What wine course would interest you?
October 11, 2012 5:46 PM   Subscribe

My friend is starting a wine education company in Canada. He's trying to come up with a list of courses that would appeal to the widest audience. Right now he has a course on VQA wines, Italian wines, French wines, "How to find value wine", pinot noirs of the world (Oregon, Burgundy, California, New Zealand...) and is contemplating a course in Cabernets. Can you think of something that is missing or that would interest you more than what he has?
posted by jmmpangaea to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Pairing food and wine.
posted by the fish at 5:50 PM on October 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

Before dinner wines. I love Prosecco with appetizers, but there are other light spritzy wines.
posted by francesca too at 5:58 PM on October 11, 2012

Wines for parties-- not just pairing with specific foods but also how to prep them, glasses, amounts...

Fun and interesting "hidden" wines-- unusual stories, locations, names...

Maybe a focus in how to actually taste or what to look for? Not in a snobby sort of way, but more how to figure out your own likes and dislikes?
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:01 PM on October 11, 2012

In a similar vein as the Prosecco comment, I love sparkling wines! It would be great to learn about the sparkling wines of the world -- Cava, Champagne, Prosecco, Spumante, Asti...
posted by Kronur at 6:03 PM on October 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

I took a survey of white wine course once that was really great. I think most people focus on the reds and don't really know what is available/what to look for in a white.
posted by goggie at 6:06 PM on October 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

How about a vertical wine tasting? It might seem kind of specialty, but it is exactly the sort of thing I'd be interested in, because I would not normally go out and BUY several years of the same wine, but it would be cool to be able to try it with a bunch of other people.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:15 PM on October 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Maybe a focus in how to actually taste or what to look for? Not in a snobby sort of way, but more how to figure out your own likes and dislikes?

I'd take a class like this. Toss in some info about how to order or purchase wine by describing the traits that you like and don't like and I'm so there. I am AWFUL at doing that, and I think most people are.

Also maybe a 'wine types 101' type deal.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:21 PM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fun and interesting "hidden" wines-- unusual stories, locations, names...

Yes! This! A "Beyond France And Italy" course! He could focus on somewhat known but less important regions like Argentina and Portugal, as well as dipping into places with great wines that nobody knows about, like South Africa, Austria, and the Balkans. I'd also suggest the Middle East and Ethiopia, but every example I've tried has been pretty lackluster -- maybe he knows some importers with good access there?
posted by Sara C. at 6:31 PM on October 11, 2012

I'd certainly be interested in unusual grapes from the less popular countries. I think you could pitch this as finding hidden gems as well as getting a lot of bang for the buck.
posted by mmascolino at 6:43 PM on October 11, 2012

Organic wines are the big 'new thing' where I live in Australia, perhaps there is an equivalent growing interest in your neck of the woods.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 6:49 PM on October 11, 2012

Maybe not a whole class, but throughout the classes talk about different wine glasses. Why there are different shapes for different kinds of wines, the stems, etc.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:00 PM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, I'd totally go to a "Beyond France and Italy" course per Sara C.'s suggestion. Or even a course based on price point - great performers at a given dollar threshold.
posted by machine at 7:01 PM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I took a wine course a few years ago which was arranged around grape varieties. Every week the teacher took one grape variety each for red and white wines, and we sampled three wines for each variety. Mostly it was one European wine, one South African/Australian/American wine, and one slightly more unusual example (maybe more distinctive taste, maybe a smaller producing country). It was really successful. I was particularly interested to compare the French wines that I know by area of origin with the Australian or Californian wines using the same grape varieties.
posted by Azara at 7:08 PM on October 11, 2012

Twenty under $20 - an introduction to twenty different wines, each under $20.

Perfect pairings - the basics of pairing (with tasting of both the food and the wine).

Wine and Cheese - pairing wines with cheese.

Big and Bold - a collection of big red wines.
posted by grudgebgon at 7:56 PM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would love to take a "break the rules" class. We all know to pair big reds with steaks and red-meat roasts, and whites with seafood. But there are (so I've been told, anyway) some seafood dishes that pair with light reds, and some heartier whites that can stand up to red meat. It would be neat to compare and contrast the "traditional" vs. inventive pairings for a single dish, to see what different elements of the wine and food are brought out.

Also a rose class. People overlook rose!

Also a Pairing With Asian Foods class.

(Okay, maybe not a whole course on any one of these, but I think they'd be fun sessions to include.)

Also please send me your friend's class details once it's all set up!
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 8:07 PM on October 11, 2012

An 'Absolute Beginner' course. This would cover all of the basics that oenophiles take for granted (basic pairings, letting wines breathe, which glass for which wine, what's a dessert wine versus a dinner wine and how do you tell, etc etc.).

I'm guessing a lot of people are kind of intimidated (wine has a lot of jargon and rituals that are only semi-penetrable by outsiders) and would welcome a course that would serve as a gateway to later courses where some knowledge is presumed.
posted by librarylis at 8:13 PM on October 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

nthing glasses. Also cultivation, the process of fermentation, the type of wood(s) used in barrels.
posted by uhom at 9:16 PM on October 11, 2012

A class about the vocabulary of wine tasting accompanied by samples. I love trying people's suggestions, particularly those who work in wine departments or liquor stores, but I wish I had a better vocabulary to describe my likes and dislikes. Also, it would help with reading labels and wine descriptions.
posted by katemcd at 10:28 PM on October 11, 2012

A superstars course (wines from big name winemakers), an up and coming superstar course and perhaps a course on new world/old world wines (wines from known old world winemakers operating in the new world).
posted by MuffinMan at 12:06 AM on October 12, 2012

I'd love more on the unusual varietals - beyond merlot & Cabernet for example. This sounds like an awesome business!
posted by pointystick at 5:33 AM on October 12, 2012

Best answer: Sorely needed, and hugely popular when done right: a cut-through-the-oenophile-bullshit-and-just-learn-to-find-wine-you-love course.

The overload of ancient lore in the wine world, which is what 99.9% of wine courses normally teach (and thereby reaffirm), is precisely what keeps so many people away from wine. It's a choice to make: either cater to those aspiring to join the oenophile elite, or else unleash the magic of wine unfettered by all the blahblah. There are various ways to slash through all the waffle and get back to the awesome, immediate and infinitely manifold pleasure of drinking a good wine, from the brazen (Vaynerchuck) to the axiomatic (Luca Maroni).

It takes substantial wine knowledge to steer clear of all the tropes and trappings of conoisseurdom and wine-fetishism, plus a contagious gift of communication to lend your listeners the courage to do without all the usual accoutrements, codes and dogma. At the end of the course, they will not be able to don the haughty air of the wine-expert - but they will likely be greater wine-lovers for it.

On the pratical side, this pretty much comes down to lots of comparative drinking, and learning to remember what you like (and then perhaps exploring why you like them, and how to find other wines you'll like).
posted by progosk at 2:17 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: All great answers. I really appreciate your input. Thanks.
posted by jmmpangaea at 6:47 AM on October 15, 2012

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