Give the Gift of Wine Education at BWS

ENOUGH STUFF | This year, give the gift of wine, food, people & fun with a BWS gift certificate

 


Gift tickets are applicable to all Boston Wine School classes and are good for seven years from the date of issue, per the laws of the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Gift tickets are not refundable nor redeemable for cash.

LAST 2 TIX! Wine, Cheese And The Pursuit Of Happiness | Boston Wine School @ Roslindale

Wine and cheese are a naturally delicious combination. They’ve been together for 8,000 years that we know of, and our species has been busy figuring out ways to make both of them more and more delicious all the time. The match of wine and cheese is partly natural and automatic, but by applying ourselves, our tastes, our abilities to understand and choose, we can put together pairings that are many times greater than just the sum of the parts.

This class – limited to 14 students – will taste six major wine and cheese combinations together that express the full range of how these foods match up: by style, by texture, by flavor, geography, even temperament.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

“Wine, Cheese And The Pursuit Of Happiness”  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 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 cheese pairing concepts.

PROGRAM FORMAT
2 hour classroom program
6 wines + 6 cheeses tasted

PROGRAM SYLLABUS

TASTING LIST (tentative – subject to change)

Bubbling Over

NV Villa Jolanda Prosecco
100% Glera
(Prosecco, Veneto, northeast Italy)

Liuzzi Ricotta Fresca
(Cow’s milk, Hamden, CT, USA)

Salt & Acid

2018 Clos Fussay Sauvignon Blanc
100% Sauvignon Blanc
(Reuilly, Loire Valley, northwest France)

Garrotxa
(Goat’s milk, Catalonia, northeast Spain)

Blending In

2016 14 Hands “Hot To Trot”
Chardonnay + Riesling + Others blend
(Washington, Pacific Northwest, USA)

Beemster X-O | Aged 26 months
(Cow’s milk, Beemster, north Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Grape Expectations

2014 Terrilogio Toscana
85% Sangiovese + 10% Cabernet Sauvignon + 5% Merlot
(Tuscany, central Italy)

Robiola al Tartufo
(Cow’s milk, Umbria. central Italy)

Sheepish

2017 El Capricho Tannat
100% Tannat
(Uruguay, South America)

Sfizio Crotonese | Aged 9 months
(Sheep’s milk, Calabria, southern Italy)

Kind Of Blue

2018 Cave de Roquebrun “Chemin des Olivettes”
45% Syrah + 30% Grenache + 15% Mourvèdre + 10% Carignan blend
(Languedoc, southwest France)

Fourme d’Ambert
(Cow’s milk blue, Ambert, Central France)

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.

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!

Wine 101: How To Taste Wine And Why | Boston Wine School @ Roslindale

Not sure if you know the difference between red, white and rosé? What are sparkling wines and why aren’t they all called Champagne? How does Sauvignon Blanc differ from Cabernet Sauvignon?

The Boston Wine School is here to help answer those questions and more. “How To Taste Wine And Why” is an ideal class for wine lovers just starting their explorations of wine. You will learn about the 4 major wine styles and focus in on 4 of the most popular wine grape varieties. In the process, you will begin to learn basic wine tasting skills and how to describe the different personalities of these wines. An assortment of cheeses and antipasto will be served during class to introduce some of the fundamentals of pairing wine and food.

Here at the Boston Wine School, we are a 100% Wine Snob Free Zone. We believe that learning about wine involves learning more about yourself. Our goal is to help you understand and communicate what you are experiencing when you are enjoying a glass of wine. Come start your wine journey with us.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
“How To Taste Wine And Why”  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 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, 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.

PROGRAM FORMAT
2 hour classroom program
6 wines + bread, cheese, olives

PROGRAM SYLLABUS

TASTING LIST (tentative – subject to change)

Bubbling Over

NV Villa Jolanda Prosecco
(Prosecco, Veneto, northeast Italy)

Wild Vines

2018 Clos Fussay Reuilly Sauvignon Blanc
(Reuilly, Loire Valley, northwest France)

To Oak Or Not To Oak?

2018 Grove Ridge Chardonnay
(California, USA)

Pretty In Pink

2017 Altopiano Rosato
(Terre di Chieti, Abruzzo, east-central Italy)

Pinot To The People

2016 Yering Station “Little Yering” Pinot Noir
(Yarra Valley, southern Australia)

Life Is A Cabernet

2016 Puerto Infinito Cabernet Sauvignon
(Aconcagua, Mendoza, Argentina)

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.

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!

WAIT LIST! Wine 101: Wine Tasting For The Complete Novice | Boston Wine School @ Roslindale

Not sure if you know the difference between red, white and rosé? What are sparkling wines and why aren’t they all called Champagne? How does Sauvignon Blanc differ from Cabernet Sauvignon?

The Boston Wine School is here to help answer those questions and more. “Wine Tasting for the Complete Novice” is an ideal class for wine lovers just starting their explorations of wine. You will learn about the 4 major wine styles and focus in on 4 of the most popular wine grape varieties. In the process, you will begin to learn basic wine tasting skills and how to describe the different personalities of these wines. An assortment of cheeses and antipasto will be served during class to introduce some of the fundamentals of pairing wine and food.

Here at the Boston Wine School, we are a 100% Wine Snob Free Zone. We believe that learning about wine involves learning more about yourself. Our goal is to help you understand and communicate what you are experiencing when you are enjoying a glass of wine. Come start your wine journey with us.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

“Wine Tasting for the Complete Novice”  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 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, 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.

PROGRAM FORMAT
2 hour classroom program
6 wines + bread, cheese, olives

PROGRAM SYLLABUS

TASTING LIST (tentative – subject to change)

Bubbling Over

NV Villa Jolanda Prosecco
(Prosecco, Veneto, northeast Italy)

Wild Vines

2018 Clos Fussay Reuilly Sauvignon Blanc
(Reuilly, Loire Valley, northwest France)

To Oak Or Not To Oak?

2018 Grove Ridge Chardonnay
(California, USA)

Pretty In Pink

2017 Altopiano Rosato
(Terre di Chieti, Abruzzo, east-central Italy)

Pinot To The People

2016 Yering Station “Little Yering” Pinot Noir
(Yarra Valley, southern Australia)

Life Is A Cabernet

2016 Puerto Infinito Cabernet Sauvignon
(Aconcagua, Mendoza, Argentina)

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.

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!

Best New (Croatian) Wines You’ve Never Heard Of, Part Two | Zoom Wine Class

Croatia is one of the hottest wine regions on the planet right now. For the red wine lovers out there, Plavac Mali is a must-know grape!

DISCOVERING NEW TASTES | For the true wine lover, life is a constant tasting of discovery. This is what the newcomer and the veteran wine lover have in common: the excitement of experiencing a new grape, or a new place, or a new style from anywhere around the world. In this class, we’re discovering Croatia’s signature red grape called Plavac Mali, a real tooth-blackening wine you’ll want to add to your repertoire. One of Plavac Mali’s genetic parents is a red grape we call Zinfandel, so it’s both delightfully familiar and new at the same time.

Get ready to learn new grapes and some new geography, but most importantly, you’re be tasting a unique world of wine styles for the very first time with great education and like-minded wine and food lovers.

#RESTAURANTSTRONG | Thank you for tasting great wine for a great cause! Part of each ticket will go to benefit the #RestaurantStrong Fund supporting restaurant people across the country impacted by Covid-19 . And the wines you buy to taste along in class, all that goes right to your local wine shops.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS | I’m going to open and teach these three wines:

2018 Vina Deak “Ćaća moj” Plavac Mali Rosé

2016 Terra Madre “Premium” Plavac Mali

2016 Komarna 7 Plavac Mali

You can order from Solera: A Shrine To Wine at our Roslindale campus. Solera is open for curbside pick-up Saturdays and Sundays right now.

You can also order online from the importer if that’s more convenient. Here are the links to the wines we’ll be tasting:

Vina Deak “Ćaća moj” Plavac Mali Rosé | Terra Madre “Premium” Plavac Mali | Komarna 7 Plavac Mali

HOW ABOUT FOOD? | Here are a few food pairing suggestions. Feel free to use this as a guide, come up with your own ideas and have fun with it all!

Cheese | Pecorino pepato (salty sheep’s milk cheese with whole peppercorns), Gorgonzola (cow’s milk blue), and Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue (smoked cow’s milk blue)

Meat | Soppressata, bison burgers, braised short ribs of beef, and lamb shanks

THREE WINE GLASSES & A WEBCAM | You can go as big or as little as you like. Taste along with all three plus all the foods, pick one or two that sound especially good, or just tune in and learn about Croatia with whatever you have in your glass.

After you sign up, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link and password for the tasting class. You’ll receive an email reminder a couple of days before, then a reminder about an hour before class starts.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND | This 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, major wine grapes, wine and food pairing basics, and fundamentals of wine style. The emphasis is on providing an overview of Plavac Mali and where it fits in the world of wine and wine tasting.

PROGRAM FORMAT | 1 hour online program

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 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.

How To Taste Wine And Why | Zoom Wine Class

Get ready to learn the fundamentals of wine tasting, and start getting more out of every single glass of wine you taste!

TASTING, THINKING & TALKING ABOUT WINE Wine should be simple and fun, and honestly sometimes wine lovers make it so much harder than it has to be it almost drives me to beer. Fact is, the more you know about wine, the more you love wine, and the more different kinds of wines you love. This class is for the engaged newcomer who’s ready to take wine tasting to the next level that we all can feel is there. You’ll learn technical wine tasting while experiencing a great range of wine colors, styles, and flavors. Learn what makes red wine red and start speaking Sauvignon fluently.

#RESTAURANTSTRONG Thank you for tasting great wine for a great cause! Part of each ticket will go to benefit the #RestaurantStrong Fund supporting restaurant people across the country impacted by Covid-19 . And the wines you buy to taste along in class, all that goes right to your local wine shops.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS I’m going to open and teach these three wines.

2018 Cellier des Chartreux ‘Blue’ Sauvignon Blanc (Pujaut, southern Rhône , southern France, about $15)

2018 Lavendette Rosé de Provence (Provence, southern France, about $15)

2017 Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles, southern California, USA, about $15)

You can order from Solera: A Shrine To Wine at our Roslindale campus. Solera is open for curbside pick-up Saturdays and Sundays right now. You can also order them from your favorite local wine shop. Do not be shy about getting comparable wines if you need to – there’s a ton of great equivalents out there that we can easily learn from too.

HOW ABOUT FOOD? Here’s a few food pairing suggestions for each wine. Feel free to use this as a guide, come up with your own ideas and have fun with it all!

Sauvignon Blanc + Goat’s milk cheese | Green olives | Steamed shrimp shumai

Rosé + Mushroom pâté | Roast garlic | Pork & mushroom dumplings

Cabernet Sauvignon + Anything on the grill | Gorgonzola dolce (Cow’s milk blue cheese) | Black olives

THREE WINE GLASSES & A WEBCAM You can go as big or as little as you like. Taste along with all three plus all the foods, pick one or two that sound especially good, or just tune in and learn about wine with whatever you have in your glass.

After you sign up, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link and password for the tasting class. You’ll receive an email reminder a couple of days before, then a reminder an hour before class starts.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND “How To Taste Wine And Why” 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, major wine grapes, wine and food pairing basics, and fundamentals of wine style. The emphasis is on providing an overview of wine, building wine vocabulary, and becoming fluent in expressing your own wine tastes.

PROGRAM FORMAT 1 hour online program

PROGRAM SYLLABUS (tentative) Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting | The Spectrum Of Wine | Pretty In Pink

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 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.

Best New (Croatian) Wines You’ve Never Heard Of, Part One | Zoom Wine Class

Croatia’s beaches are world famous, so it’s no surprise Croatian white and rosé wines are the perfect pairing for summer.

DISCOVERING NEW TASTES | For the true wine lover, life is a constant tasting of discovery. This is what the newcomer and the veteran wine lover have in common: the excitement of experiencing a new grape, or a new place, or a new style from anywhere around the world. In this class, we’re discovering Croatia’s signature white grape called Pošip, a full-bodied, seafood ready wine that grows naturally right near the ocean, plus a pretty pink wine from a big red grape called Plavac Mali.

Get ready to learn new grapes and some new geography, but most importantly, you’re be tasting a unique world of wine styles for the very first time with great education and like-minded wine and food lovers.

#RESTAURANTSTRONG | Thank you for tasting great wine for a great cause! Part of each ticket will go to benefit the #RestaurantStrong Fund supporting restaurant people across the country impacted by Covid-19 . And the wines you buy to taste along in class, all that goes right to your local wine shops.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS | I’m going to open and teach these three wines:

2018 Terra Madre “Premium” Pošip

2018 Volarević “Syrtis” Pošip

2018 Volarević “La Chic!” Plavac Mali Rosé

You can order from Solera: A Shrine To Wine at our Roslindale campus. Solera is open for curbside pick-up Saturdays and Sundays right now.

You can also order online from the importer if that’s more convenient. Here are the links to the wines we’ll be tasting:

Terra Madre “Premium” Pošip | Volarević “Syrtis” Pošip | Volarević “La Chic!” Plavac Mali Rosé

HOW ABOUT FOOD? | Here are a few food pairing suggestions. Feel free to use this as a guide, come up with your own ideas and have fun with it all!

Cheese | Ricotta fresca (creamy cow’s milk cheese from northern Italy) and Chèvre (goat’s milk cheese)

Meat | Prosciutto, Jamón Serrano, Speck, other mild white meats

Seafood | Raw bar, flaky white fish, bluefish pâté

THREE WINE GLASSES & A WEBCAM | You can go as big or as little as you like. Taste along with all three plus all the foods, pick one or two that sound especially good, or just tune in and learn about Croatia with whatever you have in your glass.

After you sign up, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link and password for the tasting class. You’ll receive an email reminder a couple of days before, then a reminder about an hour before class starts.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND | This 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, major wine grapes, wine and food pairing basics, and fundamentals of wine style. The emphasis is on providing an overview of Croatian white wines and where they fit in the world of wine and wine tasting.

PROGRAM FORMAT | 1 hour online program

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 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.

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.

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)

https://www.vinovations.us/paolo-valle-pinot-grigio-2016/

Southern Star Malbec: New world fruit, old world style

By Jonathon Alsop

BOSTON, MA — Inventive holidays like International Malbec Day give us the chance to look deep into the many Malbec based wines we teach with in wine class. Alma Andina – Soul of the Andes – hits the Boston Wine School trifecta: we use it in “Come To Cheeses” with Manchego, “Grape Expectations” and “Wine 101,” classes that represent the core of our curriculum.

As you can imagine, the world is full of tasty Malbec under $20, but the style of this Alma Andina is special. There’s plenty of dark brooding fruit flavors in the glass, tastes that will remind you of dates and figs and dried cherries.

But if you step out a little into the lake, the bottom drops off suddenly, and deep earthy subterranean flavors take over. I know I completely mixed my metaphors there, but this wine is worth it. If I’d tasted it blind, I’d have guessed French Malbec, a category that starts at $25 a bottle.

Argentina is a land in love with its carnivorous ways. It’s not unusual to have chicken, pork, beef, lamb and goat all in the course of the same meal, and you can tell this week’s wine was brought up in that same tradition. Don’t feel left out, vegans and vegetarians: the match here is with the grill and the char, something you can achieve completely, even meat free. I can definitely see myself working through a case of this Malbec once we start grilling again.

2016 Alma Andina Malbec Reserve (Mendoza, Argentina)

http://www.vinovations.us/alma-andina-malbec-reserve-2016/