Here are five of the top schools in the United States for would-be wine professionals (or passionate amateurs) looking to get a thorough education in the basics.

Top Wine Schools

Chicago Wine School; Chicago

Proprietor Patrick W. Fegan has taught classes in and around Chicago for over 30 years. His five-week introductory session is a good overview.

International Wine Center; New York City

Founded in 1982 and run by Master of Wine Mary Ewing-Mulligan, the center instructs students at all levels. Basic classes are on Saturdays.

International Wine Guild; Denver

This school, based at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, has sent several graduates on to high-profile wine careers.

Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies, Culinary Institute of America; Napa

The Rudd center holds its four-day-long Discovering the Professional World of Wine class five times a year, often with Jeff Morgan as the instructor; the next session begins in mid-June.

Washington Wine Academy; Alexandria, Virginia

This suburban-DC school, staffed by top local wine writers and sommeliers, offers professional-certification classes as well as tours of local wineries and weekly wine-and-movie nights.

Related Content:

Can Wine School Lead to a New Career?
2007 Bodegas Caballo Listán Blanco ($18)