One of the fun privileges of living in wine country and belonging to a wine club such as Cass Winery is the availability to attend classes and workshops to learn more about wine beyond enjoyment of tasting.
Laura and I attended a wine class at Cass Winery that was taught by Katie Gebauer, a Certified Specialist of Wine and Level 1 Sommelier. It was held inside the winery at a huge table surrounded by shelves of wine and a nice small crowd of friendly people also there to learn about wine. Katie was very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable and most importantly approachable and non-snobbish.
The title of the class was Intro to Wine -Deconstructing Wine. And the focus of the class was to learn to identify the 5 main components of wine – water, alchohol, acid, sugar, and tannin (phenolics). Katie had a wealth of technical knowledge but presented the class in fun format that stirred up vibrant class participation. The main thing I learned was the importance of balance (acid, alcohol, tanning, sugar) that comprises good quality wine. You can have a wine with elevated alcohol level (“hot”), but still be good because the other components keep it balanced i.e. you can’t tell that it’s high in alcohol. We also learned about “legs” but also learned that nice legs doesn’t necessarily mean good wine. We also got to taste good wine that highlights each of the components discussed.
The class was very “hands on” and interactive and it was fun to be in a class of people who enjoy wine and learning more about it. The next offering of this class is on July 26, 2015. We highly recommend all wine enthusiasts, no matter what your level of knowledge to attend this class.