Pinot To The People! | Zoom Wine Class

THE POWER OF PINOT
There’s more to Pinot than meets the eye. Pinot Grigio stakes out the light white range of the wine spectrum and Pinot Noir the light red. Yet another member of the Pinot family – Pinotage – is on the far side of Cabernet. In this class, you’ll taste the broad range of flavors we associate with Pinot. Get ready to open you mind and palate to great Grigio, new flavors, and more.

#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. They are three major members of the Pinot family: traditional Italian Pinot Grigio, California Pinot Noir, and Pinotage from South Africa.

2018 Brunellesco Pinot Grigio (Veneto, northeast Italy, about $12)
2017 Poppy Hill Pinot Noir (Carneros, Napa County, California, USA, about $19)
2018 Angels Tears Pinotage “Le Chocolat” (Western Cape, South Africa, 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!

Pinot Grigio + ricotta fresca (light, creamy cow’s milk cheese) | focaccia (herbed Italian pan bread)
Pinot Noir + prosciutto | mushroom pâté | Robiola a due latti (Brie-like rind, blend of cow’s and sheep’s milk)
Pinotage + short ribs / lamb shank braise | Rogue River Blue (Smoked blue cheese)

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 Pinot 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
“Pinot To The People” 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 the Pinot family and where it fits in the world of wine and wine tasting.

PROGRAM FORMAT
1 hour classroom program

PROGRAM SYLLABUS (tentative)
Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting | The Spectrum Of Wine | Proper Pinot

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.

Wine, Cheese, And The Pursuit Of Happiness | Zoom Wine Class

MAKING THE PERFECT MATCH
Wine and cheese have been together a long time – at least 8,000 years that we know of – and there’s a natural affinity. When you get the right wine together with the right cheese, the result is biochemical magic, a whole new world of flavors a thousand times greater than either one alone. This class will taste three wines plus three cheeses that represent the different ways wine and cheese pair up with each other. Get ready to experience combinations and flavors you’ve never tasted before.

#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 with these three cheeses, which are readily available at Whole Foods, Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge & South End, Wassik’s in Wellesley and others.

2018 Cellier des Chartreux ‘Blue’ Sauvignon Blanc (Pujaut, southern Rhône , southern France, about $15)
Bucheron Chèvre (Goat’s milk, Loire Valley, northwest France)

2017 Poppy Hill Pinot Noir (Carneros, California, USA, about $19)
Comté (AKA Gruyère de Comté, cow’s milk, Franche-Comté, central France)

2018 Angels Tears Pinotage “Le Chocolat” (Western Cape, South Africa, about $15)
Gorgonzola dolce (Cow’s milk blue, Gorgonzola, Milan, north-central Italy)

Order the wines 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.

THREE WINE GLASSES & A WEBCAM

You can do this as big or as little as you like. Taste along with all three plus all the cheeses, or pick one or two, or just tune in and learn with whatever you have in your refrigerator.

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
“Wine, Cheese, And The Pursuit Of Happiness” 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 food and cheese pairing concepts that fit in the world of wine and wine tasting.

PROGRAM FORMAT
1 hour classroom program

PROGRAM SYLLABUS (tentative)
Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting | The Spectrum Of Wine | Jet Propulsion Pairings

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.

Italian Wine Fundamentals | Zoom Wine Class

VENI VIDI VINO | I Came, I Saw, I Drank Wine
Let’s face it: we could do a 52-week Italian wine class and just be scratching the surface, so it’s daunting to try to boil Italy down to three wines, but here goes! We’ll taste the whole wine country, starting with some classic Trebbiano from northern Italy, then Sangiovese in Tuscany, and finally, Nero d’Avola from sunny southern Sicily. Get ready to taste three distinct climates and grapes that explain the northern-central-southern styles. You’ll be speaking fluent Chianti by the time this class is over!

#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 Pratello Trebbiano di Lugana (Lugana, Lombardy, north-central Italy, about $19)
2018 Poggio Argentale Chianti DOCG (Vinci, Florence, Tuscany, central Italy, about $20)
2017 Capo Zafferano Nero d’Avola (Avola, southeast Sicily, southwest Italy, about $17)

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!

Pinot Grigio + ricotta fresca (light, creamy cow’s milk cheese) | focaccia (herbed Italian pan bread)
Chianti / Sangiovese + prosciutto | mushroom pâté | Grana Padano (Parmigiano-like, cow’s milk)
Nero d’Avola + short ribs / lamb shank braise | Gorgonzola dolce (Cow’s milk blue cheese) | 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 Italy 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
“Italian Wine Fundamentals” 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 Italian wine and where it fits in the world of wine and wine tasting.

PROGRAM FORMAT
1 hour classroom program

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

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

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 classroom 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.

Life Is A Cabernet! | Zoom Wine Class For #RestaurantStrong Fund

Thank you for tasting great wine for a great cause! Here’s how it works.

Proceeds from this tasting class will go to the #RestaurantStrong Fund to support people from the restaurant industry across the country who have been impacted by the Covid-19 closures. And the wines you find to taste along in class, all that goes right to your local wine shops.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR WINE

I’m going to open and teach to these three wines. They represent two broad stylings of north and south American Cab plus the French origin Cabernet style of Bordeaux.

  • 2015 Ravanal ‘Rawen’ Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley, Chile, about $15)
  • 2017 Brady Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles, CA USA, about $20)
  • 2015 Château Les Hauts de Trintaudon (Haut-Medoc, central Bordeaux, western France, about $15)

Order from Solera: A Shrine To Wine at our Roslindale campus. You can also order them from your favorite wine shop. Do not be shy about getting equivalents when you need to – there are lots of other Cabs from Paso Robles and Chile that will work fine too.

THREE WINE GLASSES & A WEBCAM

You can do this as big or as little as you want. Taste along with all three, or one or two, or just tune in and learn about Cabernet with the Cabernet you have in your glass.

After you sign up, you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom address and password (if needed) for the tasting class.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
“Life Is A Cabernet!” 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 Cabernet Sauvignon and where it fits in the world of wine and wine tasting.

PROGRAM FORMAT
1 hour classroom program

PROGRAM SYLLABUS (tentative)
Seven “S” System Of Wine Tasting | Grape Expectations | Making Wine Matter

  • Bordeaux: Cabernet Through Time
  • Southern Star: Chile
  • Sunny Southern California: Paso Robles

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.

ZOOM

After you sign up, you will receive a Zoom address and password (if needed) for the tasting class.

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/

3 Reasons Why You Can’t Stop Yourself From Falling In Love With Wine

By Jonathon Alsop

BOSTON, MA — The language of love and the language of wine are completely interwoven in our culture, for better and for worse. For instance, if you fall in love with someone because you find them intoxicating, that’s OK; if you try to get someone intoxicated in hopes that they’ll fall in love with you, that’s not OK. True wine lovers set a great example by treating their wine like you’d treat someone you love: with care, with respect and consideration, and it almost goes without saying, no rough handling.

Falling in love with wine is easy. I know I meet a special group of wine people – already so in love with wine they’re ready to take the relationship to the next educational level – but the story’s always the same. Something happens – maybe you travel to wine country for the first time or you have an Italian boyfriend or girlfriend – and you go from “wine curious” to “wine lover” and you never go back.

There are a thousand reasons why people fall in love with wine. Here are my top three.

1. Wine has something for every taste.

One way wine makes itself irresistible is through its profound flexibility. Unless you have a note from your doctor or a verifiable religious waiver, wine is for absolutely everyone. For a beverage with such a broad range of flavors and styles, wine has a strangely elitist image. On the contrary, wine respects your taste by delivering something for every appetite imaginable. You want sweet, happy white wine? Scary, intensely inky red wine? Wine dares you not to love it.

2. Wine – like love – is addictive.

When people say things like, “I’m addicted to this Chardonnay!” they’re probably speaking figuratively, but they could be addicted for real. We don’t talk about this a lot in the wine business, but that’s starting to change. One of the things that keeps us coming back to wine is the positive psychotropic effect – not only am I more delighted, you’re more delightful! – but you need a little more ethanol each time to acquire the same delight. In no time, you can find yourself happily, socially acceptably hooked, with wine your permanent plus one.

3. Wine is constantly new.

Boredom is a dangerous enemy to be feared in any relationship, but that can’t happen when you’re in love with wine. If you drink 365 wines a year, you only taste a fraction of the thousands of different labels available; built into the system are the excitement of the new and the lure of the unattainable. Even if you think you always drink the same thing, every 12 months, you get a new vintage version that’s not at all the same thing. When you start drinking wines from both the northern and southern hemispheres, the vintages come at you twice as fast, in September like we’re used to, and now March. Wine almost encourages guilt-free unfaithfulness, but we just call it variety.

ROMANCE WEEK @ Boston Wine School

If you’re not thinking about Valentine’s Day right now, you’re just not thinking right!

BRIGHTON MA
Pre-Valentine Day! Wine & Chocolate: Making the Perfect Match | Boston Wine School @ Lantera Boston Landing | Feb 13, 2019 6:30 – 8:30 PM
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pre-valentine-day-wine-chocolate-making-the-perfect-match-boston-wine-school-lantera-boston-landing-registration-52236923043

HQ in SHARON MA
Valentine’s Day: Wine & Chocolate + Night in Italy (Class + Dinner) | Boston Wine School @ VINOvations | Feb 14, 2019 6:30 – 8:30 PM
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/valentines-day-wine-chocolate-night-in-italy-class-dinner-boston-wine-school-vinovations-tickets-52237363360

Falling In Love With Wine (Class + Dinner) | Boston Wine School @ VINOvations | Feb 16, 2019 4:00 – 7:00 PM
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/falling-in-love-with-wine-class-dinner-boston-wine-school-vinovations-tickets-54454204993

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/

Pinot To The People

By Jonathon Alsop

BOSTON, MA — California makes more Pinot Noir than it grows, not by importing out-of-state wine, but by blending in other grapes. Technically, US wine only has to be 75% one grape type to be named for that grape on the label. In theory, your favorite bottle could be pure Pinot, or it could be three-quarters, or anything in between.

Truth is, you can often easily see this in the glass. Pinot Noir – the grape – is light red and thin skinned, and many classic Euro Pinot Noir is so light you can read your phone through a glass of it. When you crack open a California Pinot and it comes out dark red, almost opaque, that’s a sure sign the wine’s blended, often with a high-pigment grape like Petite Sirah.

This week’s special comes from our “Pinot To The People” class, and we use the DeLoach “Private Collection” for a lot of reasons – its bright cherry and cranberry fruit flavors, its slight earthiness and outdoorsy aromas – but mostly for its authenticity. The color is real life burgundy and the flavor is true-to-type Pinot Noir.

If you’re a fan of cool-climate Oregon Pinot, this is a great choice. It comes from the Sonoma Coast, way north and west of Sonoma Valley and much closer to the cold Pacific. The result is a slow-grown wine full of flavor and finesse.

2013 DeLoach “Private Collection” Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast, California, USA)

https://www.vinovations.us/deloach-private-collection-sonoma-county-pinot-noir-2013/