Buy a used trailer sailor. Read books, sail as often as you can, forget the lessons.
I just signed my wife and myself up for a 4 day liveaboard course. My wife enjoys the water and boats, but is intimidated by sailboats and our lack of experience. It doesn't help that every couple of months she reads about a guy with no experience who buys a used sailboat after reading a few books, decides to sail it home, and proceeds to need to be rescued by the coast guard and makes it into the news or worse... There is nothing wrong with taking classes and gaining more experience, especially if you think you run the risk of turning your wife off to sailing altogether. I'm hoping that the course will help her find a comfort level, because I really believe that she will love sailing, but a bad experience now may turn her off to sailing altogether.
Back to your original question, do you see yourself sailing a dinghy or a keelboat? Which type of sailing would your wife most likely enjoy? That's the direction I would go, because there are enough guys on here who complain about there wives not being willing to sail with them, and I married my wife to spend time with her, not away from her...
I started with the buy a trailer sailor, read as much as I can, and sail as often as I can method. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for my wife... Our kids love sailing, even my mother-in-law loves it, but every time the boat starts to heel slightly the mommy inside my wife goes into protect her babies mode, and she can't relax. Just the idea of going out with an experienced instructor made her agree to spend 4 days on the Chesapeake Bay. This will either make or break my wife as a sailor, but if it helps her enjoy herself it is money well spent.