We kicked off Fall Wine School @ San Francisco Wine Center with our Introduction to Wine class, led by wine writer Jordan Mackay. This class provides an overview of the top wine-making grapes and where they are grown around the world, from the classic regions to the up-and-coming. We discussed how soil and climate have dictated which grapes grow best in the classic regions and how other countries have adopted their own style of these wines, and we noted how blending and labeling vary by country. In Europe, the location of the grapes is most important, so most wines are labeled by the vineyard or the region, not the grape. Outside of Europe, wines tend to be labeled with the dominant varietal in the wine, though a particular vineyard may also be named. California was largely responsible for varietal labeling as a marketing tactic when American wine-making was starting to gain traction in the 1960s.
Students enjoyed describing the wines in the glass and learning what potential foods might go with them, a nice preview to a future wine and food pairing class. Join us for Wine School this season!
1. Hunters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012– New Zealand ($18)
2. Pascal Clement Bourgogne Chardonnay 2013 – Burgundy, France ($25)
3. Ansgar Clusserath Steinreich Riesling Trocken 2010 – Mosel Valley, GER ($35)
4. La Bête Croft Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2007 –Oregon ($30)
5. Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale 2007– Tuscany, Italy ($25)
6. Plantagenet Omrah Shiraz 2007 – Western Australia ($20)
7. Bodega Jean-Louis Raffy Tupungato Valley Malbec Réserve 2010 – Mendoza, ARG ($25)
8. Chateau Puy-Blanquet Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2008 – Bordeaux, France ($25)
— Melanie Solomon