Course members will be introduced to the world's finest grapes, appreciate the different styles of wine in leading wine regions recognising good examples and learn to negotiate their way round a restaurant wine list. In each session, we will look at two grapes and at the regions best known for the grapes, tasting four wines.
We start with a little background. How to taste wines: appearance, nose, palate. What makes a quality wine? Choosing a wine glass. Wines to taste: four light reds
More background, moving onto the factors affecting the style of wine: climate, grapes, environment, viticulture, vinification 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 and New Zealand (Pinot) and the Loire Valley, New Zealand and 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 or indeed food with wine.
Riesling with regions Germany, Alsace and Clare Valley (Australia). Italy including the Sangiovese grape and Italian regions. Two Riesling wines and two Italian wines to taste.
Spain and Portugal with wines from Rioja, Ribero del Duero and Portugal. Sparkling wines, especially Champagne.
Those parts of the New World not already covered including USA, South Africa, Chile and Argentina and appropriate wines.
Sweet wines, Sherry (very underrated) and Port and four wines as usual.