In my ongoing quest to become a real Grown-Up (and time, I think, is not on my side), this afternoon I went to a Wine 101 class. In the wine aisle, my general technique is to wonder aimlessly about and look for a nice-looking label. I don't have wine often and I've found it to be enjoyable even less frequently, I hate to say, but at least I could know what I was talking about.
So, with Foodgoat feeling "sick" I walked jauntily down to the wine bar Varietals. There, I and a bunch of other CWRU alumni, seated primly in front of several wine glasses, were led through a tasting of a sparkling wine and the "Big Six," the three white (Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay) and three red (Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon) varieties that make up about 90% of the wines out there. (Turns out these are grape varieties).
As the server poured out the first wine at our table, where we all carefully studying the "How to Taste Wine" handout with its aroma wheel, she said "When it starts, everyone's so serious. Don't worry, after a couple of wines, you'll all be chatting like old friends!" She was quite right, by the Chardonnay we were all sort of giggly, and by the Merlot, downright chummy. There was a big bucket on the table where you were supposed to dump out the rest of the wine sample if you didn't like it, but no one really used it. We were all trying to get our money's worth, I suspect. And you know, the more you drink of a mediocre wine, the better it tastes. Weird, huh?
All classes should be like this.