Houston’s own wine legend and Spec’s fine wine buyer, Bear Dalton, will be offering a four-part wine 101 class this January as part of the Wine School at l’Alliance Française. The class will meet Monday evenings at 7, January 7-28, and will explore tasting, winemaking basics, and sparkling and fortified wines. Participants will taste 40 wines from around the world as they learn. The four-part series cost is $200 per person cash ($210.52 regular) for all four sessions.
The series is designed for those just developing their interest in wine, and want to get a great start, as well as those who feel the need for a thorough review to help organize their tasting and thinking about wine. It’s also a good place to start for a service professional looking to move more into the wine side of the restaurant business or anyone looking to move into the wholesale or retail wine trade. Basically, it’s a great starter course as well as refresher.
Here’s what each week will cover:
Week 1: Why Taste? Starting at the beginning: The basics of tasting (1/7/13)
Tasting wine versus drinking wine. Sensory evaluation. Types of tasting. Blind tasting. Playing “The Options Game.” Ten wines will be tasted. Additional topics will include proper glassware, wine tools, and the restaurant wine ritual.
Week 2: White wine making and white wine varieties and styles (1/14/13)
We will taste ten white wines including Chardonnay with and without oak, off-dry whites, and sweet dessert wine. Topics will include how grape growing and winemaking affect wine style and flavors and how the types of wine represented by those tasted pair with food. We also will talk about wine storage and wine preservation and the concept of terroir.
Week 3: Red (and Rosé) wine making and red wine varieties (1/21/13)
We will taste ten red wines representing a range of styles and varieties including new world versus old world comparisons. Topics will include how grape growing and winemaking affect wine style and flavors and how the types of wine represented by those tasted pair with food. We also will talk about age-ability and age-worthiness as well as wine keeping and wine collecting.
Week 4: Sparkling Wines (ranging from the Charmat bulk process wines – such as Prosecco – to real French Champagne) and Fortified wines focusing mostly on Port (1/28/13):
We will discuss grape varieties, styles, techniques and their impact on flavor. We will discuss decanting and decanters and pairing these unusual partners with food.
Ready to sign up or have questions?
All sessions of this class will be held at l’Alliance Française, located at 427 Lovett Blvd. l’Alliance is on the southeast corner of Lovett and Whitney (one block south of Westheimer and two blocks east of Montrose).