BWSEd Level 1: Certificate in Wine | Boston Wine School @ City Winery Boston

Level 1 Certificate in Wine
Saturday + Sunday, November 23 + 24 10am – 3pm each day

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Level 1 is an introductory course for beginners and enthusiasts. It assumes some exposure to wine but little or no formal wine knowledge. This program is appropriate for both consumers and professionals in all wine, food, hospitality and service industries.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Students will learn technical wine tasting, the major wine grapes, wine and food pairing basics, and fundamentals of wine style. The emphasis in Level 1 is on providing an overview of wine and wine tasting, plus an introduction to wine and food pairing concepts.

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM FORMAT
8 hour classroom program
20 – 24 wines tasted

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM SYLLABUS
Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting
The Big Four: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon
Understanding Wine Grapes: Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Rosé, Montepulciano, Syrah, Merlot
Wine Styles: Old World Versus New World

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
Guests, students and certificate candidates must meet the legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country where the program is being held: 21 in the USA and China.

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS
Complete classroom program
Complete classroom wine tasting exercise
Multiple choice exam of 25 questions
Minimum passing score 75%

YOUR EDUCATOR

Jonathon Alsop

JONATHON ALSOP is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School, author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional and In Vino Veritas, and a commentator for National Public Radio on WGBH | Boston Public Radio and Under The Radar.

He began writing about wine, food and travel in 1988 and emerged as a wine expert through his syndicated wine column. He has contributed numerous articles to the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer Magazine, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others.

Jonathon founded the Boston Wine School in 2000 where he teaches wine and food classes in a dedicated 100% snob-free zone. His new book Wine Life: A Collection Of Verses will be published in 2020.

VENUE


CITY WINERY strives to deliver the highest-end combined culinary and cultural experience to our customers who are passionate in sharing wine, music, and culinary arts. We are a unique facility, combining a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, food & wine classes, private events in a variety of configurations, and fine dining. We have created a compelling mix for our sophisticated clientele of foodies, and active cultural patrons—bringing the wine country experience to the middle of a large city.

CELLAR ROOM is an intimate space, perfect for 12 -14 wine lovers who want to learn how to taste, think, and talk about wine. The views from the classroom into the barrel room inform our tasting and learning in a concrete way. Learning wine in the cellar, tasting the very wines being made in that cellar, this makes wine life real and explains why wine matters in a vivid way.

City Winery | Boston
https://citywinery.com/boston 

BWSEd Level 1: Certificate in Wine | Boston Wine School @ Uva in Plymouth

Level 1 Certificate in Wine
Saturday + Sunday, November 16 + 17, 9am – 2pm each day

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Level 1 is an introductory course for beginners and enthusiasts. It assumes some exposure to wine but little or no formal wine knowledge. This program is appropriate for both consumers and professionals in all wine, food, hospitality and service industries.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Students will learn technical wine tasting, the major wine grapes, wine and food pairing basics, and fundamentals of wine style. The emphasis in Level 1 is on providing an overview of wine and wine tasting, plus an introduction to wine and food pairing concepts.

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM FORMAT
8 hour classroom program
20 – 24 wines tasted

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM SYLLABUS
Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting
The Big Four: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon
Understanding Wine Grapes: Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Rosé, Montepulciano, Syrah, Merlot
Wine Styles: Old World Versus New World

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
Guests, students and certificate candidates must meet the legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country where the program is being held: 21 in the USA and China.

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS
Complete classroom program
Complete classroom wine tasting exercise
Multiple choice exam of 25 questions
Minimum passing score 75%

YOUR EDUCATOR

Jonathon Alsop

JONATHON ALSOP is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School, author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional and In Vino Veritas, and a commentator for National Public Radio on WGBH | Boston Public Radio and Under The Radar.

He began writing about wine, food and travel in 1988 and emerged as a wine expert through his syndicated wine column. He has contributed numerous articles to the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer Magazine, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others.

Jonathon founded the Boston Wine School in 2000 where he teaches wine and food classes in a dedicated 100% snob-free zone. His new book Wine Life: A Collection Of Verses will be published in 2020.

VENUE

UVA WINE BAR is a fun place where people can enjoy, learn about and discover the pleasures of wine from around the world, on their own terms. We believe that wine tasting should be an approachable activity and brings together people who want to learn more about it, or just want a unique social experience with their friends. Uva staff are knowledgeable (but not pretentious) and offer superior customer service. Uva also offers a small selection of regional craft beers for those who aren’t as excited about wine as we are.

More info at https://uvawineplymouth.com

ONLY 7 LEFT! BWSEd Level 1: Certificate in Wine | Boston Wine School @ Roslindale

Level 1 Certificate in Wine
Saturday + Sunday, November 9 + 10, 10am – 3pm each day

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Level 1 is an introductory course for beginners and enthusiasts. It assumes some exposure to wine but little or no formal wine knowledge. This program is appropriate for both consumers and professionals in all wine, food, hospitality and service industries.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Students will learn technical wine tasting, the major wine grapes, wine and food pairing basics, and fundamentals of wine style. The emphasis in Level 1 is on providing an overview of wine and wine tasting, plus an introduction to wine and food pairing concepts.

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM FORMAT
8 hour classroom program
20 – 24 wines tasted

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM SYLLABUS
Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting
The Big Four: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon
Understanding Wine Grapes: Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Rosé, Montepulciano, Syrah, Merlot
Wine Styles: Old World Versus New World

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
Guests, students and certificate candidates must meet the legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country where the program is being held: 21 in the USA and China.

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS
Complete classroom program
Complete classroom wine tasting exercise
Multiple choice exam of 25 questions
Minimum passing score 75%

YOUR EDUCATOR

Jonathon Alsop

JONATHON ALSOP is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School, author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional and In Vino Veritas, and a commentator for National Public Radio on WGBH | Boston Public Radio and Under The Radar.

He began writing about wine, food and travel in 1988 and emerged as a wine expert through his syndicated wine column. He has contributed numerous articles to the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer Magazine, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others.

Jonathon founded the Boston Wine School in 2000 where he teaches wine and food classes in a dedicated 100% snob-free zone. His new book Wine Life: A Collection Of Verses will be published in 2020.

VENUE

Solera

SOLERA – A SHRINE TO WINE is a neighborhood specialty wine store nestled in the heart of Roslindale Square (Boston). The store, now in its 18th year is warmly decorated in green and deep purple resembling the colors of the grapes and filled with rack after rack of “offbeat wines”, pretty much everything a modern wine geek seeks out and loves, at more than reasonable prices.

With nearly 500 bottle selections from across the globe, unlike the monster chain stores and supermarkets, Solera takes a back seat to none and offers a stellar sampling of the world’s best and some unusual vineyards with average prices from 10 to 20 dollars or more, if your budget allows. Since wine education, and customer service are vital to our business, individual attention to the customer is the reason why the press has designated the Solera staff as “well versed grape-talkers”. When you want to smarten up on your wine there is no better place to do just that than in this little gem of a store, where wine is constantly being discussed with purpose and a smile!

LAST 6 TIX! BWSEd Level 2: Certificate in Wine and Wine Tasting | Boston Wine School @ Roslindale

Level 2 Certificate in Wine
Saturday + Sunday, October 26 + 27, 10am – 3pm each day

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Level 2 is a foundation course for experienced beginners and enthusiasts. It assumes basic exposure to wine and some technical wine tasting knowledge. This program is appropriate for both consumers and professionals in all wine, food, hospitality and service industries.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
This program focuses on the unique role that place plays in the world of wine. Students will learn the major wine regions of Europe, how wine making techniques influence wine style, and the language of wine. The aim of Level 2 is to provide a broad range of knowledge about wine history, wine agriculture, and wine making.

LEVEL 2 PROGRAM FORMAT
10 hours classroom program
24 – 30 wines tasted
Online multiple choice exam | 25 questions | Minimum passing score 75%
Wine tasting exam | 3 wines | 4 short-form questions | 1 essay question

LEVEL 2 SYLLABUS

DAY ONE, PART ONE | 10am – 12 pm
Veni Vidi Vino: Wines of Italy

DAY ONE, PART TWO | 1 – 3pm
The Language Of Wine
– Wine And Words
– Wine Label Interpretation
– Best New Wines You’ve Never Heard Of

DAY TWO, PART ONE | 10am – 12pm
Tour de France: Fundamentals Of French Wine

DAY TWO, PART TWO | 1 – 3 pm
Wine And Cheese: Making The Perfect Match
– Fundamentals of Wine & Food Pairing
– Wines of California, Oregon & Washington

DAY TWO, PART THREE | 3 – 5pm
Online multiple choice exam
Wine tasting exam

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
Guests, students and certificate candidates must meet the legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country where the  program is being held: 21 in the USA and China.

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS
Multiple choice exam of 25 questions
Wine tasting exam of 3 wines, 4 short-form questions, and 1 essay question
Complete classroom program
Complete classroom wine tasting exercise

YOUR EDUCATOR

Jonathon Alsop

JONATHON ALSOP is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School, author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional and In Vino Veritas, and a commentator for National Public Radio on WGBH | Boston Public Radio and Under The Radar.

He began writing about wine, food and travel in 1988 and emerged as a wine expert through his syndicated wine column. He has contributed numerous articles to the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer Magazine, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others.

Jonathon founded the Boston Wine School in 2000 where he teaches wine and food classes in a dedicated 100% snob-free zone. His new book Wine Life: A Collection Of Verses will be published in 2020.

VENUE

Solera

SOLERA – A SHRINE TO WINE is a neighborhood specialty wine store nestled in the heart of Roslindale Square (Boston). The store, now in its 18th year is warmly decorated in green and deep purple resembling the colors of the grapes and filled with rack after rack of “offbeat wines”, pretty much everything a modern wine geek seeks out and loves, at more than reasonable prices.

With nearly 500 bottle selections from across the globe, unlike the monster chain stores and supermarkets, Solera takes a back seat to none and offers a stellar sampling of the world’s best and some unusual vineyards with average prices from 10 to 20 dollars or more, if your budget allows. Since wine education, and customer service are vital to our business, individual attention to the customer is the reason why the press has designated the Solera staff as “well versed grape-talkers”. When you want to smarten up on your wine there is no better place to do just that than in this little gem of a store, where wine is constantly being discussed with purpose and a smile!

ONLY 6 LEFT! BWSEd Level 1: Certificate in Wine | Boston Wine School @ Beverly Farms

Level 1 Certificate in Wine
Saturday + Sunday, October 19 + 20, 10am – 3pm each day

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Level 1 is an introductory course for beginners and enthusiasts. It assumes some exposure to wine but little or no formal wine knowledge. This program is appropriate for both consumers and professionals in all wine, food, hospitality and service industries.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Students will learn technical wine tasting, the major wine grapes, wine and food pairing basics, and fundamentals of wine style. The emphasis in Level 1 is on providing an overview of wine and wine tasting, plus an introduction to wine and food pairing concepts.

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM FORMAT
8 hour classroom program
20 – 24 wines tasted

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM SYLLABUS
Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting
The Big Four: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon
Understanding Wine Grapes: Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Rosé, Montepulciano, Syrah, Merlot
Wine Styles: Old World Versus New World

TASTING SYLLABUS (tentative)
Part 1 The Big Four

2017 Riverdell Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough NZ
2017 Villa degli Olmi Chardonnay, Vicenza, Veneto, NE Italy
2017 Poiema Pinot Noir, Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, southern California, USA
2013 Aresti “Trisquel” Cabernet Sauvignon, Valle Central, Chile

Part 2 Grape Expectations
2018 i Lauri “Tavo” Pinot Grigio, Veneto, NE Italy
2015 Jakob Gerhardt “Das Meer” Riesling Trocken, Nierstein, central Rhine, western Germany
2018 Atlantique Cabernet Franc Rosé, Loire Valley, NW France
2016 Colle Corviano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, east-central Itay
2017 Villa degli Olmi Merlot, Vicenza, Veneto, NE Italy
2013 The Woodhouse “Dessek” Syrah, Washington, Pacific northwest, USA

Part 3 Wine Style
NV Palacio de Palau Cava Brut, Castilla, north-central Spain
2018 Atlantique Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley, NW France
2015 En Passant Cinsault + Syrah. Languedoc, SW France
2014 Siglo Rioja Crianza, Rioja, northern Spain
2017 Antico Colle Chianti Colli Senesi, Siena, Tuscany, central Italy
2014 Tacchino Barbera del Monferrato, Piemonte, northwest Italy

Part 4 New Worlds Of Wine
2018 Casa de Fonte Pequena “Mare Alta” Vinho Verde, northern Portugal
2018 Menhir “Minutolo” Fiano, Salento, Puglia, southwest Italy
2016 Vigna Roda “Espero” Cabernet Sauvignon + Carmenere, Colli Euganei, Padua, Veneto, northeast Italy
2014 Cavalo Preto Malbec, Mendoza, western Argentina
2013 Aresti “Trisquel” Cabernet Sauvignon + Syrah + Petit Verdot, Valle Central, Chile
2016 Tenuta Santo Pietro “Viper” Super Tuscan, Pienza, Tuscany, central Italy

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
Guests, students and certificate candidates must meet the legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country where the program is being held: 21 in the USA and China.

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS
Complete classroom program
Complete classroom wine tasting exercise
Multiple choice exam of 25 questions
Minimum passing score 75%

YOUR EDUCATOR

Jonathon Alsop

JONATHON ALSOP is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School, author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional and In Vino Veritas, and a commentator for National Public Radio on WGBH | Boston Public Radio and Under The Radar.

He began writing about wine, food and travel in 1988 and emerged as a wine expert through his syndicated wine column. He has contributed numerous articles to the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer Magazine, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others.

Jonathon founded the Boston Wine School in 2000 where he teaches wine and food classes in a dedicated 100% snob-free zone. His new book Wine Life: A Collection Of Verses will be published in 2020.

Boston Wine School @ Taste of WGBH | Wine & Food Festival

Saturday, October 12, 1-4pm | Artisan Taste
1-2pm Culinary Theatre with Callie Crossley | ABC: Anything But Chard & Cab
2-4pm Boston Wine School | Wine 101: How To Taste Wine And Why!
Saturday, October 12, 7-10pm | Food Fight
7-10pm Culinary Theatre | Fundamentals Of Wine & Food Pairing
Sunday, October 13, 11am-2pm | Brunch Bar
11am-2pm Boston Wine School | Tasting & Teaching Tuscany
TICKETS: https://www.wgbh.org/wgbh-food-wine-festival-2018/buy-tickets

The Experience

Chef Tastings. Live Demos. Specialty Craft Beer and Wine. Top Musical Acts. Beautiful Décor. Chef Competitions. Join us during one of the largest food and wine festivals in New England, where variety truly is the spice of life! This multiday festival offers events and activities over three days and celebrates the cultural diversity of the best culinary talents in the region.

There are adventures for every budget, giving you premier access to enjoy delicious food trends, educational seminars offering insight into the minds of chefs, live music from some of today’s best artists, and the most refreshing adult beverages from around the globe.

Tickets

https://www.wgbh.org/wgbh-food-wine-festival-2018/buy-tickets

Tickets to the Festival events are all-inclusive. You pay one price to sample the selection of food and beverages, enjoy the live music and chef demonstrations at each event without any hidden fees! Your ticket price also includes a wine glass to use throughout your day. VIP ticket holders receive early entry, special access and gifts not available to the general public.

Want the best value and most exclusive access? We’ve packaged 4 events into an All-Access Weekend Passport ticket, featuring special VIP early entrance at two events, VIP lounge access and special gifts. All events were sold out last year, so buy your tickets early… a weekend of delicious indulgence awaits you!

WAIT LIST! | VENI VIDI VINO Italy In Eight Wines | Boston Wine School @ Beverly Farms

One of the things that makes Italian wine so great – the incredible variety – is also one of the things that makes Italian wine so challenging to understand. From north to south, the grapes change dramatically. Pinot Grigio grown in the Alps and grown in Sicily are both called Italian. To understand Italian wine is to understand how all these multiple nearly identical wines are unique from one another.

Tasting class will begin with ancient but newly re-discovered grapes from southern Italy – Grillo (a chirpy white), Frappato (cherry red), and Primitivo (we call it Zinfandel). Next we’ll taste two Tuscan reds from the heart of Italy: Sangiovese (one level of paperwork away from Brunello) and Chianti DOCG (a delicious opportunity to talk about what each of those letters means). Finally, in northern Italy, we’ll wrap up our taste tour with rich ripe signature wines Valpolicella, Dolcetto, and Barbera.

Your Italian wine confidence will be sky high after this class. We’ll serve bread, cheese, olives and antipasto to go along with the wines we taste to highlight some fundamentals of pairing.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

This is a Level 1 introductory course for beginners and enthusiasts. It assumes some exposure to wine but little or no formal wine knowledge. This program is appropriate for both wine lovers and professionals in all wine, food, hospitality and service industries.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

Students will taste and learn a broad range of landmark grapes from southern, central, and northern Italy. In just two hours and eight bottles, you’ll know if you’re a Chianti person, or a Sicilian red wine lover, or if your tastes tend to cooler Alpine wines. This class will review some fundamentals of technical wine tasting to start, then taste its way from one end of Italy to the other. The emphasis in class is on giving people tools to understand wine and understand themselves, and then practicing the language of wine in class in the moment of discovery.

PROGRAM FORMAT

2 hour classroom program
6 – 8 wines tasted
Bread, cheese, olives, antipasto

TASTING SYLLABUS (tentative)

SOUTHERN STARS
2017 Gorghi Tondi “Kheire” Grillo
2017 Baglio delle Fate Frappato
2013 Menhir Salice Salentino Riserva

THE HEART OF SANGIOVESE
2017 Innocenti “Lume” Sangiovese
2014 Pio II Chianti DOCG

NORTH BY NORTHWEST
2014 La Dama Valpolicella Ripasso
2017 Giorgio Carnevale Dolcetto d’Alba
2014 Tacchino Barbera del Monferrato

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Guests, students and certificate candidates must meet the legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country where the program is being held: 21 in the USA and China.

YOUR EDUCATOR

Jonathon Alsop

JONATHON ALSOP is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School, author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional and In Vino Veritas, and a commentator for National Public Radio on WGBH | Boston Public Radio and Under The Radar.

He began writing about wine, food and travel in 1988 and emerged as a wine expert through his syndicated wine column. He has contributed numerous articles to the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer Magazine, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others.

Jonathon founded the Boston Wine School in 2000 where he teaches wine and food classes in a dedicated 100% snob-free zone. His new book Wine Life: A Collection Of Verses will be published in 2020.

LAST 3 TIX! BWSEd Level 1: Certificate in Wine | Boston Wine School @ Roslindale

Level 1 Certificate in Wine
Saturday + Sunday, September 21 + 22, 10am – 3pm each day

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Level 1 is an introductory course for beginners and enthusiasts. It assumes some exposure to wine but little or no formal wine knowledge. This program is appropriate for both consumers and professionals in all wine, food, hospitality and service industries.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Students will learn technical wine tasting, the major wine grapes, wine and food pairing basics, and fundamentals of wine style. The emphasis in Level 1 is on providing an overview of wine and wine tasting, plus an introduction to wine and food pairing concepts.

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM FORMAT
8 hour classroom program
20 – 24 wines tasted

LEVEL 1 PROGRAM SYLLABUS
Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting
The Big Four: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon
Understanding Wine Grapes: Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Rosé, Montepulciano, Syrah, Merlot
Wine Styles: Old World Versus New World

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS
Guests, students and certificate candidates must meet the legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country where the program is being held: 21 in the USA and China.

CERTIFICATE REQUIREMENTS
Complete classroom program
Complete classroom wine tasting exercise
Multiple choice exam of 25 questions
Minimum passing score 75%

YOUR EDUCATOR

Jonathon Alsop

JONATHON ALSOP is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School, author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional and In Vino Veritas, and a commentator for National Public Radio on WGBH | Boston Public Radio and Under The Radar.

He began writing about wine, food and travel in 1988 and emerged as a wine expert through his syndicated wine column. He has contributed numerous articles to the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer Magazine, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others.

Jonathon founded the Boston Wine School in 2000 where he teaches wine and food classes in a dedicated 100% snob-free zone. His new book Wine Life: A Collection Of Verses will be published in 2020.

VENUE

Solera

SOLERA – A SHRINE TO WINE is a neighborhood specialty wine store nestled in the heart of Roslindale Square (Boston). The store, now in its 18th year is warmly decorated in green and deep purple resembling the colors of the grapes and filled with rack after rack of “offbeat wines”, pretty much everything a modern wine geek seeks out and loves, at more than reasonable prices.

With nearly 500 bottle selections from across the globe, unlike the monster chain stores and supermarkets, Solera takes a back seat to none and offers a stellar sampling of the world’s best and some unusual vineyards with average prices from 10 to 20 dollars or more, if your budget allows. Since wine education, and customer service are vital to our business, individual attention to the customer is the reason why the press has designated the Solera staff as “well versed grape-talkers”. When you want to smarten up on your wine there is no better place to do just that than in this little gem of a store, where wine is constantly being discussed with purpose and a smile!

What Gives Vino Its Veritas?

BOSTON, MA — “In Vino Veritas” doesn’t mean that wine contains some enduring, romantic, artistic truth. It means what we all know: when people drink wine, they talk. They speak truths they say they don’t mean, or at least don’t mean to say out loud. Wine’s active ingredient – alcohol – causes these slips, which is why it’s smart to keep your vino and your veritas far apart.

When we transform into talkative truth mode, we connect back to the specific physical transformative moment when grape juice turned into wine, when its sugar became alcohol, which is what makes this whole conversation possible.

Wine opens a great well of veritas, simultaneously freeing the tongue and focusing description on wine’s exotic flavors. On a biochemical level, this comes directly from the alcohol: one alcohol molecule plus one acid molecule equals one ester molecule, the thing in organic chemistry that makes everything aromatic and flavorful, from nail polish remover to honeydew to brown sugar.

New molecules can be so similar in structure to, just for instance, the honeydew ester that they’re sometimes instantly recognizable. What makes the language of wine a championship of imprecision and challenge is that these molecules aren’t identical, and what we try to talk about is a dimension or two beyond direct comparison. When you do it right, you can drink great wine in the here and now and bring the cosmos in at the same time.

Wine lovers still attribute wine to magic and call wines magical every day. The intervention of Dionysus (Bacchus in Rome) gives you the godly magic component you apparently need to make great wine. Every time I bow my head to put my nose into a glass of wine, I think how wine was once a god and even worshipers today are wine atheists.

What We Write About When We Write About Wine

By Jonathon Alsop

BOSTON, MA — First thing they teach you in journalism school is don’t write what you know. Go out into the great big world and find something new and interesting that you don’t know, that ideally no one knows. Discover it, figure it out, understand something about it, then explain it to other people in writing.
Do that once with anything like style, and congratulations, you’re a writer. Do that once on the topic of wine, and you’re a wine writer.

One of the main challenges of wine writing – as if there even are challenges and anyone anywhere cares about them – is resisting the urge to write about wine as a thing. It’s easy to do because wine is a thing, a wonderful thing, but the most interesting part of wine is not the concrete dimension, but the time churning experience of consuming a wine, having it be deliriously delicious for a moment and then gone forever.

I like the hands-on experience of schiste and loam as much as the next person – soils and weathers and growing conditions explain a lot – but as a wine reader, I want to know what it means more than what it is.

Limestone may well be soil composed of prehistoric sea shells and skeletons, so it’s high in calcium, which makes sense and is interesting on its own, but what’s that taste like in the glass? More importantly, do I like that flavor, and should I start asking for wines from high-calcium soil, or is asking that question going to be as epic a conversation killer as it seems destined to be?

Wine lovers rely on a lot of different sources to inform their wine selections: maybe your own taste or mood, often the people around you at any given table, sometimes a distant, accomplished expert. I like to watch people in tasting class start to connect with their own taste and mood, to see them realize they’re not wrong about Cabernet Sauvignon, they’re just Pinot Noir people, or vice versa. What I write about wine is what we teach about wine: what wine means, what it makes you think and feel, the story behind the story.


Chateau Grand Ferrand "La Palombiere" 2014

2014 Château Grand Ferrand “La Palombière” Malbec
(Bordeaux, western France, 85% Malbec + 15% Merlot, $21.99)

Translate the name of this wine into core English and it comes out 2014 Great Iron Castle “Pigeon Coop” Malbec, which would be an entirely unremarkable name if it was from some Australian or South African iconoclast winemaker. Instead, it merely specifies a particular vineyard – the one with the pigeon coop – where the grapes were grown.

Wines with this much Malbec in the blend are abundantly common in Argentina but not in France. In France, Malbec is a minor blending grape that makes a 2% – 5% appearance in Bordeaux blends, coming in a distant 5th place behind Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Thank you, Argentina, for changing our world view about what Malbec can be and how it can be made. The grape arrived in South America from France in the 1840s, but now the influence is flowing the other way. This Grand Ferrand Malbec is leaner and stonier than examples from Argentina, which makes it an especially ideal match with big red meats and aggressive cheese.