As I mentioned a few posts back, my semester is a little different than last year's due to the courses I am taking. Since I only have two baking lab classes, I decided to sign up for Introduction to Wine. I have an interest in wine, and I've always wanted to be more educated as a consumer, so I felt this would be a necessary course for my personal and professional growth.
The class meets Tuesday nights from 6-9pm. We've had three classes so far. During the first week of classes, we discussed the basics of wine history, including things like Prohibition. We also discussed the process for tasting wine, including examining a wine's appearance, smelling a wine, tasting a wine, and making conclusions. Each week, we use this process and taste a few wines. Our homework each week always include tasting a new wine as well.
During the second week, we discussed viticulture - the process for cultivating grapes - and viniculture - the process of making wine. We talked about climate, harvesting, trellising, terroir, and the differences between making white wine and making red wine.
During the third week of class, we had a component tasting. The instructor set up various cups of ingredients, like different fruits, vegetables, spices, etc, and we smelled each during that part of the wine tasting experience. We did this with four different wines.
I am not the greatest at identifying components based on smell, so this process was really helpful for me. We've also tasted some wines I have really liked, so my exposure to different wines has already grown in just three short weeks. We're beginning to look at different countries and their governing bodies, laws, regions, grapes, and market trends, and we're starting with France. I imagine it will begin to seem like information overload, but for now, I am enjoying the exposure and new knowledge.