Some of the wine topics we cover are history of wine, and how it affected wine laws, regional names and growing regions, as well as disease and pest influences. We cover viticulture (wine growing), wine life cycles, viniculture (wine making for red, white, rose, fortified and sparkling), service technique, food and wine pairing, cellaring and storage. But the most important aspect of level I education is tasting technique, and knowing the most prominent wine varieties.
Why is this even important? Obviously, knowing the aromas, flavors and aging ability will help determine what you purchase. Knowing all the other elements helps in understanding the differences between vintages, and the differences between the "house style" of each winery. For example, if you know that Cabernet Sauvignon is a late budding and late ripening variety, then you would know that a late season rain or hail storm, could really hurt the vintage, since the Cabernet hasn't been harvested yet (but the earlier ripening Merlot might already have been picked), meaning your Bordeaux might be more Merlot influenced versus Cabernet. Knowing this particular example, also helps us to understand why Bordeaux is usually a blend, versus a single variety.