France: Making Sense of it All
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Class location: 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 two times, with each session covering three wines, and lasting for around 75 minutes. The $45 registration fee covers both sessions.
- All classes are recorded, and links are emailed after class, 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.
- All purchases are non-refundable, but any class registration can be rescheduled up until the day of the first class.
- We will taste a total of six wines (three per session). There are several ways to source the wines, as listed below.
- The designated 6-pack for this class can be ordered from our retail partner, Flatiron Wines & Spirits, and costs $175 (plus tax & shipping). To order, please click here. The wines will be shipped approximately two weeks before the start of class.
- 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 $175+ 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
Fortunately, Covid seems to be in the rearview mirror, but until fifteen people can cram together in a small space, the show must go on (via Zoom). Happily, there are many upsides to virtual classes. These include, but are not limited to:
- If you miss class, you can always watch the recording.
- Rather than meeting once, we’ll meet thrice. This allows more time to absorb information, let it sink in, then ask questions the next time we meet. 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.