SOLD OUT / WAIT LIST! Wines Of Italy Part 1: Cool Northern Italy | Boston Wine School @ Beverly Farms

WINES OF NORTHERN ITALY with special guest wine maker Gianni Strazzacappa from Vigna Roda (tentative)

In the wine geography of Italy, there really is no east and west. Italian wine and food culture is all about north and south. This segment of “Wines Of Italy” focuses on Veneto – the northeast – and Piemonte – the northwest. Although they are the two most northern Italian wine regions, they could not be more different: different grapes, soils, styles and wine making techniques. You’ll taste six of northern Italy’s core grapes from four major regions that comprise our curriculum for understanding Italian wines. We’ll have you fluent in Barbera in no time!

“Wines Of Italy” 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.

Students will learn technical wine tasting, major wine grapes, wine and food pairing basics, and fundamentals of wine style. The emphasis is on providing an overview of Italian wine and wine tasting.

2 hour classroom program | 6 – 8 wines + bread, cheese, olives

Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting | Wine’s Sense Of Place | Grape Expectations
Prosecco + Pinot Grigio
Ripasso di Valpolicella
Vigna Roda

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.

Complete 2 out of 3 classroom programs
Complete classroom wine tasting exercise
Multiple choice exam of 25 questions
Minimum passing score 75%


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.


PSP IMPORTS is a fully integrated importer and wholesaler of wine and olive oil. We grow and produce a portion of our portfolio in the Tuscan hill town of Pienza, Italy. We source the best available products through local personal connections. And we are part of food and wine culture though our 24-person agritourismo at the vineyard Tenuta Santa Pietro. All of this goes together to create a unique portfolio of the highest quality wines and olive oil from all over the world.

Wine Word Of The Month: “Lean”

By Jonathon Alsop

BOSTON, MA — It’s hard to speak the language of wine because it’s a language invented by drunk people, but wine lovers blame themselves for the convoluted vocabulary. Talking about wine is like writing a poem where multiple literal and metaphorical images appear and overlap. But it would help if we could get clear on a few basic words.

Someone threw the word “lean” into the mix the other night in class to describe the body of an Italian Pinot Grigio we were tasting. The opposite of “lean” is “fat” or “big and round” – think archetypical California Chardonnay. The PG in question was light in weight and silver in color, edgy, zippy, a little watery, but in a good way.

We use a lot of body image descriptors to talk about wine – a big red can be legitimately called a “body builder” – and they are a natural way to think and talk about wine.

HOMEWORK: Use it in a sentence. For instance: “I want a glass of white wine, something lean and light.”

Paolo Valle Pinot Grigio 2016

Something lean and light? Here you go!

One of the challenges with Italian Pinot Grigio is that it’s extremely different depending on where it’s grown in Italy. Sometimes, grown hot and wild in the south, Pinot Grigio comes off thin and watery, but not this one. Friuli is the foothills of the Alps – next stop, Austria and Slovenia – and the growing season is long and cool. What slow cooking does for food, slow growing does for wine. The result is a suave, rich Pinot Grigio to pair with seafood of all kinds, wild mushroom risotto, even fragrant veal and pork dishes.

2016 Paolo Valle Pinot Grigio
100% Pinot Grigio
(Friuli, northeast Italy, $18.99)