Archive for the 'wine classes' Category

Wine class at Schoolhouse

How about some wine classes to shake off the winter blues (wait, what winter? It’s 70 degrees!)?

I’ve been doing a series of wine classes at Schoolhouse at Cannondale, a new American restaurant in Wilton, CT. Chef/owner Tim LaBant–friend of the blog–has been running some cooking classes and I’ve been doing some wine classes on select Tuesdays. Two of my classes are in the bag but two more are coming up in the next two weeks. On 2/28, we’ve got Pinot Envy in which we will taste and talk through seven pinot noirs. And on 3/7, we will Drink Like a Hipster with tasting and discussing seven natural wines. It will be fun!

Reservations required. Timing is 7:00 – 8:30. Tickets are $75. Please email Francesca for reservations.

Next NYU wine course – starts Oct 14

bottiThe air is getting cool. The undergrads are swarming campus. And they are cheering the NYU football team! Oh, wait, there is no football team…

But there is a wine class! Yes, a real, live, in-person, wine class! My next NYU wine course starts October 14 and runs for six consecutive Wednesday evenings. It is open to all and you don’t have to worry about failing, because there are no grades! And the only homework is to taste wine, which we will do in class too for good measure.

Now in its tenth year (but always oh-so-fresh!), the course provides an overview of how to taste wine, the basics of wine in France and America, as well as touching on the hot-button issues of our day. The two hours will fly by each evening and by the end you will have so much wine knowledge that you could fill up one of the huge botte in Barolo! Hope to see you there!

Click to register and see the course details.

Back to school with my new NYU wine class

wine_barrelsThis fall, all you grown ups can go back to school thanks to my NYU wine class.

Now in its ninth year, the course provides a lively forum to discuss hot-button issues of the wine world, explore key countries and regions, as well as taste at least six wines each session.

It runs for six weekly sessions from October 15 through November 19. It’s always fun to see site readers in the class–hope to meet you there!

Full details and registration.

Next wine class at NYU

nyu_classWe’re closing in on the start of my next wine class at NYU! Now in its eighth year. It’s open to all adult learners and, don’t worry, there aren’t any grades and the only homework is tasting wine.

In classes running for six consecutive Wednesdays, we explore the fundamentals of tasting, lap up history and geography, and delve into hot-button issues of the day. Join us–it will be fun! Starts next week.

Register now

Fall wine class at NYU

nyu_classRegistration for my fall wine class at NYU is open. It starts on 10/16 and runs six consecutive Wednesdays.

In the class, we survey the wine landscape, discussing they story of wine in several key countries and covering hot-button issues. Each class includes a tasting to highlight points from the discussion. It’s a non-credit course without grades, so you don’t have to worry about failing a wine class appearing on your transcript!

It’s always great to meet site readers in the class–so check it out!

Wine class — for credit

new_school_logoBoth UC San Diego and San Diego State announced this week that they are offering craft beer classes–for credit, not in dorm rooms. Much to their credit, the press release actually had a beer pong joke. Then it pointed to the commercial opportunities in the $300 million a year craft beer industry.

On a related note, I’m thrilled to be teaching my first-ever wine class for credit later next month. I know, what if a student gets an F in “Fundamentals of Wine” on their transcript?

The class is offered at the New School in the Continuing Education school. Starting on a Wednesday evening, we will have a three-hour lecture/seminar about some of the macro-historical, economic, political and critical aspects of wine. Then on Thursday, we will head to wineries in Long Island to kick the dirt, talk with winemakers, and sample wines. The next three days will offer tastings at the International Culinary Center. On Sunday evening, we will conclude by meeting in a wine shop to discuss the business of wine and retail.

I haven’t finalized the syllabus yet but each part will count toward the final grade and there will be a final essay/writing project.

As far as I know, this is the first for-credit wine course offered at a university in NYC. Should be a pretty fun two credits.

Fundamentals of Wine NFDS2830
A 5 session(s). Wed. thru Sun., 6:00 PM-9:00 PM, beg. June 26.

The Institute of Masters of Wine slowly opens up

How does soil influence wine quality? How does changing a trellising system affect vineyard health and yields? Following malolactic fermentation, what options are available to reduce alcohol levels in finished wine and how should they be deployed? Critically examine the extent to which the increasing emphasis on “natural wine” is a positive development for consumers.

A record 98 candidates tackled questions like these two weeks ago in London, Napa, and Sydney. Then they had to dive into three blind tastings of twelve wines each, over two hours each, trying to parse differences in white, red, and sparkling (gah–with four moscato wines in the sparkling flight!). After passing the exams and submitting a 10,000-word research paper, the students would have their names added to the list of 298 current MWs worldwide. (Impressive as it is, some have wondered aloud if passing is little more than just a bragging right from a career perspective).

The Institute has posted the entire exam to their website and it is well worth checking out. Since there are no instructions, students had to respond to one question in each section A and two questions from each section B of the “theory” section. In the “practical” section, students must score 195 (out of a possible 300) to pass. It amounts to a really huge volume of wine knowledge that takes years to compile–students aren’t allowed to sit the exams until after two years of study. Richard Hemming, who took the exams this year, wrote on that he has spent almost $10,000 this year in tuition, exam fees, and wine to prepare. He also spent 28 “working days” preparing since last September. Since it’s rare to sail through on the first try, each student has three tries to pass the exams, given annually.

A couple of months ago, the Institute of Masters of Wine took the bold step of investigating one of its members for violations of its code of conduct; the member resigned. Posting this year’s full exam adds to the transparency and relevancy of the Institute. Now, what’s left for the Institute to achieve its own Perestroika is to make available not only the titles of the 10,000-word research papers that candidates must pass to become MWs (called “dissertations”), but also the papers themselves.

In higher education in the United States, Ph.D. dissertations are archived and accessible via UMI and any student’s master’s thesis is likely found in their university’s library. Certainly much research in the US relies on government funding in some way, whether a grant or at a state university, so there’s a fiscal basis for the openness. But most importantly, it’s about sharing ideas and findings to advance our collective knowledge. While the Institute of Masters of Wine is a private institution, their students draw on the industry’s time and resources while doing their research. We all benefit from the fruits of the vine; making the successful candidates’ essays publicly available would be the best way to share the fruits of their research with both consumers the trade. Indeed, in this era of information openness and wikileaks, it’s hard to see it any other way.

Ten reasons to take the holiday wine class next week!

holiday_wineThe holiday wine class is now only a week away! Grab one of the remaining seats and join us on 12/10 in NYC to taste through seven great wines for gifting and drinking! Here are ten reasons to entice you to sign up:

* The just-fired coach of the New Jersey Nets will make a guest appearance to give a brief talk on winning.

* Being able to know which end of the bottle to open the only prior wine knowledge needed!

* Tareq and Michaele Salahi will crash the event.

* Find some excellent wines to give as gifts to your friends and co-workers.

* Get a gilt-edged, collectors’ edition of Dr. Vino’s holiday wine survival guide!

* Discover undervalued gems to pour at your holiday party!

* Meet fellow wine enthusiasts!

* Vigneron Brad Pitt will stop by and discuss what he has learned about wine grape growing in Provence. And goatee growing.

* Find out which wine is the perfect match for roaring fires and chestnuts!

* Learn essential wine miscellany that you can use to impress people over eggnog at holiday parties!

All right, some of these may be true and some may be totally made up. Stop by and find out the truth for yourself!

Buy tickets in advance here
Thursday, Dec 10, 6:30 – 8:00 PM, on E. 29th Street


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