

James Suckling has worked as a journalist for Wine Spectator Magazine for over 30 years, rating and reviewing a wide range of wines. His critiques are highly respected in the wine industry.

Later, he also founded JamesSuckling.com, a platform on which he and his team rate 40,000+ wines annually.

He was also knighted by France and received the Ordre National Du Merite by the French Consulate in Hong Kong. This award recognizes his lifetime work with French wines.

In this masterclass, he shared his wealth of knowledge, which he has learned from the past 40 years of experience tasting more than 2,000+ wines, and he shared the secret of identifying the greatest wine in the world.

Overview of the James Suckling MasterClass

James Suckling masterclass is an extensive course about the world of wine, hosted on the masterclass, a subscription-based platform known for offering high-quality courses led by experts at an affordable price.

In this two-hour, 22-minute power-packed masterclass, James shares his wealth of knowledge about wine that he has learned after spending more than 40 years in this industry.

Additionally, this masterclass consists of 11 video lessons, each covering different topics about wines, from the fundamentals of the winemaking process to advanced techniques of tasting and evaluating wines; here is an overview of the lessons covered in this course.

1. Introduction

2. Tasting Techniques: Conducting a Blind Tasting

3. Discerning Flavours and Aromas: Student Tasting Experience

4. Meet the Maker: An Introduction

5. Appreciation on Location, Part 1: A Vertical Tasting

6. Appreciation on Location, Part 2: Barrel Tasting

7. Primary Factors of Influence: In the Vineyard

8. Storing and Curating: A Home Cellar

9. Education and Etiquette: Reading a Wine List

10. Breaking the Rules of Pairings: A Tuscan Luncheon

11. Closing

Furthermore, this masterclass also offers workbooks containing glossaries, Tasting tips, a List of top wines, and a reading list to enhance your knowledge.

Let’s move to the next section, which includes an in-depth review of each lesson, and see what James teaches you about wine appreciation.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Unlike other courses, this one starts with an introduction in which Suckling shares his philosophy of wine and gives you reasons to appreciate it.

Additionally, he shares certain factors that you need to consider while tasting the wine, and you also need to get an idea of how the wine-making process works.

So, in this lesson, you will learn the various concepts given below

  • What is the suckling approach towards wine tasting?
  • What is the background of suckling as a wine taster?
  • What are the things you will learn from these courses?

Most importantly, this master class helps you learn to appreciate wine and enhance your overall enjoyment of it.

Chapter 2: Tasting Techniques: Conducting a Blind Tasting

As mentioned at the start of this review post, James has tasted over 200,000 wines using different techniques. In this lesson, he shared his own technique and the method he used to test the wine.

Additionally, he refers to his 100-point rating system, where circling takes you through the tasting of various wines without seeing the bottle and allows you to rate them according to their system.

Furthermore, Suckling also teaches you the factors that you need to consider while tasting the wine, includes 

  • Understanding the quality of wine
  • Rank the wine based on 100 point rating system 
  • How to set your own blind tasting 

Lastly, in this chapter, Suckling introduces you to seven different types of wine and heat taste in real-time and teaches you how to evaluate them and rank them based on the point rating system.

This is the lesson in which I felt James had extensive knowledge and years of experience with wine and its making process.

Chapter 3: Discerning Flavours and Aromas: Student Tasting Experience

If you genuinely want to know what it takes to evaluate the wines, you must first understand the different flavors and ingredients needed to create them.

In this section, you will get access to the students who are tasting the different wines and sharing their experiences. James has also walked you through the wine process by tasting the various wines throughout this lesson.

He shared the typical characteristics of each wine, including fruits, acidity level, spice, and overall texture.

The other important lessons you will learn in this chapter include.

  • How do you identify the right wine?
  • How to select the right wine within your budget?
  • What are the quality you should cheque before buying any wine?
  • How to approach the wine at the first look?

Furthermore, he also discusses the students’ questions and gives them plenty of time to explain the quality of each wine, which will help them grasp the concept better.

What I liked about this lesson was his logical structure and the proper process of tasting the wine and sharing the wisdom with the students on properly holding the glass, moving it into your mouth, and determining the flow.

Meet the Maker: An Introduction.

In this chapter, Suckling, the wine producer, shows you how much work and effort is required to create one bottle of wine. He also walks you through Antinori Wines and how it has evolved over the past few years.

Additionally, suckling along with Antinori Shares about the history of Antenori Wines Company and the changes in the wine industry that have taken place over time.

Most importantly, this lesson offers excellent insights into the history of the particular wine, “Super Tuscan,” and how it has created a special place in people’s hearts.

Lastly, he also walks you through the winemaking process and shows you the certain factors involved in making smooth and tastier wine for the people.

Chapter 5: Appreciation on Location, Part 1: A Vertical Tasting

From this chapter, Suckling takes you to the Antinori estate, teaches you about the vertical tasting of the Tignanello wines, and shows you the factors that influenced its taste.

Additionally, in this lesson, Suckling and Antinori taste the Vintage Tignanello wines and discuss their characteristics, including the effect of climate change, water management, and drainage, and how they equipped the vineyards and impacted the taste of the wine.

It was fascinating to learn how wine is produced and the factors involved in creating the flavor of wines. Here are some of the other things that you will learn from the lesson.

  • Difference Between Horizontal and vertical Tasting
  • Things to consider while tasting Vintages
  • What goes into the winemaking process
  • What type of future demand for wine?

Overall, this chapter covers the characteristics of Tignanello and teaches you about what to consider while vintage tasting and how climate change can affect the winemaking process.

Chapter 6: Appreciation on Location, Part 2: Barrel Tasting

In this chapter, Antinori and the founder of Tigananello, Stefani Carpaneto, show you the cellar storage and allow the suckling to taste Solaia wine from their barrel. He teaches you about the Barrel Tasting method.

He taught you about the different types and sizes of barrels and demonstrated the factors that influence the taste of wine, such as the quality of the wood and the aging process.

Furthermore, this lesson also covers the things to consider while tasting wine using the barrel-tasting method and how it differs from bottle-tasting.

Overall, I liked these lessons and the insights from the industry experts who founded one of the world’s most famous wine companies.

Chapter 7: Primary Factors of Influence: In the Vineyard

As you know, great wines always start from the vineyard, and Suckling has covered that in this lesson. He teaches about how to appreciate wine and shows how much effort it takes to create great wines.

Moreover, he walks you through the wine-making process and explains the list of the factors that influence the taste and quality of the wine; here are some of the essential lessons this chapter covers

  • Impact of soil on the growth of grapes
  • What are viticulturists, and does it affect the taste?
  • What makes Tuscan wines so unique?
  • How do region and geography decide on wine taste?

Most importantly, you will also learn about the impact of climate change and region and how these factors decide the quality of the wine.

This is what I was looking for in this masterclass; for me, it is one of the most insightful lessons. I have discovered various things about the wine world, including the wine-making process and the factors influencing the taste of excellent wine to make it favorable.

Chapter 8: Storing and Curating: A Home Cellar

Building a home cellar is essential if you are really serious about learning about wine appreciation. In this chapter, Suckling walks you through his own wine cellar and shows you his collection, which will give you ideas about starting your journey of collecting wine.

In addition, he also mentioned that you don’t need a huge budget for the home cellar; you can start with whatever budget you have as now, and you can upgrade it later; here are some of the lessons that you will learn in this section.

  • How to start your home wine cellar?
  • How do you select the right wine for tasting & aging?
  • What to consider when choosing old wines
  • How do you curate your collection for the wine?
  • How do you store the opened wines?

Lastly, he also provides actionable and practical advice on finding the right wine and storing it safely.

Chapter 9: Education and Etiquette: Reading a Wine List

Firstly, understanding how to read a wine list is itself a valuable skill, and this lesson of discussion with the winemaker Lamberto Frescobaldi, Suckling, shares a series of wine lists and teaches you how to understand and read them.

Conversely, Frescobaldi shows you some of their wine lists and explains the philosophy of structuring the wine on the menu so that people can easily navigate it.

Some of the other things that this lesson covers include 

  • How to read and understand the wine menu?
  • What are the etiquettes about wine?
  • How can you connect with the Sommelier and order the right wine?
  • When should you bring your bottle?

Moreover, this lesson also covers practical tips on navigating menus and determining which wines are worth considering and value for money.

The interesting part of this lesson was when Suckling shared his advice on bringing your own bottle, as it’s part of the etiquette, which was something new for me.

Lastly, Suckling shares his approach to identifying which wines from the menu to ignore. He also explains how the restaurant buys and marks up its wines differently.

Chapter 10: Breaking the Rules of Pairings: A Tuscan Luncheon

From my experience, classic food and wine are great combinations, but this section, Suckling, encourages you to break the rules and explore different options as well.

To explain this, Suckling brings the Tuscan Luncheon, the other drink of wine prepared by his wife, Maria, for sharing with his friends and family. Here are the things that you will learn about pairing. 

  • Focus on creating more unique wine pairings 
  • How do you use wines in the preparation of food & cooking?
  • How do you select the right wines that complement your dishes?
  • Understand which wine to choose based on the dishes.
  • Identify which flavor of wine works well together.

Whether thinking of having dinner at a restaurant or making it at home, this chapter will give you useful and valuable insights on pairing wine with food.

Suckling has feared some of the tried, tasted, and proven methods of pairing wine with food. These methods help you rethink the relationship between wine and food and explore the different flavors and combinations.

Chapter 11: Closing

It is the last chapter of this master class, where Suckling summarises all the concepts that he has taught in these lessons and reminds you of the key element of wine appreciation.

He added that wine tasting is a communal experience and another way to spend time with loved ones and share loveable moments.

Lastly, he ended the lesson by saying to be curious and passionate and never have bad wine.

Who should consider James Suckling MasterClass?

After completing this masterclass, watching all the video lessons, and going through the workbook included in the course, I can say that this course is not for the beginner; it is specially designed for people who want to learn something about wine and explore the world of wine.

But to be more specific, here is the list of people who can take this James Suckling masterclass.

Wine Enthusiasts and Hobbyists

If you are passionate about wine and want to expand your horizons and explore the world of wine, this course is perfect for you.

This course offers various wine-related concepts, including tasting techniques, the winemaking process, creating the home cellar, and more. In short, it has everything you need.

Professionals in the Wine Industry

People in this industry can also consider these courses, as James has shared his 40 years of experience as a wine critic.

With this course, Suckling has shared a list of valuable advice and techniques that you can use to enhance your skills and build credibility in this industry to unlock various opportunities.

James Suckling Fans

If you already know about Suckling and love his wine critic, then you can invest your time and money into this course.

From this course, you will get to know James as a person, learn various skills, and gain unique insights into the wine world. Most importantly, you will learn his tried-and-tested techniques for wine appreciation.

If you are any of them, you can consider this course, but it’s worth mentioning that anyone who is a fast learner and wants to learn more about wine appreciation can take it.

James Suckling MasterClass Review: What I liked about this course

From my overall experience, this is a wonderful masterclass for anyone keen to learn about wine and explore the different techniques of the wine-making process.

Here, I have listed a few things that I liked about this course that you can consider before making an informed decision.

Suckling expertise and experience

The first thing that makes this masterclass stand out from others is the expertise of the instructor himself, as James Suckling has a decade of experience as a wine taster and one of the most influential personalities in the wine industry, and he has shared his wealth of this masterclass.

Throughout this course, James has shared his extensive experience tasting more than 200,000 wines in his career using different methods.

Engaging and Accessible Teaching Style

Despite the complexity of the subject, James has made this concept accessible to all learners and explained it in an easy way that anyone can understand without any hurdles.

The good news is that his teaching style is very clear and engaging, with lots of humor and some personal tips, which make the lesson both enjoyable and informative for the people who have enrolled in this course.

He has also broken down every concept so digestible that a learner can grasp it without putting too much effort into it.

Comprehensive Coverage of Wine-Related Topics

Another thing I like about this course is that it not only gives you surface-level knowledge but also dives deep into various concepts of wine and helps you understand everything in detail.

Some of these things include understanding the winemaking process, tasting techniques, pairing wine with food, and creating your own home cellar for collecting wine.

In essence, this master class covers everything that Suckling has learned while tasting more than 200,000 wines in his career and becoming one of the influential personalities in the wine industry.

Practical Learning Experiences

Lastly, the best and most interesting part of this master class is that it contains theoretical knowledge. Suckling has also shared and incorporated the practical learning experience throughout this course.

He has covered the tasting sessions, vertical tasting, and barrel tasting, allowing the students to apply this technique in real life, get hands-on experience, and ask questions directly from him without any hesitation.

After completing every lesson and going through the workbook, here is my list of things that I like about the course.

Another thing that impressed me most is that there are various sections where Suckling has invited the real personalities of the wine industry. They have shared their insight about this industry and taught me some important lessons about wine.

James Suckling Materclass Review: Things that can be improved

You have understood what this masterclass teaches you about wine appreciation, and you have also gone through the lesson that I liked about this course,

Now, let’s move into another section and discuss some of the drawbacks of this master class and the things that can be improved to enhance the overall learning experience of the people.

Limited Interaction and Feedback

The masterclass offers prerecorded courses, so there is little way to interact with and contact the instructor to get personalized feedback.

It can be an issue for some student who wants to clarify their doubt or ask questions about the concept that has been covered in this course.

From my personal experience, if there is a way to ask questions from the instructor, then this course becomes more valuable.

Requirement for Wine Purchases

Another drawback of this master class is that it offers in-depth knowledge about wine, but to get practical exposure and hands-on experience, you need to purchase the recommended wine separately.

It is not possible for every student who has enrolled in this course, as most of the wines mentioned in this course are expensive. It is not a feasible option for everyone, especially for people who are on a tight budget.

Not Designed for the Beginners

As said before, this masterclass is not designed for beginners. It is more likely an intermediate course that teaches you about the history of wine-tasting techniques and some new terms that you have not heard before.

So, if you don’t have basic knowledge about wine, it might be very difficult for you to understand the concepts explained in this master class.

Adding some basic lectures at the start of this course makes it even more accessible to people, and beginners can also enroll in it.

James Suckling Masterclass: Pros & Cons

After watching all the video lessons in this course, I will say it’s the best course for anyone wanting to upgrade their wine appreciation knowledge.

However, as you know, every course has its own pros and cons, and this course is no longer an expectation.

Let’s examine the pros and cons of James Suckling’s Materclass, as this will help you make the right decision about investing in this course.

Pros of James Suckling Masterclass

  • Learn highly skilled and renowned experts in the wine industry.
  • Comprehensive coverage of the course of wine-related topics.
  • Engaging and easy-to-follow lessons.
  • Contains the additional Workbook.

Cons of James Suckling Masterclass

  • Most of the mentioned in this course are expensive.
  • Less interaction and feedback from the Instructor
  • The course is too advanced for beginners

These are the pros and cons you can consider before investing your money in this course. Now, let’s move ahead and understand the cost of this course.

How much does the James Suckling cost?

As said before, this course is hosted on the Masterclass platform, which is known for offering high-quality courses. You need to buy a subscription to this platform to get access to this James Suckling course.

Currently, this platform offers customers three types of subscription options that you can consider based on your requirements and budget.

  • Standard Plan: $120 Per Year ( Access to 1 Device and No offline Mode)
  • Plus: $180 Per year (access to 2 Devices and Offline Mode)
  • Premium: $240 Per Year (access to 6 Devices and Offline mode)

Each of the plans has its specifications. To get more idea about the pricing of the masterclass, you can check out the complete guide on the masterclass review.

Is it worth buying James Suckling masterclass? 

If you are passionate about wine and want to expand your knowledge of wine appreciation, James’s suckling master class is definitely worth considering.

This master class offers everything that James has learned over the 40 years of experience working as a wine taster.

Some of these things include tasting techniques, identifying the flavor of the wine, reading the wine menu list, creating a cellar, and collecting a variety of wines. This material covers everything.

However, if you are a complete beginner and have no prior knowledge of wine, then this course is not worth it, as you will face various challenges in understanding the concepts.

Overall, the James suckling masterclass is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge about wine and want to learn from one of the most respected wine critics in this industry.


It was my honest James Suckling Masterclass Review Post, where I shared everything that you need to know about this masterclass from my experience.

I would recommend this course to anyone who has a deep interest in learning about the world of wine, especially from industry experts; now you know everything that you need to make an informed decision.

But if you still have any questions or queries regarding James Suckling’s Masterclass, please let me know in the comment section.

Happy Reading !!


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