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

Level 2 Certificate in Wine and Wine Tasting
Saturday + Sunday, February 1 + 2, 1pm – 5pm 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 | 3 short-form questions | 1 essay question

LEVEL 2 SYLLABUS

DAY ONE, PART ONE | 1pm – 3pm
Veni Vidi Vino: Wines of Italy

DAY ONE, PART TWO | 3pm – 5pm
The Language Of Wine
– Wine And Words
– Wine Label Interpretation
– Best New Wines You’ve Never Heard Of

DAY TWO, PART ONE | 1pm – 3pm
Tour de France: Fundamentals Of French Wine

DAY TWO, PART TWO | 3pm – 4:30pm
Wine And Cheese: Making The Perfect Match
– Fundamentals of Wine & Food Pairing
– Wines of California, Oregon & Washington

DAY TWO, PART THREE | 4:30pm – 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!

Classic Wines + Chinese Cuisine | Boston Wine School @ Brookline

Wine and food 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 cuisine 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 20 students – will taste six major wine and food 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
“Classic Wines + Chinese Cuisine: Wine Pairing Fundamentals”  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 Chinese cuisine pairing concepts.

PROGRAM FORMAT
2 hour classroom program
6 wines + 6 tasting courses

PROGRAM SYLLABUS

TASTING LIST (tentative – subject to change)

2018 Atlantique Sauvignon Blanc (Loire Valley, France)
Grilled oysters

2017 i Lauri “Nora” Chardonnay (Central Italy)
Crispy chicken

2018 Poiema Pinot Noir (Edna Valley, California, USA)
Mushroom and smoked bean curd

2015 Pio II Chianti (Tuscany, central Italy)
Double cooked sliced pork

2013 Federico Ferrero “Galea” Dolcetta d’Alba (Piemonte, northwest Italy)
Peking Duck

2016 Aresti “Bellevista” Cabernet Sauvignon (Curico Valley, Chile)
Lamb skewers

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

WOW Barbecue is proud to introduce Chinese BBQ to the streets of Boston, featuring a wide range of flavors paired with the taste of authentic Chinese food. Choosing WOW Barbecue, you’re letting friends, family, and colleagues know that you care.

 

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/

Zinfandel Dreams

By Jonathon Alsop

BOSTON, MA — Our “Signature Grapes” tasting class really gets fundamental by tasting the connection between certain wines and the places around the world they’ve made famous – and vice versa. Zinfandel fills this role in California wine. Cabernet and Chardonnay may be just as famous, but you only get this kind of Zinfandel one place, and that’s a unique geographic bond that you can taste in the bottle.

People ask me all the time what’s my favorite wine, and I’ve got a lot of favorites, but the truth is, it’s Zinfandel. I love California’s signature grape because it has a little bit of everything I love in a wine – fruit, spice, earthiness, black AND white pepper.

In the wine world, we call this balance, and if you balance flavors in some dynamic and tasty way, we call this style. On the spectrum of Zinfandel, this Raymond stakes out the fruit and juice range, and its style is alive, vivid, and California sunny. The color is dark candy-apple red, and the flavors will remind you first of ripe red plums and black raspberries, then almost behind the scenes, the wine smells like dried herbs, even a little like cocoa.

Best of all, this 2014 is young by Zinfandel standards. It possesses great youth and vitality right now, but I would be looking forward to drinking this in the 2020s too.

2014 Raymond Vineyards “The Inaugural R Collection” Zinfandel 
(St. Helena, Napa, California, USA)

https://www.vinovations.us/the-inaugural-r-collection-by-raymond-vineyards-zinfandel-2012/

Blending For Power Wine

By Jonathon Alsop

BOSTON, MA — This is one of those wines that really sets your expectations before you even get into the bottle.

First of all, the richly artistic label – evocative and powerful on its own – promises a powerful wine experience. And then the blend – Cabernet Sauvignon plus Zinfandel – is simultaneously new yet embarrassingly obvious too. As soon as I saw it, I had one of those “DUH!” moments. America loves Cabernet… America loves Zinfandel – what took us so long?

There are other blends out there that use Cab and Zin with other grapes, but so far this is the only pure Cabernet + Zinfandel blend I’ve ever encountered, and I plan to encounter it again and again! This is a $17 blend that tastes better than any $17 Cabernet or $17 Zinfandel on its own.

The Ocean Howler really represents the best of both worlds: the bright, juicy, fruity happiness of Zinfandel combined with Cabernet’s earthiness and weight. It’s not quite April yet, but I’m already thinking about barbecue season, and this blend would be delicious with anything smoky and meaty off the grill. At just $2.20 a glass, this is one of the tastiest under-the-radar wines I’ve come across in a long time.

2016 The Ocean Howler Cabernet Sauvignon + Zinfandel
(Lodi, central California, USA)

https://www.vinovations.us/the-ocean-howler-cabernet-sauvignon-zinfandel-2016/