Seattle Wine School: Wine 101

Wine 101 Class

Monday, Aug. 21st

The Class

I wish I had a class like this when I was starting my career in the wine industry. Back then there were no classes available to learn the basics of wine. It took me years just to figure out how to approach this vast and complicated subject. That is why I created this class and why I believe it is so important to anyone trying to understand wine. I will break out the different areas of study and give an overview of each along with advice about how to begin your studies.

Seattle Wine School: Wines of Washington Class – 8/14/17

Wines of Washington – 8/14/17  (This Monday)

The Class

This class will put the wines of WA state in perspective for you. You’ll learn what makes WA wines unique (the climate, the soil, and the Big Flood for starters…) in comparison to other wine regions while tasting through some great examples of what WA wines have to offer.

Register for Class!

Cool Summer Wines

It’s hot.  And it appears the heat will be with us for a while.  In these hot times it’s hard to enjoy those big burly high alcohol wines that seemed so satisfying during cooler weather.  What we need now are refreshing summer weight reds, roses and whites that we can chill down to beat the heat.
We’ve got a great selection of these wines but there are a few that I’ve been enjoying myself recently that I would like to personally recommend.

My Favorite Cool Summer Wines!

2015 Chateau de la Ragotiere ‘Les Schistes” Muscadet ‘Sur Lie’

Loire Valley, France

$15

2013 Domaine des Quatre Routes, Muscadet ‘Sur Lie’

Loire Valley, France

market value to:  $18

$12

First, let me make it clear that the wine ‘Muscadet’ is not related to the grape ‘Muscat’, which often gives us those fragrant and sweet dessert wines.
Muscadet is a wine region at the mouth of the Loire River in northwestern France.  Wines from here are dry (not sweet), light, brisk and fresh with a mineral-like character.  These wines are built for seafood.  I have had them at the source with local oysters and river fish and it was one of the most memorable food experiences I’ve had.

2014 Domaine Saint Romain Vin de Savoie ‘Jongieux’

Savoie, France

 

$20

Savoie is located in eastern France high into the Alps, very close to the Swiss border.  Wines from here are one of the great secrets of French wines.  Wine geeks know and love them but they remain undiscovered by most everyone else.
The wines are made with the local Jacquere grape.  You will notice on the label the word Jongieux. This is a reference to a very special vineyard area of that name.
These wines are light, almost ethereal, with aromas and flavors of minerals, fresh citrus fruits and hints of flowers.  The wine is quite dry (not sweet) and shows layers of complexity, which is always a mark of better wines.

2014 Domaine Franck Millet Sancerre Rose

Loire Valley, France

market value to:  $20

$15

2014 Joseph Mellot Reuilly Rose

Loire Valley, France

market value to:  $20

$15

The village and wine district of Sancerre in the Loire Valley is famous for its outstanding white wines made with Sauvignon Blanc grapes but also red wines and rose wines from Pinot Noir grapes should not be overlooked.  The same is true for the less-known village of Reuilly located just a few kilometers away.
Both of these Pinot Noir based rose wines are elegant and dry and show the influence of the chalk soils and the cool climate.  These are quite sofisticated rose wines and would work well with grilled chicken, pork or even salmon.

Beatrice & Pascal Lambert Chinon

Loire Valley, France

market value to:
$50 ($12.50 per bottle)
Wine Outlet
$29
($7.25 per bottle)
This wine comes in a neat little box holding the equivalent of 4 regular bottles of wine (3 liters).  It has a spigot to release the wine and it will hold it’s freshness for many weeks.  It’s great for boating, camping, BBQ parties or house wine.
The wine is made with the Cabernet Franc from Chinon in the Loire Valley and if it came in regular bottles I would stock it on my shelves.
The wine shows lots of delicious black and red berry flavors. Drink it with pretty much any meat of the grill including pork, chicken, beef and also pasta with red sauce.
Wine Tips
Go ahead and chill your reds.
In this hot weather it really is okay to chill red wines.  Not to refrigerator temps but almost as cool as a white wine.  You wouldn’t want to serve selections from your wine collection this way but most casual red wines will be much more refreshing with a slight chill in hot weather.  Really.
Flies!
With the sunny weather comes those tiny little fruit flies that appear out of nowhere whenever you peel a banana or open a bottle of wine.  They seem almost impossible to deal with but I have a partial but very satisfying solution.  Your vacuum cleaner hose.  That’s right. Have your vacuum at the ready and whenever you see the pesky little critters hovering around your glass of Cab just turn it on a hoover them up.  It works.

Seattle Wine School: Introduction to France

Introduction to France – 7/24/17 (This Monday)

France is the most important wine country in the world. Not because it produces the best wines, that’s arguable, but because it produces the standard versions by which virtually every major type of wine is judged. Every Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, Pinot Noir and even Riesling as well as late harvest dessert wines and, of course, sparkling wines get compared to the French versions. Even France’s system of controlled appellations is emulated as is its concept of ‘terrior’.
This class offers the opportunity to not only be introduced to the great wine regions of France but to understand the system that makes the wine labels so intimidating.
Originally, Richard created a prototype of this class for an organization of the French government (SOPEXA), which retained me to teach it to the wine trade, which I did for many years. Now this is your chance to gain a basic understanding of perhaps the greatest wine country in the world.

Register for Class

Seattle Wine School: Introduction to Bordeaux

Introduction to Bordeaux – 7/24/17 (This Monday)

With over 7,000 chateaux, the Bordeaux region is vast. And the top wines – the Grand Cru Classés – often sell for hundreds of dollars a bottle. This class will break down what distinguishes the Left Bank from the Right Bank in Bordeaux and what makes these wines the gold standard for Cabernet and Merlot around the world.

Register for Class

Seattle Wine School: Introduction to Italy

Introduction to Italy – 7/17/17 (This Monday)

With its hundreds of years of winemaking history, 20 unique winegrowing regions and with over 800 wine grape varieties, Italy is an educational adventure from grape to glass. This class will explore major wine regions of Italy, the country’s wine laws & regulations, grape varietals, Italian wine culture, history and traditions, and key differentiating characteristics.

Register for Class

Seattle Wine School: Wine 101

Wine 101 – 5/22/17 (This Monday)

I wish I had a class like this when I was starting my career in the wine industry. Back then there were no classes available to learn the basics of wine. It took me years just to figure out how to approach this vast and complicated subject. That is why I created this class and why I believe it is so important to anyone trying to understand wine. I will break out the different areas of study and give an overview of each along with advice about how to begin your studies.

Seattle Wine School: Wines of Washington

Wines of Washington Class – 5/15/17

The Class

This class will put the wines of WA state in perspective for you. You’ll learn what makes WA wines unique (the climate, the soil, and the Big Flood for starters…) in comparison to other wine regions while tasting through some great examples of what WA wines have to offer.

Seattle Wine School: Single Malt Scotch

Single Malt Scotch Class – 5/8/17

The Class

With the possible exception of grappa no distilled spirit appeals to wine drinkers as much as Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The reason is that, like wine, Single Malts are a product of producer and place. Just as the wines from Bordeaux are so distinctly different from those from Burgundy so too are the Single Malts from the Highlands, Campbeltown and the Lowlands. In Monday’s class on Single Malt Scotch we will learn just how these famous whiskies are made and how the local water and the size and shape of each still make every whisky as unique as the people who distill them. We will taste whiskies from every major region as well as some that are very old and rare from my personal collection.

Seattle Wine School: Wine 101

This Monday: March 3rd, 7 p.m.

I wish I had a class like this when I was starting my career in the wine industry. Back then there were no classes available to learn the basics of wine. It took me years just to figure out how to approach this vast and complicated subject. That is why I created this class and why I believe it is so important to anyone trying to understand wine. I will break out the different areas of study and give an overview of each along with advice about how to begin your studies.