Total Wine & More. We had a really good time, and I learned a lot.
The class started with a "bonus" taste of a German Riesling (Dr. Heidemanns). It was a great start, and I ended up bringing home a bottle. (So did Mary.)
We went over the basics of wine tasting, starting with how to open a bottle of wine. Once the wine is opened, there is a lot more than just swigging it down. But they walked us through the process slowly, and soon I was swirling my glass and admiring the aroma and bouquet with the best of them. I had a little more trouble identifying the different flavors and tastes. After a while I figured out that if I nodded wisely and murmured "hmm, oaky with complex layers" the others in the class would agree with me. Either I understood more than I thought I did, or everyone else was as confused as I was.
We had the opportunity to try four different white wines (a pinot grigio, a viognier, a chardonnay, and a chenin blanc) and four different red wines (Kitchen Sink Red, a pinot noir, a shiraz, and a cabernet sauvignon). I normally buy a bottle of wine based on what the bottle looks like (don't laugh, it's true!), so it was very exciting to be able to taste and compare the different types of wine. The fact that they selected some of the better examples for us to try helped, I'm sure. (Surprisingly, the prices weren't as high as I expected for good wines. All except the Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon (my favorite, naturally) were within my price range.
Our last wine of the evening was Macchia Zifendal Port ("Dangerous"). All I can say is YUM! A bottle of this came home with me. And I will not be sharing it.
I have to say that Total Wine (at the Wellington store) puts on a fantastic wine class. In addition to the ten types of wine we tasted, they provided platters of cheese and crackers (huge selection) and pizza for us to snack on in between the glasses of wine. We were frequently reminded to be responsible as we tasted the wine (don't drink and drive!), but they were generous with the wines that we liked.
I plan on taking more classes as they are offered.