Koi Zen Cellars

Wine Class Descriptions

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Learn more about wine by taking a fun Wine Class or two.  Learn all about the different aspects of wine styles, production, locations, tastes, flavors and pairings.

Acid, Tannin, Sugar, Alcohol:

This class explores the difference between the major characteristics of any glass of wine. You will be able to answer questions like:

  • why do some wines burn,
  • taste sweet,
  • pucker your cheeks,
  • or give you cotton mouth.
  • What does “dry wine” really mean?

During this interactive class you will compare and contrast wine samples that have been prepared to explore the sensory experiences of acids, tannins, residual sugar and alcohol levels (and other common traits). This introductory class will allow you begin to understand your preferences and wine style and will give you a vocabulary to share with your friends and to confidently order unfamiliar wine. You will begin the process of understanding the theory behind wine and food pairings. This introductory class lasts approximately 60 minutes and includes one glass of wine and tasting samples. After you master this class, check out the “What’s for Dinner?” or “The 5 S’s” classes.

The 5 S’s:

See, smell, swirl, sip and savor – this introductory class explains the basics of professional wine tastings and evaluation. It explores the theory and techniques used by the pros to evaluate wine.

During this class you will be exposed to a professional evaluation scale and after the class you will be able to technically evaluate different wines. Your wine vocabulary will be dramatically increased as you begin to understand the difference between length, finish, attack and grip to name a few common terms.

You will also learn how to identify common wine faults, why they happen and what it means. This introductory class lasts approximately 60 minutes and includes your choice of a glass of wine and samples to evaluate.

Aroma Therapy:

Most human can distinguish between thousands of scents, though can only name a few at a time. Understand how the retro-nasal cavity is directly connected to the memory centers of the brain and why the smell of turkey often brings back strong memories of Thanksgiving and family. This class will show you how to become a smell hound and how to build your smell memory banks. By the way, what does “wet asphalt” taste like? During this class you will put your sniffer to the test as we have fun identifying common smells often associated with wines. This introductory class lasts approximately 60 minutes and includes your choice of wine and sensory samples.

Basic Wine-making:

How does a grape vine produce a berry and can turn into an elixir worth thousands of dollars. This overview class will explain how this process happens by exploring the various steps and phases of wine-making. We will also discuss the technical differences between artisan wine production and mass production techniques and discuss how this affects price and pleasure.

We will explore the different techniques used to produce white wine, sparkling, blush and red wines. This class includes your choice of one glass of wine and lasts approximately 2 hours.

What’s for Dinner?

In this class we will explore why particular wines pair with particular foods. We will explore the theory behind pairing and teach you the basic science of pairings versus a bunch of rules and guidelines. This hands-on class will allow you the opportunity to try and taste. You will discover good matches and not so good matches, but most importantly will explain why. Once you know why, you could become the hero at the dinner table every time. Using different wine samples and food samples, we will explore what happens when different wines are paired. What happens when you pair spice with spice, or fat with tannin? At then end of the class you will be pairing wines like a pro both at home and in the restaurant.  This class lasts approximately 90 minutes and includes all wine and food samples.

What’s in a Label?

The federal government reviews and approves over 100,000 wine labels per year guaranteeing accuracy and consumer protection. The wine label is the only official indication of what is in the bottle and understanding this allows you to select wine with confidence. What is the difference between an Application and an American Viniculture Area and does it matter? Does vintage make a difference and what about wine without a vintage? You can understand a whole lot about a wine once you learn how to decode the information on the label. This basic class lasts about 30 minutes.