Introductory Wine Workshops, Fall 2014

What: Entry-level workshops in wine tasting, taught by us (Madeline, Crystal, David, Marc, and Jessica). The workshops will be taught with no assumption of any wine-tasting background, but we hope to incorporate enough cool stuff to keep even veteran oenophiles entertained-- even those who participated last year (we're planning to switch up the wines). Each workshop will cover ~10 wines.
As with many of our club's events, these workshops will be based around blind wine tasting. We'll talk first about objective properties of different wines and give you a chance to experience them without knowing what the wines are, before then talking about how these properties come about through winemaking process.
There will be three workshops in the series, each with a different theme (see below); you're welcome to come to any or all of them. Each one will present different material and we hope you'll take all three, but you won't be lost if you only take one or two.

When: Thursdays October 9, 15, and 23; 6:30-9:00pm

Where: Green Earth Sciences, room 365 [Note: the building is locked at 7:00pm, so don't be late!]

Who: SWS members (plus guests) who have signed up ahead of time. Our capacity is limited.

How much: totally free! (as long as you're a member)

Sign up: Make sure to sign up online by the deadline. If we go over capacity on signups, preference will go first to members (over guests) and we'll award spots to members by lottery. We'll send a confirmation email to all attendees before the workshop-- if you haven't received anything by Wednesday, get in touch with us.
If sign up but then realize you can't make it, please let us know as soon as you possibly can, to be fair to others who may want to attend. If you accumulate a record of no-shows, we may hesitate to let you into future events.
To sign up, follow the links associated with each event listing, below.

What to bring: Please bring your own wine glasses. Please bring 6; we plan to pour 4-6 wines at a time for comparison, in at least some of the workshops. You'll want glasses that are pretty deep (so you can swirl comfortably), with stems, and preferably less than 8oz. Here is one set we recommend. (Save on shipping by teaming up with other members when you place your order! We'll try to facilitate that at our kick-off event.) Of course, if you already own suitable glasses and would prefer to bring those, that's okay too.
We also recommend bringing a pencil and notebook, or other means of note-taking.

We'll have packets about wine and wine tasting for you at the events but if you want to read up a bit about wine ahead of time, check out the following resources. They go into quite a bit of detail, so even just reading about a couple grape varietals or regions may be enough.

List and description of wine varietals from Wine Spectator: http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/Varietal-Characteristics_1001

Jancis Robinson: http://www.jancisrobinson.com/categories/learn_about_wine.html - a very thorough review of wine regions, grapes, and more.



Workshop themes
October 9: Intro to Aromas - Any Smell Goes 
sign up online by October 6
How often, in everyday life, are you asked to dissect the smell and taste of something you're eating or drinking? Can you pick out the spices in a soup, or remember whether the pear you ate today tasted like the one you ate yesterday? All it takes is a little practice and some new vocabulary to get really good at identifying, describing, and remembering aromas. In this workshop, you'll get the chance to develop those skills, and learn to identify wines by their aromas.

October 15: Beyond the Nose
sign up online by October 13
Of course, wine isn't just about aroma. Mouthfeel, body, acid, sugar, and alcohol content are all important contributors to the experience of drinking a wine. In this workshop you'll learn what contributes to acidity, guess at alcohol content, figure out what "body" means, and get an overview of what determines these factors in a wine and how these factors in turn determine how much you like that wine.

October 23: Features of Red and White: Tannin and Oak
sign up online by October 20
What are tannins? What does oak taste like? Why are they important? Join us for an exploration of each!