France: Making Sense of it All
Thursdays: March 11, 18, 25 | 7:30pm-8:30pm (via Zoom)
French wines ooze intimidation; the language, no grape listed anywhere in sight, countless vineyards and producers, and all this at often exorbitant prices. Yet even in the face of these apparent obstacles, France is worthy of our attention. Why? Simply because they still continue to create so many of the world’s most intriguing, exotic, and individualistic wines.
France is the birthplace of most noble grape varieties we know today; Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and others. We will taste many of these grapes which have all been grown in their respective regions in France such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and others. The French classification system, based largely on the concept of regional identity, is actually a blessing once you understand the ideology behind it. If, for example, you taste Sancerre, or Hermitage, or Chambolle-Musigny, and you like the wine, then you can feel confident in buying other bottlings from that region, even if the producer or vintage is different from the one originally tasted (maybe you will like it even better).
You are bound to fall in love with at least one of these wine-producing areas, especially after discovering the rich history and culture that are so much a part of what makes these wines unique. Of equal importance, we will address the basics of reading labels and other essentials in order to give you a deeper, more inherent understanding of these delicious products of nature. We hope you can join us!
- We will meet for three sessions, with each session covering two wines, and lasting for around one hour. The $45 registration fee covers ALL three sessions.
- All sessions are recorded, allowing you to view them again later, or to watch any sessions you might miss.
- A few weeks before the first class, we will email you the Zoom links, as well as detailed notes with cheese pairing suggestions, recommendations on when to open the wines, and much more.
- Class reservations can always be rescheduled up until the start of the first class.
- We will taste a total of six wines (two per session). There are several ways to source the wines, as listed below.
- The designated 6-pack for this class will be available from our retail partner, Flatiron Wines & Spirits, and will cost around $150 (plus tax & shipping). We will post a link here on this site as soon as it is available, and will email it to all registrants as well.
- The wines can either be picked up from the shop (929 Broadway, NYC), or shipped via UPS.
- If you prefer to source the wines yourself, just let us know! We’re happy to send you the wine list, along with suggestions on where to find them locally.
- If $150+ is pushing the budget too much, we’re happy to send you a list of alternative bottles you can source. They won’t be the exact same, of course, but certainly close enough to make the points being taught in class.
The Upside Of Zoom
As long as Covid remains in wide circulation, our classes will be held online, via Zoom. And while we miss meeting people in real life, there are many upsides to virtual classes. These include, but are not limited to:
- Rather than meeting once, we’ll meet three times. This allows more time to absorb information, let it sink in, think of questions, then ask those questions. You’ll be a pro in no time!
- Teaching wine requires the use of words, but pictures are equally important. With Zoom, you can expect graphs, maps, and lots of pretty pictures.
- We welcome questions and input during class, but if you’re shy, or have questions you’re afraid to ask, simply type into the chat bar and we’ll get you some answers.
- You can see us, and we’d like to see you, but if you’d rather be incognito, or do your best learning in your pajamas, you can always turn your camera off.
- When I teach in person, I often poll students for their preferences and opinions, and will ask for a show of hands. But sometimes, people are tepid to respond, or they vote after watching how other people vote. It’s human nature, of course, but with polling on Zoom, no reason to hold back. If you love the wine, flash the heart emojis. Or, if it was worst wine you’ve ever had, we want to know!
- You’ll have tons of leftover wine to drink. In class, you’ll taste a couple ounces of each wine, but each bottle has 25.4 ounces. That leaves a lot of ounces for after hours consumption.