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Grape Escape Classes

Wine 101 Essentials: How to Taste, Grape to Glass & Sensory Tour 

Discover a diverse assortment of wines and how to decipher a wine label. Become skilled at the art of wine tasting by training your palate to identify acidity, tannin, sweetness and alcohol. With a systematic approach, you will also learn how to analyze wine on the basis of appearance, aroma, and taste. As you first begin to taste wine, you may not be able to identify the hundreds of aromas present in your glass. ‘M” will guide you on a tour of the senses with a one-of-a-kind, fun, and interactive sensorial circuit based on the themes of smell, sight, and taste! Understanding the complex characteristics of wine comes with time, and lots of tasting. Experience and a little knowledge of technique will help you along on your appreciation of one of life’s greatest elixirs. Grape varieties, growing regions, production methods, serving, storage and the basics of food and wine pairing will also be discussed. 11 wines (1 sparkling, 4 white, 1 rose, 4 red, 1 fortified) will be tasted and a minimum of 16 aromatic aids will also be experienced.


A “Pure Blind” Global Red Wine Class  

Each grape variety has its own unique combination of characteristics including color, size, skin thickness, acidity, yield per vine and flavors. In this session you will learn about the characteristics of eight red grapes and their key growing regions:
1. Cabernet Sauvignon
2. Grenache
3. Malbec
4. Merlot
5. Pinot Noir
6. Tempranillo
7. Sangiovese
8. Syrah
You will then taste them blind in two flights of four to see if you can match the wine to the tasting note. The class will conclude with a blind tasting of one wine to see if you can correctly guess the grape variety. Nine wines will be tasted and enjoyed with a variety of cheeses, meats, and other light appetizers.


The Ultimate Valentine’s Trio of Wine, Cheese & Chocolate 

Pairing wine and chocolate or wine and cheese is not a straightforward pairing. It takes a bit of experimenting to find the best combinations but when success is achieved it can be a match beyond compare. Tips will be revealed to help you understand why certain types of chocolate have a better chance of working with more wines than others or why an aged, salty cheese packed with flavor tends to pair better with dessert wines. Prepare to be indulged as you enjoy a global selection of five wines, cheeses and chocolates. 

The Art of the Blend – Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot 

What is a Meritage or Bordeaux? They are both blends. You will be lead through a component tasting of the principal red Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), with a hands-on blending exercise and discussion.  You each get to make your own mélange and then compare it to the actual blend. When was the last time you got to play with a beaker and enjoy tasting the results? For this session we won’t be going to France but will stay “local” with an all California line-up of single varietal wines and blends. Seven wines (1 Cabernet Franc, 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, 1 Merlot and 4 blends) plus your own creation will be enjoyed with a variety of light appetizers.

A Tale of Two Pinots - Exploring the New Frontier of California & Oregon Pinot Noir 

The terrain of California and Oregon have a complete mix of soil, climate and other growing conditions that make it ideal for growing a wide variety of grape varieties: white and red.  For this session the focus will be on one grape only – Pinot Noir.  You will come to understand why, perhaps more than any other varietal, this thin-skinned, temperamental grape is able to capture and reflect the unique characteristics of its individual site. 'M' will share some fun facts as well as dig into geology, geography, history, people and the ABC’s of Pinot Noir.  Seven exceptional Pinots will be enjoyed with a variety of meats, cheeses and other light appetizers. 

Super Tuscans & Other Specialties of the Region 

No other category of Italian wine has made such an impact as that of the “Super-Tuscan”. These red wines have single handedly been responsible for the “renaissance” of Italian Wine. Many are of high quality and quite expensive (Tignanello, Sassicaia, Solaia). They are typically Sangiovese (key grape of Tuscany) with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah. However, a Super-Tuscan can be pretty much anything. It can take the form of a single varietal such as Cabernet Sauvignon or any blend of varietals. Eight wines will be enjoyed with Italian cheeses, charcuterie, and other accompaniments, selected to enhance the tasting experience.


The Killer B's of Wine – Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello & Burgundy 

They represent the most collected pure-varietal red wines of Italy and France. These supreme reds, attract much attention, and are capable of aging for decades. They are among the most collectible wines of not just Italy and France but of the world! This session will feature wines that exemplify their respective regions and grape varieties so that you can become familiar with the key characteristics of each and apply what you learn in a final blind tasting. Eight wines will be tasted and enjoyed with a selection of regional cheeses, meats, and other light appetizers.

Pinot Noir: A Comprehensive Class on the ‘Heartbreak Grape’ 

The wines in this tasting are all made from the same grape variety – Pinot Noir. You will come to understand why, perhaps more than any other varietal, this thin-skinned, temperamental grape is able to capture and reflect the unique characteristics of its individual site. We will compare and contrast eight distinctive Pinot Noirs from around the globe and enjoy them with a variety of cheeses, meats, and other light appetizers. The session will conclude with a blind tasting of one Pinot Noir to see if you can identify the wine’s true origin. 
See the Class Schedule page for January - April, 2018 dates, times and pricing.