Class: Wine 102. My notes.


Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2001
Went to a wine class last night.
EDIT: The price of the class was $20/person. So, three glasses of wine and a plate of snacks for $20. Not bad.

It is the follow-on to their Wine 101 class. The 101 class was the wine connoisseur's core curriculum and covered all the basics: stemware; how to taste like a pro; what color tells you; getting in touch with aromas; terminology; basic varietals and regions; sugar; a buying strategy for beginners.

This one pulled in information from geology, family owned/ operated wineries vs world-wide companies, vine cloning and blending. The class went on for an hour and a half. We sampled six wines (about a third of a glass) with cheeses, bread and salami.

Note: the price beside each wine is the price inside the store.

The whites we sampled:
2002 Anton Bauer Rosenberg Gruner Veltliner ($12.50)
drinker earlier as a desert wine. 6-8 yr shelf life. high alcohol content - 15%

2002 Funtanin Arneis ($9.99)
green apple aroma and taste, sparkles on the tongue
4-6 yr shelf life
great with pesta dishes

2000 Domaine Saint Anne Cotes du Rhone blanc ($15.50)
softer and more smooth than the other two, but also heavier
good with fatty foods such as italian sausage or grilled/poached salmon

The reds we sampled:
1997 Baron de Ona Rioja Reserve ($24.99)
near the Basque, Spain region. Oak smell with a berry taste but without the sweetness and no spicey aftertaste. 3 styles to Rioja wine - Hoven, early pressing and meant to be drunk soon; Reserve, a shelf life of no more than 10 years; the best, Grand Reserve, 15-20 years typically - heavy but best finish (aftertaste)

2001 DeForville Nebbiolo Langhe ($20.99)
Light to the tongue slight peppery finish. light in color. hint of a strawberry smell. great with grilled meats or lamb stew. the wine steward's favorite of the wines last night. 1995-1999 excellent vintages (referred to as the miracle decade). 1997 is the best vintage but becomming rare in most stores.

2001 Fattoria Le Sorgenti Chianti colli Fiorintini ($19.99)
lighter fragrance and body (taste) than what I am used to in a Chianti. Good, but since I'm a ho for Chianti I've made it my personal mission to find excellent Chianti. So-so in my book, but a good experience for someone wanting to try Chianti.

What I learned:
the globalization of wine is homgenizing the taste of wines. Yes, they are good tasting wines but because they clone the vines and place them around the world, soil/climate is the only differentiator in these types of wines. Cabernet and other more well known names are becoming generic name tags for these corporate created wines. Montepulciano is both a town and a grape, yet the grape is not grown in the town or surrounding area. Hmmm.... :confused: Sangiovese is the most common grape for Chianti and Chianti clones (ie Brunelli). Spanish wines get their substance from the oak barrels they use.

The best wines from the group (to me) were the first two white wines. Man, sushi and a bottle (or two) of a Gruner and I'll be flying high. The second one is on my list for a date night. I'll make some homemade garlic spinach pasta with some spicy italian sausage. Oh yeah.

Oh, I almost forgot. The guys (Jay and Tim) told the class how to properly open a bottle of Champagne. The wire clasp to the cage (metal wire contraption that holds down the cork) is usually under the bottleirs tag on the foil. Place on the table or use your thigh to support the bottle. On average it takes only seven turns to release the cage. Do not let the bottle sit to the side after you've opened the cage. Many corks move at this time. With the meat of your palm (flesh in the palm under your thumb), place your hand on the cork. Roll the cork around while keeping pressure on the cork. The cork will free itself while you've kept your hand on it. Let the cork stay close to the mouth of the bottle for a few seconds after the release (pressure doesn't complete escape). Keep the bottle tilted. And that's it! You didn't shoot your eye out! (And yes, we drank the Champagne. Duval-Leroy, '96)

Hope this helped. But in truth it was much more fun in person.


Apr 1, 2001
Wow, thanks for the info...sounds like it was fun, maybe I'll take a class myself in the future :)


Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2001
Oh yeah. This is important. When you go out to dinner, the last four or five wines on the list (the ones sold by the glass) are listed as the cheapest. But not so! These wines have the highest mark-up. A glass that goes for $5 was bought at wholesale for $5 a bottle. The more expensive wines are a better value.

They cannot make more money on these because they would be too pricey to drink just as a glass.


Elite Member
Aug 31, 2001
The champagne opening directions you got are different then the way we learned. Dr. Vine was able to open the bottle without a noise.


Diamond Member
Mar 6, 2001
I took Wines of the World when I was a freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Its a 10 week course, twice a week. We basically tasted wine every class and talked about it. The wines for each day were from a specific wine region which we would also discuss. We had to give a report near the end of the quarter regarding anything related to wine and we had a final. You did not have to be 21+ to take the class and you did NOT have to spit out the wine. All and all a fun class. Too bad it was my most difficult class first quarter...I think the majority of the class got B's or lower :p