San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Have you ever wondered why wine tastes the way it does? Are you the kind of person who knows what kind of wine you like, but can't quite put your finger on why? And do you sometimes feel nervous when you're ordering wine in restaurants and always plump for the second least expensive wine on the list? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes" then The Taste of Wine could be for you.
A comprehensive six-week beginner's course devised and taught by The Observer wine correspondent, David Williams, The Taste of Wine will give students a thorough grounding in the basics of wine tasting. In a relaxed, informal environment, students will get to understand (and taste) the factors that give wines their distinctive characters, and on the way they will learn how to tell a Chablis from a Chilean Chardonnay, or a red Bordeaux from an Aussie Shiraz.
The course is broken down into six sessions, each covering a different influence on the taste of wine, and each including several wines to taste.
Session 1: 1/02/2011 - Balancing tastes
A look at the basic taste components of wine, and how to taste them: from acidity, to sweetness, from tannins to alcohol.
Sessions 2: 8/02/2011 - Grapes
There are hundreds of grape varieties used to make the wine you buy, and each has something different to offer. This session will look at some of the most popular varieties, and their characteristic flavours.
Session 3: 15/02/2011 - Place
What makes a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley tastes so very different from a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, why is a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon not the same as one from Bordeaux?
Session 4: 22/02/2011 - Oak
Oak barrels are a vital weapon in a winemaker's armoury, and when carefully used, they add texture, flavour and depth to wines. But not all wines use oak well, and many don't use it at all – learn how to spot the difference.
Session 5: 1/03/2011 - Young or old
Most wines in the UK are consumed while they are still young, although one of the joys of wine is seeing how it evolves over time. But what difference does age make to a wine's taste and which wines are worth keeping?
Session 6: 8/03/2011 - Wine with food
What we eat with our wine can have an enormous effect on how it tastes in ways that can be both pleasurable and unpleasant. This session will look at the basics of food and wine matching in a fun, hands-on way featuring a variety of different foods.
All sessions will take place at the home of the Guardian/Observer Kings Place, London.
The course runs from February to March 2011, and consists of six, two-hour evening sessions. All sessions will take place on Wednesdays from 7pm–9pm.
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.