Courses

Our wine education courses are designed to be short, lively and interactive. They work well as a stand-alone client event, or as an event where you want to present some industry content to your guests along with the wine education. Contact us to ask how this works. We have done this successfully throughout the country!

 
 

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OLD WORLD & NEW WORLD WINES
This course compares white and red grape varietals, for a total of six to eight wines that will be tasted and compared. For each comparison set there will be two wines, one from the Old World and one from the New World. The course will cover a particular region for each comparison set and discuss how that region’s soil, geography, climate, winemaking styles and laws contribute to a characteristic taste profile for each wine.
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HOW TO WINE TASTE LIKE THE PRO’S
This course will teach wine analysis through structured tasting grids. For each wine to be tasted, the instructor will lead the class through how to check a wine for clarity, color, nose, palate…all which lead to an educated guess as to varietal, and region of production. The course will teach how to analyze a wine’s structure: fruit, acidity, tannins, and how to develop a vocabulary of wine descriptors for the “nose” (bouquet) and the flavors tasted on the palate.
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FOCUS ON OLD WORLD WINES
This course will focus strictly on Old World Wines from France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Greece, and Germany. Not all regions listed above will be covered in every class, but a selection of quality wines from three to four regions (time permitting) will be covered. The class will provide an overview of the particular region being tasted, its wine making history, and its wine making laws and labeling.
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FOCUS ON NEW WORLD WINES
This course will focus strictly on New World wines with an emphasis on New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Canada, and the United States. Not all regions listed above will be covered in every class, but a selection of quality wines from three to four regions (time permitting) will be covered. The class will provide an overview of the particular region being tasted, its wine making history, and its wine making laws and labeling.

 
 


LEARN TO BLIND TASTE LIKE THE PRO’S
This course is a follow-up to the course “What’s in the Glass? How to deconstruct a wine.” After students have learned about wine deconstruction, the same tasting grids used for “What’s in the Glass” will be used to conduct a blind tasting. This will be done in an interactive way, but each student will have 4 minutes on his/her own to use the tasting grid to analyze clarity, color, bouquet (nose), and palate and then make an educated guess as to the grape varietal and the region it was produced. This is a fun way to hone wine deconstruction skills. The final “reveal” will be done after a group discussion of how attendees analyzed each characteristic of the wines being tasted.

THE JUDGEMENT OF PARIS, REVISTED
This course will be a blind tasting of French wines and California Wines, with an attempt to recreate as closely as possible, the conditions of The Judgement of Paris which took place in 1976. The result shocked the French wine judges who chose California wines in a blind tasting, over their own supposedly vastly superior French wines. California wines were chosen as winners in both the white and red categories. This course is a natural follow up to the courses titled, “What’s In The Glass: How To Deconstruct A Wine” and “How to Blind Taste” and would make a perfect course series if taught consecutively. Consultation with the sommelier is necessary in order to make this course an enjoyable experience and it is not recommended that this course be chosen without any prior wine instruction for course attendees.

ENTERTAINING CLIENTS: HOW TO CONFIDENTLY ORDER WINE
When you are entertaining clients and paying the bill, you should take control of the wine list and order wine for the table. High end restaurants pride themselves on their wine list. A little knowledge will go a long way toward helping you select a quality wine without consultation, or, give you a starting point to have a confident conversation with the sommelier if you choose to consult about a particular wine.

DOES SOIL MATTER? A FOCUS ON “TERROIR”
What does it mean when people say that a wine has “minerality?” Can you really taste the difference in a wine whose grape vines are planted in chalk or limestone versus vines planted in gravel and clay? “Terroir” is a French word whose meaning cannot be precisely translated, but it is generally understood that by focusing on planting a particular grape varietal in the proper soil, and considering the microclimate of the area, that the result will be a wine whose expression in the glass reflects the “terroir.” Wines tasted in this course are chosen to illustrate terroir.

 
 


REGIONAL OR VARIETAL SPECIFIC COURSES
This course is customizable to focus on a particular region (such as Burgundy, France, or Mosel, Germany), or a particular varietal (such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon). If you have a particular interest in a region of the world, or a varietal just let us know and we will customize a course for you. When focusing on a particular grape varietal, there are several ways to structure this course. For example, if the varietal is Cabernet Sauvignon, the instructor can source Cabernet Sauvignon’s from different regions of the world for a regional comparison of the same varietal. Similarly, it would be possible to taste different Cabernet Sauvignon’s from within the U.S. (e.g., Washington State and California). Or, it may be possible to do a vertical tasting from a single vineyard (e.g., several different vintages of the same wine, in order to asses differences from vintage to vintage of wines produced by the same winemaker).

CUSTOM DESIGNED COURSE(S)The sommelier can custom design a wine education course, accompanied by wine tastings, to suit your needs. The possibilities are almost endless, so don’t hesitate to inquire about a course that interests you.