This course is suitable for those with little background in wine as well as those with more experience. The essential requirement is an interest in all things wine.
The course is organised around the main grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir etc. Normally we introduce a couple of grapes each week along with their most notable wine areas. By the end of the course, you will have had a good introduction to the top grapes and wine regions of the world.
Each week we taste four examples of the grapes and associated regions.
Warning: we don't drink we taste, four 50ml tasting portions each week equal to 200ml in total, slightly more than a standard 175ml restaurant helping. Spread over two hours this should be within the tolerance of most.
The instructor, Prof Chris Easingwood, is a qualified wine tutor and has given presentations at wine conferences and published in the top wine journals. The course will follow the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 2 syllabus when it makes sense and in addition add in some lesser known grapes.
The WSET is the world standard in wine education.
Brief summaries of each week:
We start with a little background. How to taste wines: appearance, nose, palate. What makes a quality wine? What makes a good wine glass? Wines to taste: four light reds
More background, moving onto the factors affecting the style of wine: climate, grapes, soil, how vines are cultivated, how wine is made and weather. Wines to taste: four whites that can take on strongly flavoured food.
We now look at our first noble grape, Chardonnay and its most important wine regions including Burgundy, Australia, California. Understanding wine labels and storage of wines. Our wines to taste are likely to come from Burgundy (Côte d'Or, Macon) and Australia/ New Zealand.
Pinot Noir (the holy grail) and Sauvignon Blanc with our four wines coming from Burgundy/New Zealand (Pinot) and the Loire Valley/New Zealand/Chile (Sauvignon Blanc). Wine, alcohol and health issues.
Ordering wine in a restaurant. Our two grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and our wine regions are Bordeaux, Margaret River/Coonawarra (Australia) and Chile with our four wines for tasting coming from these regions.
Syrah and Grenache with regions and wines: Rhône and Barossa (Australia). Matching wines with food.
Italy including the Sangiovese grape and Italian regions. Riesling with regions Germany, Alsace and Clare Valley (Australia). Two Italian wines and two Rieslings to taste.
Spain and Portugal with wines from Rioja, Ribero del Duero and Portugal. Champagne and other sparkling wines.
Those parts of the New World not already covered particularly USA, South Africa, Chile and Argentina and appropriate wines.
Sweet wines, Sherry (not fashionable, alas) and Port and four wines as usual.
Pro copy -
Course members will be introduced to the world's finest grapes and their associated wine regions. Each week we'll taste four examples (just 50ml each) of these wine styles. At the end of the course you will know what to look for from a wide range of wine styles and recognise and evaluate these styles when you find them, hopefully.