Did you know you can open a champagne bottle without the giant pop and huge anxiety that comes with trying to work out where the cork went? I did not. So when sommelier Ben Woodward demonstrated how, I audibly gasped.

Which got me thinking, how many other wine secrets are there? What am I missing out on? According to Ben, the best way to answer this question is to take a wine course at TAFE NSW Sydney Wine Academy, a whole school dedicated to educating wine fanatics – from beginners to professional sommeliers – on all varietals and vintages.

“I found TAFE NSW a very good entry point into the wine industry,” says Ben, who had already trained as a chef. “Doing all my studies through TAFE NSW gave me opportunities to…make that transition.”

He’s now working in Bennelong Restaurant inside Sydney Opera House. Besides tasting amazing wine and deciding what will work for the restaurant, Ben says he’s got to keep on top of stock and find bespoke producers in Australia, or larger ones with smaller batch wines.

However, if you’re going on a wine date in the near future and need the very short guide to impressing your potential lover, you simply must have a gander at Ben’s top five tips below – including that champers-opening tip which is still amazing me:

Image: What Happens In Vegas