Alpine Rendezvous

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Thursdays, October 27 & November 03, 2022  |  7:30pm-8:45pm
Class location:  Zoom

When talking about wine, you'll often hear the term ‘complexity’. But what exactly is it, and when you taste it, how do you know you’re tasting it? It's a subjective question, of course, but as a rule, a wine is considered complex if:  it offers multiple flavors simultaneously, it changes over time, and the taste persists after swallowing (aka, the finish). I can still taste some wines I drank years ago…

Many factors must come together to make a wine ‘complex’, some of which are little understood. But a few things are known for certain to set off a five-piece band in your mouth rather than a one-note tuba recital. First up: contrast. Grapes love the yin and yang of warm days, followed by cool nights. They also love cool breezes, which help to regulate air and leaf temperature, and allow more consistent ripening. Odd as it may sound, poor soils also make the list. Not poor as in devoid of life, but planting vines in rich loam is like feeding a child two pounds of Skittles for dinner. Things start out well, and then comes the crash. Vines like to work, dig, and hunt for what they need, which can only happen in poorer, and often rocky, soils.

Where is one most likely to find all of these conditions in one place? In the mountains. Whether steep or gently rolling, volcanic or granitic, mountains invariably offer elevation, breezes, and weathered soils. Yet they are as different from one another as they are alike, and there’s no better way to experience this than by tasting the wines each unique range creates.

We’ll likely sample bottles from the Sierra de Gredos, Sierra Foothills, Mount Etna, and the Mosel in Germany, to name a few.   We’ll taste whites, reds, maybe a rosé? Above all, it will be a hunt for complexity. We hope you’ll join us.


Zoom Details
  • We will meet two times, with each session covering three wines, and lasting for around 75 minutes.  The $50 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.

Wine Details 
  • 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 (LINK WILL BE ACTIVE BY TUESDAY 9/20).  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 

We love in-person classes, but we lost our space during the shutdown, and 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.
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