Adventures in wine education

I am on a constant quest to expand my general knowledge.  Everything from engineering to alcohol to gardening to history.  Though I do have this interest, in general I am not always good about motivating myself.  So when I got

The Everyday Guide to Wine

DVD course for Christmas and I was super excited.  I now have a good excuse to learn more about wine.  In true nerd sense, the first thing I did was rip all 4 DVDs to my computer so I don’t have to deal with them anymore, then I proceeded to leaf through the accompanying manual.  It turns out that there are specific types of wine that are suggested for each lecture, cool I thought, it is a hands on course.  However, in seeing that some of the 20 minute lessons included up to 6 different wines I quickly realized that it would be best do do this with friends.  With several friends, we could all have a tasting of the different wines (or more than just a tasting if we were to have a long evening) and we would make a substantial dent in the bottles that were opened.  I have learned from experience that corking a bottle and leaving it for even a couple days can severly affect the wine, and with my crazy schedule I would only be able to get through a total of a bottle a week myself.

Each episode lists several types of wines that it suggests for tasting during the epidsode.  For the most part it doesn’t say a particular winery, but more a region and type.  I leafed through the episodes in the book and saw that the first was just an intro, the second covered how to taste, and the third actually got into learning and tasting.  I figured doing all three the first night, then one per night for the duration.  The second episode requires a wine simply to help you learn the tasting process so I chose a recent favorite: the 2009 Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages.  For the third episode it called for a Chibalis AC and an unoaked South Australian Chardonney.  Now, I don’t consider myself a complete n00b when it comes to wine, I am familiar with the common grapes and I know that there are a number of regions in France that are named and controlled, but I have never had to find specific types like this before.  So I did as any nerd would do: I went online and did some research.  I utelized BevMo’s website and www.winechateau.com to find some possibilities and did further research on google to make sure the vinters were from the appropriate region.  For this first one I chose the 2009 Razor’s Edge Chardonnay and the 2008 Simonnet-Febvre Chablis (these choices were mostly based on price, I was looking for ~$15 bottles).  I also found wines for part of the next two episodes, but I will address those later.

Now that I picked out the wines, I had to pick out a date.  I asked around for who might be interested and it turns out there were a decent number of people interested.  I asked around about availability and found a day that worked for most people.  I then set up a Facebook event page and we got ready for the first in what would hopefully be a series of wine tastings.

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