In The Classroom
By popular demand, we are bringing one of our most popular series of classes from the OLLI program at UNCA to the Asheville School of Wine, complete and unedited!
Money, Mayhem & Murder covers the worst crimes in the wine industry, both historical and modern day. We will cover everything from Arson to Fraud and, of course, Murder.
This will be a series of three classes, each one will be two hours long and include wines to taste that have been paired with the stories.
Each class is $30 plus tax or $75 for all three classes.
Class 1: Money
This class will examine the financial crimes committed in the world of wine. Theft, Ponzi Schemes, arson and counterfeit wine will be covered in this class.
June 13th from 5:00-7:00
Class 2: Mayhem
The “Wine Mafia”in France, wine terrorists, a scandal that tanked an entire country's wine program, a wine bottle brawl at 30,000 feet and why you should never mess with Chateau Cheyval Blanc.
June 20th from 5:00-7:00
Class 3: Murder
Murders and poisons in the world of wine. The Borgias, Rasputin, a Sicilian who helped women murder their husbands and a modern day murder–suicide in Napa Valley.
June 27th from 5:00-7:00
Ok I'll admit, that's a pretty controversial title.
Riesling has long been seen as the grape of the uncultured, the wine you have to keep a bottle of in case Aunt Bertha stops by. A glass of sweet plonk that is marginally better than that bottle of Muscadine you bought at a gas station as a gag-gift for your wine snobby friend.
But Riesling is a favorite of Sommeliers around the world, myself included. In fact, many of the wine experts I have looked up to over the years have admitted to me that their favorite wine is Riesling.
I realize that most of us had our first hangover from the sugary stuff we bought at the grocery store in college. If the idea of Riesling conjures up images of bottles shaped like a cat or emblazoned with an image of a Blue Nun, keep in mind those are cheap knock-off's of Riesling mostly made from the grape Sylvaner.
When I was 19, I spent a little over a month in the Mosel Valley of Germany. I wasn't old enough to drink in the US yet, but I was plenty old enough in Germany, so at our first restaurant stop, I clumsily ordered a glass of red wine. The server smiled as if I had made a faux pas and kindly offered to bring me something more regionally famous. Thus began my lifelong love of Riesling.
Riesling is aromatic and floral, and naturally has very high levels of acid, but it is not always sweet. Often it is left with a bit of residual sugar to balance out it's bracing tartness, think of it as adding sugar to lemonade. If you are a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, I have no doubt you will enjoy a dry Riesling.
If you are interested in learning more about Riesling, the Noble Grape of Germany, come to our next Much Maligned Grapes class which will be about Riesling. The class premiers on May 21st from 5:30-6:30.
We had some good times this Winter and early Spring.
We tackled famously unpopular grape varietals like Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in our Much Maligned Grapes Series of classes. In each class we tasted examples of each grape from around the world. I think we had some converts.
We literally visited every province in Italy. Twice. Our Northern and Southern Italian classes were so popular we had to schedule them over and over again.
But now we say goodbye to our Winter Semester and make way for more classes coming this Summer.
See you all there!
I have to admit, I didn't think we would be THAT successful with changing people's opinions about Merlot.
Merlot has been a bad word since the movie "Sideways" came out in 2004, and even the people who buy the few bottles we sell every year seem embarrassed about picking one up. They usually offer up an excuse of some sort. "I hate Merlot, but this bottle is actually pretty good" or some similar explanation. I've got news for you, you like Merlot and that is ok.
People think that liking Merlot makes them an uncultured rube. I've actually had people come up to the tasting bar in our wine shop excited to try the red and white we are pouring that day, just to change their mind once they see the word "Merlot" on the label. With a wave of their hand, they say "no thanks, I don't drink Merlot," as if they caught us in a trick at the last moment.
Imagine how surprised we were when our "Much Maligned Grapes: Merlot" class sold out! We packed 26 people into our classroom and fed them 5 different Merlot's from all over the world as they listened to me rant about "Sideways" and Juniper Cooper from Mutual Distribution talk about each wine.
The amazing thing was, the attendees really liked the wines! We sold out of the bottles we brought in for the event. Looking at our inventory afterwards you would think we had been robbed. It was the most Merlot purchased in one day since we opened our doors six years ago.
Did we change the course of wine history? Have we officially ended the stigma of drinking Merlot? Only time will tell, but yes.
Do you love the movie Sideways? Did Paul Giamatti convince you to stop drinking Merlot? Maybe it's time to revisit this old favorite.
On March 19th we will take a tour of perhaps the most maligned grape of all with examples to taste from all over the world. Taste and learn about five different bottles of Merlot served with cheese. Andy Hale will start the class with an overview of the history and characteristics of the grape and Juniper Cooper will present the five bottles with the particular details concerning the country of origin and the style of the wine.
Well it looks like our tiny classroom just isn't big enough! Even though we crammed almost 30 people in for our 2-part Italian Wine class, we still have a massive waiting list. Since so many people didn't make it into our class, we have opened up some new dates for our popular class.
There will be a second class for Northern Italy on March 12th at 5:30, although this class is already sold out.
A third class for Northern Italy is scheduled for April the 9th at 5:30.
A second class for Southern Italy is scheduled for April the 11th at 5:30.
The cost for each class is $25 plus tax and includes a tasting of some of the wines we will discuss in the lecture.
Buy classes here! https://www.metrowinesasheville.com/store/special-events/
Last night we hosted Chris Curtis from Winebow Distribution for our first class in our "Much Maligned Grapes" Series of classes. In this four part series of classes we will focus on a single grape varietal and taste examples of it from all over the world and with very different flavor profiles. Last night's class "Chardonnay Around the World" was the first in this series.
I started the class off with some information about the basic characteristics of Chardonnay, and then spoke about some of the techniques that winemakers can use to add the famous "Buttery" flavor that some Chardonnays are famous for.
For the rest of the class, Chris took us on a tasting tour of 6 Chardonnays from around the world. As we swirled, sniffed and slurped the wines, Chris spoke about the wine regions of each and talked about how each wine was made.
After it was all done, we had some self proclaimed "Chardonnay haters" that found a few Chardonnays that they would actually buy! I think everyone learned a little more about one of the most versatile and famous white wines.
Join us on March 19th as we continue the Much Maligned Grapes Series with the most maligned grape of them all: Merlot! Don't avoid Merlot just because Paul Giamatti told you not to!
Intimidated by the Italian wine section of your favorite wine shop or restaurant wine list?
Fear no more!
We are taking the most popular section of our Around the World in Wine series and going more in-depth. Instead of a quick glossing over of the most important Italian wines and regions, we will delve deeper and talk about the lesser known wines as well. You will leave this class confident and ready to take on an all Italian wine list!
This series will feature two classes, one on the wines of Northern Italy and one for the South.
In the Northern Italian Class, expect to learn about and taste the most famous of Italian wines. Learn about Chianti, Soave, Brunello, Barolo, Amarone and many more. This class will premier on Thursday January 24th from 5:30 until 6:30.
The Southern Italian Class will cover wines and regions south of Tuscany. These will be less famous, richer in style and a better value. Learn about Italian Zinfandel aka Primitivo, the wines of Campania - the ancient Roman equivalent to First Growths, the wines of Sicily and even Sardinia. Drinking the wines from one region will supposedly extend your life, find out why! This class will premier on Thursday January 31st from 5:30-6:30.
The cost for each class is $25 plus tax per person and includes a wine tasting and cheese.
Since our 6-class series of wine classes were so popular last year, we are bringing them back for another go!
This series will tackle everything from the basics of wine; varietals, food and wine pairing, describing wine flavors and even interacting with your Sommelier, to the more advanced classes on the different wines of the world; regions, grapes, and terroir.
Of course, there will be wines to taste and cheese to eat along with the class itself.
Learn, laugh, and learn to talk about wine with confidence.
More info at http://www.ashevilleschoolofwine.com/schedule
So you may have noticed that I have been absent from this site for a little while. Like a dutiful husband, I followed my wife to Nashville when she was offered a big promotion with her company.
In life, you have to go where the job takes you. Right?
We were in Nashville for about 6 months when the combination of hot, humid weather, miserable traffic and hour-long work commutes caused us to rethink our move. We missed the mountains, the funky vibe of the Asheville scene, and our friends and family that we left behind. We talked it over and decided that a job wasn't worth sacrificing our quality of life.
Sometimes you don't realize how great your life really is until you move away and shake everything up.
We packed up our house and pointed our cars to the East. Back to Asheville. Back home.
This is my rambling way of saying that I will be taking over the reins of the Asheville School of Wine again. In the coming months, expect to see more classes and events posted and I'll be running my virtual mouth here on this blog as well. Keep an eye out for classes like "Money, Mayhem & Murder: The Darkest Side of Wine" through the OLLI Program at UNCA, "Wine Essentials" and many more!
It's great to be back and an honor to be resuming my post here at the School! See you all again soon!
|WSJ Talks Summer Vacation Deals
Can't go? Travel vicariously through wine.
Shop bottles or plan a private tasting @MetroWines.
You are going? Be ready! Be the wine who knows the wine.
Great Rose Tasting @MetroWines
The Asheville School of Wine will be available all day
with a tasting notes for the "pours" and to discuss Rose!
Besides the US, Francois says his biggest markets are UK, Japan and, get this, Russia.
And one more thing. I had Disco playing on Spitify. I ask Francois if he would prefer a different music. "Yes, country," he says.
|"Are expensive Wines Worth It?"
John Kerr of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines
Tells All for Capital at Play
Great Rose Tasting: May 5th from 10am to 7pm @Metrowines
Event Pricing (10% off any bottle) in RED
1. Le Quattro Terre Rosato 2017 Piedmont, Italy $11.99 ($10.79)
This Barbera Rose is a bright pink in the glass with aromas of strawberry and rose petal leading to a salty, mineral driven finish.
2. Fleur de Prairie 2017, Provence $14.99 ($13.49)
Crafted in the traditional Provencal style, this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault is a pale salmon color with flavors of strawberry, rose petals and herbs. Bright refreshing acidity. Fleur de Prairie translates as "wildflowers" celebrating the beautiful fields of wisteria, lavender, poppy (you might find a wisp on the nose!) and sunflowers.
3. DMZ Rose 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa $14.99 ($13.49)
A crowd pleasing Cabernet rose with alluring aromas and juicy flavors of strawberry, watermelon and pomegranate highlighted by delicate floral and spice notes.
4. OVR Old Vine Rose Marietta Cellars, California $13.99 ($12.59)
This juicy blend of Syrah, Grenache Noir and Grenache Gris presents bright red and blue fruits on the nose and palate. Balanced bright fruit and acidity.
5. Zoe, Greece 2017 $12.49 ($11.24)
"Zoe" means life in Greek. This dry rose, a blend of 70% Aghiorghitiko and 30% Moscofilero, is full of life! Ripe cherries, rose petals on the nose and palate.
6. Gateway Vinho Verde, Portugal $9.99 ($8.99)
A blend of regional varietals: 60% Touriga Nacional and 40% Espadeiro. Bright pink color. The nose is lively strawberry and red currant complemented with floral notes. Luscious palate presents good acidity with fresh, young fruit, slight fizz and delicate finish.
Register for this class through OLLI at UNCA HERE
Summer White Wines: Local Favorites Around the World Personal Development 4 weeks: June 19, 26, July 3, 10 Tuesdays, 2-4 p.m. Stretch your comfort zone and learn about the summer white wine favorites enjoyed by locals in several wine regions worldwide. See how to make your whites taste beer and cover the secrets of pairing white wines with summer dishes. Don’t be surprised if a few winemakers join us via Skype. You’ll try about six new whites at each class. Course fee: $50 for wine and food, payable to instructor at the first session.