The Best New (Italian) Wines You’ve Never Heard Of | Boston Wine School @ Beverly Farms

Italy is simultaneously a foundation of wine tradition and a fountain of new wines, wine ideas, and wine styles. This class will focus on eight different wines from newly re-discovered Italian grapes. No, they’re not really new – just new to us – but they open the door for innovation oriented wine lovers. You can feel the excitement of really great wines coming into focus after being ignored for so long.

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

You’d think we’d be done learning new things from Italy, but we’re not. Class will taste and learn eight different wines from all over Italy. You’ll discover some new favorite grapes to look for, and ideally new ways to explain what kind of new Italian wines you like. We will review some fundamentals of technical wine tasting to start, then taste our way from one end of the wine spectrum to the other. The emphasis 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)

2017 Gorghi Tondi Grillo
2017 Porta del Vento Catarratto
2017 Colle Corviano Pecorino
2017 Baglio delle Fate Frappato
2017 i Lauri “Chiola” Cerasuolo
2016 Piona Bardolino
2012 Terra Mia “Don Paolo” Aglianico
2016 Vigna Roda “Espero” Cabernet Sauvignon + Carmenere

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.

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!

Tasting Tuscany In Eight Bottles | Boston Wine School @ Beverly Farms

If Italy means wine – and it does – Tuscany is the heart of Italian wine. Even people who swear they know nothing about wine still know Chianti, which means people know Tuscany, whether they know it or not.

Tuscany is where the food and wine traditions of the north meet the food and wine traditions of the south. This awesome blending of tradition is just one of the things that makes this region the best wine and food destination in Italy.Truth is, we could do a 52 week Tuscany class and still have plenty of wines left over, the region is that deep in tradition and innovation.

Tasting class will begin with Sangiovese, what it is as a grape and what it represents within Italian wine culture. Then we’ll taste our way through three different Chianti, the most famous and well-known Sangiovese expression. Finally, class will learn about robust local distinctions in Montalcino and Montepulciano that are growing more and more famous by the day.

Your Tuscan 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

We’re going to stay inside the border of Tuscany, but go deep into Sangiovese the grape and some of the distinct places it grows. Students will taste and learn fundamental Sangiovese, then discover the difference between three different versions of Chianti. Finally, class will learn the distinct local expressions of Sangiovese from Montalcino and Montepulciano. We will review some fundamentals of technical wine tasting to start, then taste our way from one end of Tuscany to the other. The emphasis 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)

STARS OF SANGIOVESE 
2016 Casale dello Sparviero Rosso di Toscana
2017 Innocenti “Lume” Sangiovese

CHIANTI FOCUS
2014 Pio II Chianti DOCG
2017 Antico Colle Chianti Colli Senesi
2016 Casale dello Sparviero Chianti Classico

WINE’S SENSE OF TIME & PLACE
2015 Cantina Crociani Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
2016 Innocenti Rosso di Montalcino
2016 Viper Super Tuscan

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.

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!

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.

VENI VIDI VINO! Italy In Eight Bottles | 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.

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!

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/