In The Classroom

by Metro Wines Asheville

The Grapevine: Learning about Wine

The Grapevine: Learning about Wine

In case you missed it, there was a great article on blind tasting in the Laurel of Asheville magazine!  The author, our own Gina Trippi, sites blind tasting as the best way to learn to taste wine like a pro.

I agree. To me, learning to describe the complex flavors in our favorite wines is the main reason to blind taste, learning to guess the grape and place is secondary.

Check out the whole article here!

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About Wine and Wedding Cake...

About Wine and Wedding Cake...
Wedding cake and Champagne are a surprisingly bad combination. They are frequently served together, but have you really ever enjoyed the combination? A Brut Champagne tastes bitter and overly acidic next to a bite of the sweet, frosting covered cake. The solution? Try a bubbly that is just a little off-dry.
 
In our food and wine pairing class, our students gave the thumbs down to a slightly sweet Spanish Cava when they were drinking it on its own. But when served next to a cake with buttercream frosting, the perception of sweetness disappeared! The Cava no longer tasted sweet and it didn't taste bitter like the Brut Champagne did.
 
The next time you are serving bubbly with cake, opt for one with some residual sugar and avoid making a bitter wine face.
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The School Hosts a Class on Food and Wine Pairing at OLLI

The School Hosts a Class on Food and Wine Pairing at OLLI

Well, we finally did it! We've been threatening for a few years to hold a class on food and wine pairing through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville and we finally did it.

I've always said that the best way to teach food and wine pairing is to show it with actual food and wine combinations and let everyone decide what works and what doesn't. This experimental course sought to do just that.

We had a different lunch catered by a local restaurant for our class each week and we paired different wines with the food. We picked wines that would pair well with the food, and intentionally picked some that would be a terrible pairing so that we can see what works and what doesn't. I'll admit, after so many years pairing wine, it was a surprising amount of fun picking wines that will be an absolute disaster with the food we were serving!

Here are some of the things that we learned in our class:

  1. Wines that are slightly sweet go really well with spicy Asian cuisine.
  2. Champagne is a curiously good pairing for fried chicken.
  3. Pinot Noir worked "ok" at best as a universal pairing.
  4. Champagne and wedding cake was a surprisingly bad combination, but a sparkling wine that was slightly off-dry tasted much less bitter.
  5. Sauternes and Apple Pie are "birds of a feather"

The food was catered by Strada, the Golden Fleece, Gan Shan Station, Corner Kitchen Catering, Homegrown, and also Geraldines and 50 Fifty Desserts for our dessert class.

If you didn't make it into the class this semester, we will offer a repeat of the same course for the spring semester. More information about the OLLI program here https://olliasheville.com/

 

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The Asheville School of Wine holds it's First Class!

The Asheville School of Wine holds it's First Class!

Well, we have actually been teaching classes through the continuing adult education department at our local university for a few years now, but this was the first class that was open to the public.

The class was called "Wine Essentials" and went over the basics of wine. We started off by learning to describe the different flavor components of wine, then talked about common grape varietals, followed by a crash course in terroir and then finished up with some practical tips to get the most enjoyment out of your wine. How to start a wine cellar, when to decant and why, serving temperatures for your favorite wines and the basics of food and wine pairing.

If you missed it, there are 5 more classes in our series with one premiering every month. The next classes will deal with the major grape varietals and regions of some of our favorite wine making countries.

We still have a few seats left for our next class in which we will cover the wines of France. Learn about the grapes and history of Bordeaux, why you can't call your favorite California bubbly "Champagne" and why "White Burgundy" isn't an oxymoron!

Learn about the other classes in our series and buy tickets here: http://www.ashevilleschoolofwine.com/schedule

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Rosé Pairings for your Thanksgiving Dinner

Rosé Pairings for your Thanksgiving Dinner

If you are a regular reader of this blog, have probably already heard that not only are rose wines not just for summertime anymore, they are fantastic wines to serve with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. If hearing this piqued your interest and you want to try it out yourself, we have put together four wines to go with each course of your holiday feast.

Try these out and experience a unique Thanksgiving Meal.


Appertif: Franck Besson “Rosé Granit” Gamay, Beaujolais, France, 2013

Enjoy this delicate sparkling Gamay rosé with your friends as they arrive. Crisp and delicate with flavors of pink flowers, under-ripe raspberry with a mineral finish.

Appetizer: “The Guild Rosé” Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2015

Nothing pairs with salads and lighter fare like Grochau’s rosé mostly made from crisp Melon de Bourgogne and just enough Pinot Noir to make it pink. Since this rosé is a blend, it is much lighter and more delicate than wines that are made entirely from red grapes. Enjoy the light, crisp flavors of wet stone, tart apple, rose petals and

Entrée: Cuilleron “Sybel” Syrah Rosé, Rhone Valley, France, 2015

For the main event, go with a wine that will stand up to turkey. This 100% Syrah rosé from the Rhone Valley shows powerful flavors of spice, roast fig and tart cherry with a slightly smoky finish. Whether you are oven roasting or deep frying your bird, this will power through and get your mouth ready for the next bite.

Dessert: Primes Rosé Port, Porto, Portugal, NV

Serve this rosé Port with Pumpkin Pie or on its own as a liquid dessert to finish your meal. Opulent and sweet with cooked strawberry and spice flavors. Serve chilled.

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