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Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 11 of 21

Caring for Wine


Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 11 of 21

Caring for Wine


Lesson Info

Caring for Wine

Let's have some new people with us today. So who are you and how do you come to wine? Uh, monies, Brian, um, actually work here creativelive and I've ah, wine drinker. I love wine, but I often don't know actually, what goes into it or what? I'm drinking ours. You know, there's like for rez. There's cabs and Pinos, and I don't know, They just they taste different to me, and that's about it. So we're gonna dive a little deeper into what? That always Okay, Awesome. Right on. And how about yourself? Uh, my name is John. I also work here, Um, a technical director here. Um, I just like drinking. And generally, I like, uh uh, like God, having people over for dinner and seven wine tends to be the good drink to have their, and I want to learn more about it. Terrific. And finally, um, has been have been I don't know a lot about one, but I know a few kinds of bottles that I like to drink from, but I think I like to learn just some more options. Okay, great. So welcome. We spent quite a lot of tim...

e working with this what I call the map to your desires that we created based on the scratch and sniff book where you start in the middle. And if you want to do white, you foot the white side up. If you want to read, you start here and you answer three questions. And these three questions there are predicated upon the idea that we can break down any wine into what you smell into three areas. Fruit, earth and wood. And there are some other things too. But there's no place for the other on the wheel. We don't actually need it to get exactly what we want based on our preferences. Um, we also covered the point where when we think we're tasting, things were actually smelling them. We only tastes sweet, sour, salty, bitter. And if we're lucky, umami, which is that Japanese idea of savory. Everything else we think we're tasting were actually smelling right. So with that in mind that the scratch and sniff idea works. So when you work through these things and understand what you're smelling or tasting actually smelling it, right, So the first thing you're gonna dio in, um that we use this this map. Four is understanding that the big division in red wines is between red fruits and black fruits, and you make a decision based on your preferences, which direction you want to go. The next big influencer in in wine is what you make it in what you agent in, and if you aged in oak, it's gonna flavor it. And the flavors can be anything from vanilla and cinnamon and toast that you get in French oak or all those things, plus sometimes coconut and importantly, dill. What you get in American Oak. So it so by for Cates again and then the last pieces the earthy thing. And that's the piece that everybody I think really has has to work on and think about really in a in a yes, no sense. So what is Earth in a one? Ideally, it's way kept everything clean, and so it's not like it got an infection along the way. What we're talking about earth in a wine, it's that the grape and the place where it grows, they've a synergy, right? And so the grapevine expresses somehow expresses the soil upon which is grown, and that's the earthiness. And so when you're thinking about it and you're looking for At the end of yesterday, we got to a place where it was really easy to think about. Okay, Is the wine just about fruit and plus or minus oak? Or is there something else there? If there's something else there, it's probably the earth. And so you have to just make it very easy for yourselves by thinking about Is there something else? And if there is okay, it's probably earthy and then start to describe it. And then from there you've gotten all the way out to exactly all of the winds of the world. And so we're gonna go through it this way, and they're gonna look at the ones of world and go back through it to really break it down and understand the world of wine via tasting as opposed diving into the library and a bunch of thick books. So this is this is one the first step into diving into tasting and understanding where things come from and why they are the way they are. We also spent a long time working on the method, if you will, and we're gonna we're gonna come to that in the next lecture this morning. And it's It's really everything. All the information that you can gather from looking at a wine from smelling the wine from tasting and feeling the wine and then making a logical conclusion about what it is. Based on the information you've collected. You're an investigator at that point. It's a pretty it's a pretty neat process. So I'm looking forward to getting into that again. And the process only works if you have What what's the other ingredient you really need? Starts with C context. Exactly. That's your homework. So that means you have to drink all the wines in the world. That's that's your home. That's your assignment. Okay, so get busy. Yeah, but with the context, you start to understand how to place things in the method and relate wines to one another, which is what makes them all make sense in the end, Um, way did that with white wines with oak. We did that with white wines without oak, so really the whole of the white wine world we also find understood via we made ourselves fictional Napa Valley vintners to understand how one has grown made in the house, shipped and sold on economics of the business. Which air? I mean, they're sobering for sure. We're going to just do We're not gonna not gonna show you the slides for the method. We're gonna let these guys lead you through it. But you have three glasses of wine in front of you. We want to look at it, and we want to smell it, and we want to taste it. And then I want to hear what you think about the three. So these are the three. And the first thing you want to do is you want to pick him off. We're gonna use a little bit more quickly than we did that. All the winds yesterday. Um, pick him up when you look at it. Wine. You don't do this. This is This is meaningless. You're sort of looking at the lights of the wall. You want a tip till it over, look down through it and look at the color and describe it and do that for all three. And see if you see a difference at all. I see a difference. Like see is done. You feel like see is darker. E like these. The darkest right winner, right on B is the darkest. Okay, so now smell them all. And do they smell the same? Or do they smell different? Whoa. Yeah. Be does smell a little like vinegar, doesn't it conceive? Smells a little, like sort of plums or prunes or dried. Everyone's got a good nose. Okay, that actually brings a good point. Like I for sure, always have the biggest nose in any room. But it's not any better than anyone else. Anyone else's, it's Ah. You know, when we were hunter gatherers, we depended upon this thing for life. You know, you figured out what to eat or he died. Um, you know what was poisonous? What was rotten? All these sorts of things. So we all have it. It's just a matter of tuning it in. Yep. So do they smell the same or do they smell different? If they do smell different? What smells good and there's no right answer here. I'm curious about this. A a smells sweeter and I'm with us to me. I don't know. I don't Kerry like, yeah, the sweetness today and yeah, Okay. Hey. Seems very delicate. It's not It's not a lot of aroma. It's very like delicate. So maybe that's just me. That delicacy is welcoming. I think that's great as well said. It's well said It is important also just to use your own your own language. There is no wine. Speak. It's knock it off the pedestal. Make it easy. Making accessible. Use your vocabulary. That's huge. And how about here? I think Sisi. That's a nice aroma. A bit of a darker fruit. Okay. Almost jammy. Okay, great. Jessica. Okay. I think I, like, see the best. Okay, great. So what's really cool about that? Even though I'm voting with them, there is no right answer. That's that's the interesting piece, right? Okay, let's taste it with state. Takes them all. Please. Maybe in order of preference, taste the one you like the most. First I didn't like a immediately. Yeah. Think be turned out what I was expecting. Which is what? A little metallic committed in some earthy qualities to it. Okay. Yeah, a taste as sweet as it smelled. Okay. Great. And how about be anyone here, Put that in their mouth. Kind of like a constant officer. Okay? Yeah. Feel it. Yeah, I think I prefer and see the least. Okay. And what is okay with Be okay. All right. Cool. So that's that's actually why pardon? I said, I don't know why. Maybe I like a baby, is earthy and I like earthy. Right? If I like beats, maybe I like earth ey incident. You know, I think that you are earthy thing. So what's really cool about that is this that we have all these different preferences even after tasting them. And it sounds like it, like bifurcated again that they're you know, you've got some C's and B's and A's. I'm still in the A but maybe that's because I know what it is. So very fair. So, um, what if I told you it was all the same wine? Well, crazy, right? So it is kind of nuts. So this is actually all this wine, which is Santa me on Grand Cru made Bordeaux. Actually, I make this wine and it's, ah, merlot and cabernet franc. But the difference is is glass A? We opened the bottle today. Glass. See, we opened the bottle a week ago and split it, so it was sitting basically half open bottle for the past week, and glass B was opened a month ago. So it's so it shows you what does air oxygen due to wine over time and his guy that knows what it's supposed to be like. I just watch it dying slowly and really dead, you know? And so but it doesn't mean it's not good. It doesn't mean it's not good. But it should illustrate for you how things actually change. If you do have something that you like and, you know, I'm just gonna have a glass and, you know, put a cork in it and leave it for tomorrow. You know, it's going to be different if you take a trip and you come back a week later, it's going to be different. So it's so how you care for wine, how you think about why and how you serve wine, how you drink wine. We're gonna cover all these things. What do you think? Questions. I think I was I was shocked by not like the taste. I thought it was gonna be a lot lighter. And now I know what type of wine it is. It makes sense. Yep, but that played into it. A little house? Yeah, it was interesting. Like a mental thing? Yep. Well, isn't it cool that actually flush the meant the, you know, preconceived notions or based on the label? Yeah. You know, the truth is actually in what you're tasting. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. That was cool. Okay, let's keep going. Let's talk about how do we care for wine? How long before you drink it? This is, um, really thinking about if this point you're into wine. You're a consumer, right? Your your buyer. What? How How do you do this? Well, um, and you do it well by first thinking about how you gonna care for it before you bite off more than you can chew. This is the first piece you think about you needing. You don't just get a puppy and then figure out what to do with it or whether you can have in your home or how to feed it or any of those things. Can you bring it to work? You know, wine is actually believe it or not about the same thing. It's not gonna Well, it actually to console your rug, but but it requires the same sort of thought and care. And so the first question is when, when thinking about why, as a consumer is, how long before you drink it? And there's some statistic that may or may not be true. But it's batted around the one industry that the average bottle of wine is owned for 28 minutes before it's opened 28 minutes. So think about that. Like if we think about our own lives, it's probably pretty true, like on the way home. Like, Okay, I got to grab that. Get that. Your home is the first thing we pull out the grocery bag and pull the cork on, right? So then how does wine age? Let's assume we're not gonna wait 28 minutes. How does wine age what happens? Well, you're looking at it, um, with the cork pulled right, so this isn't in existence is definitely not an exact science of how or an exact replica of how it would age of the cork weren't pulled. But there is an exchange of oxygen through that cork and overtime tannin chains plum arise and they get longer. We'll talk about what tannins are, but those are the things that. You know, like if you've ever been a banana to get it open and it drives your mouth out. You left the Lipton tea bag and the tea too long and drives your mouth out, visited tannins, and you can actually feel tannins, I think, particularly in glass A today? Yeah. Screw toe. You know, screw tops our big thing. Yeah, they are a big thing, right? And that's that's actually a good question. But how does one age in the age a whole lot more slowly there, Right, So? So we're gonna get the very last part. Why? I no longer cellar wine. There's an age calculation that I think everybody should do is a drinker. And what we'll cover that when we get there. Um, So how does wine age Certain things in the chemically in the wine line up and it becomes softer and softer and softer. But there's also the exchange of the oxygen through the cork with the wine via the cork. That is roughly not. It's the same processes this, but it doesn't proceed at the same rate. This is really an exaggerated rate of oxidation. So you think about something. If you're gonna buy this weight. Who liked a the best. Okay, so if you didn't like a the best who liked B or C the best, that's so that might suggest that if you're gonna buy this wine, you wanna wait? Do we correlate a week to five years, maybe probably something like that. And that's not It's not a great rule of thumb, but it says you like this wine better later, right? So really, let's let's actually jump to the third to last point. What's the apogee of anyone like when I get that question a lot like, Hey, when is this gonna be best? When should I drink this wine or anyone? And the answer is always whenever it tastes great to you. And I think that that the democracy of what we shot we saw when when no one knew what was what really illustrates that is that there is no right answer other than the one that's right for you. So please, please do bear that that in mind. So when thinking about, um, about how to careful wine and where you wanna seller it, where you want to store it, how where do you want to put it. Don't put it on top of your refrigerator. I get that a lot to the Somali and the restaurant there. Like someone come and say, Oh, you know, I have this picture of this bottle that my father gave me on his last day, and I've been saving it for the last 30 years. It's been a top of the refrigerator, you know? When should I drink it? You just want I mean, it's pretty hard to tell him like, Well, you know, it's actually garbage. It is better is a memory than a drink because wind much, just much like like any fruit. It's perishable, right? What? I mean, this is made from what? Fruit juice, fruit juices, grape juice, right? And so much like you would care for any fresh piece of fruit or juice. You got to take care of it. And things that are its enemy include light. That's why it's in a dark bottle, right? So lights its enemy temperature is its enemy. If you have an apple, take two apples. You leave one on the counter and you put one in the fridge. You come back in three weeks. What's going to be alive. No one will have actually crawled away at that point. You know, on the other. Still be edible. Um, humidity is a big deal. What's in the in the neck here? If it's not a screw top, as you pointed out, its cork and corks a tree bark. And if it dries out, it's going to shrink, shrink, shrink, shrink and it's gonna let all the oxygen. And this is gonna happen much more quickly, all that oxidation. So it's really important that the cork is also cared for, right? So you're feeding this puppy quite a live. It really requires a lot of attention. Vibration can be. It can be an issue. Um, you know, actually, if it's if it's next to so you put it, you build a seller in your basement. It's next to the water heater that's always rumbling, or whatever it may be that's gonna give off heat and vibration. And it's just not the wines friend it wants. It wants to sleep somewhere quiet, um, and passed there another thing, you know. So don't just, like, say, I'm gonna stick it under the floorboards because you know who else is looking under the floorboards to You have to think about all these things that these were all the enemies. Where you gonna actually do it? Um, it's you're gonna do it somewhere cold. You're gonna do it somewhere dark, you're gonna do it somewhere moist. You do it somewhere free of pests. And do you guys have any of those places in your homes? San Francisco, You know where you live. We're, like, at your home. Well, my closet is actually pretty good in the upper part. OK, but how warm is it in there, Do you think? Probably 56 to 65 degrees. It's 65. Probably. It's probably a little too high, but what's the real danger there is that the temperature goes like this? Uh, so if you have a 10 degree swing, it's just like the one goes to sleep. The wine wakes up going to sleep, it wakes up. You keep seeing these short naps and, like, how are we? If we don't like, get a full night's sleep right? It's just your harried. And so the winds the same thing. It's his living being, and you're gonna You're gonna kill your puppy if you keep asking it to get up every hour. Wait, so it's really important. Yeah, go ahead. We're gonna talk about, like, rat wine racks. What always has to be stored on its side. I've actually never really known why. It's, you know, question. So let's think about it. The cork we said we need what to care for the cork, moisture, humidity. And so the humidity takes care of this end. But the moisture of the line actually takes care of care of it from this end. So you're still serving to keep the cork moist by keeping it on its side. The man you do this, you make its job harder, right? So it's it's going to dry out much more rapidly if it's not on its side and always tilted a little down to You don't have to just long as that, you know, the air bubbles out of their, uh, yeah, Doesn't matter. Awesome. Yep. Other questions. Yes. You mentioned that, uh, one glasses, air wine bottles or darker, but I feel like white wine bottles are pretty clear or red wines more prone to spoiling the white ones. Which wines air you more likely to keep for a longer time, I guess. Probably reds. Well, then I didn't think for a 28 minute category. I generally do, Teoh, but But I might buy an old wine, and then I only keep it for 28 minutes. But yeah. So, generally, it's just about the length of time you're gonna agent. So I make Rose a two. We put that in a clear, clear, clear bottle in every bottle that we made last year has already been drunk. It's about what's the expectation for the wine, right? So if we expect it, we hope have hopes and dreams of it aging into something beautiful, you know? Then set it up for success. If I hope you drink it on the beach with a straw. Thank you. Know you're good to go. Um, OK, so thinking about where you're gonna cellar, that's that's a big deal. Your closets Now off the list. Um, I used to have one in the basement, my home, and then I moved it to a place in New Jersey, which is it's just a huge warehouse, and it's basically designed is a huge custom wine cellar. And that was great. The wine was out of my house. I didn't drink it when I really want to save it, which was a real issue. But they also send you a bill. It's like sending your puppy to daycare. Right? So you now just like man, I'm paying for this and I can go drink it and, you know, it becomes, you know, it's a real thing. It's a real consideration. You got to keep feeding the dog. Um, so, you know, are you willing to do that right? So I feel like I feel like I'm getting parenting classes here, but yet it is it's important. It's a real consideration of our unity. That and say, Let's say you get to the place where, yes, I am going to do that. I'm gonna commit to doing this. I'm gonna pay the monthly bill I'm gonna make sure is taking care of exactly right now I'm gonna buy wine, so don't just buy it by the bottle, right? If you just buy it by the bottle, you really run the risk of great disappointment. We talked yesterday about how there are no great wise. There are only great bottles. And again, that's largely due to this cork in overtime at outset. If you open a case, all 12 bottles of this should taste pretty much the same. You know, a year later, they're gonna start to diverge, and five years later, they're gonna diverge even further and 10 years down the track, you know, they're not. Those bottles are not gonna look. They'll look generally the same. Like Okay, you know, I've had this and you'll hear, you know, old wine collectors and drinkers talk about. I had a really great bottle of this. I had a really great bottle of that. And the That's their parlance because there's so many times when the bottle isn't good and it really is understood to be a bottle by bottle thing. And so if you don't buy a case and you bought the bottle that went way off in left field and you've saved it for all that time, you're gonna be pretty bummed out. And I've been on the wrong end of that stick. It's a bummer. So it's really important that if I ever the case wanted protect against that. But to this is where the real enjoyment of one comes in is understand It's a living thing that's really important to remember, You know, just like those two apples we talked about. This thing's gonna live. Breathe, evolve, change. And you wanna watch that happen? You want to watch your puppy grow up? You don't want to get him and pet him in so nice and put in the closet. It comes out in a big mean retriever, You know, You want to see all those steps and teaching to catch and he'll and all that sort of stuff. And so when you buy a case, I drink a bottle, drink one right away and say, OK, I see it now, like I get it. And in your case with this wine, give me, like, OK, I get it now. It's not exactly I wanted to be. I know because I learned on Creativelive that I actually like older wines, so I'm gonna set it aside for a certain amount of time. And I probably think he's kind of baking, like, you know, it probably needs 30 minutes. I'll set the timer for 22. Right. So then you're gonna check that way, check in on. Exactly. Yeah. So then you're gonna like look at it again in three years, and if it's great, drink up right. But if it's, you know, if you think OK, it's pretty. But maybe it's got more to go than checking it again. Two more years in four more years, and by the time you're done with the case, it's actually been a really cool journey. And you have a really interesting relationship with that wine, as you've watched it evolve over time. And there's a lot of pleasure in that, Yeah, Is there a quality of wine that doesn't matter a few age? I'm thinking two Buck Chuck here for sure. How do you know when it's like, Well, this is a bottle I should hang on to? Um, you know, that's really up to you. Ready? Gets back to what's the apogee. So if you I know that I like old wine and it doesn't have to be expensive, it doesn't have to be well endowed structurally to age, to get to a place where I want it to be. I just like it when the fresh fruit aromas as in glass, a take on more patina like being see and that patina on Lee comes with time. And so I think you said that that see, smelled jammy if I recall. Right? So that only happens in the case of this wine with the time having been open. So, um, you can age two, Buck Chuck, if you want. It's probably Yeah, I think if we took a consensus, it's not gonna get better for everybody. But if it gets better for you, that's fine. The key is balance. If the winds balanced, it's gonna be able to live. Yeah. Yes, I'm curious if you have any recommendations for traveling with wine. So, like we go to Italy or France, is it ruined during the flight over? Oh, gosh, no cover. Yeah, I just flew back from Europe last week with a great big case of wine. But the way to do it is with the foam shippers, the ecologically completely unsound, um, foam Styrofoam shippers. And so it's a, you know, it's basically looks like a case that fits inside of the box. And it's Styrofoam, and it keeps the bottles from breaking. But it also insulates him. Yeah, and so I mean the things you don't want to do. Like when you're driving around Italy, collecting bottles or if you're taking intuitively, you mean just care for it at any point. You don't want it to get warm. Because if it gets warm, you know, then you've left your apple out in the sun or you didn't give the puppy water, whatever it is. And things were in the less good spot. Yeah, it's always just think about it as a living thing. You know? Don't go by a case put in the trunk of your car and then do your other errands. Make the wine shop your last stop, right? Seriously, it really helps. Think about yeah, insistence, Human. It's easy. Okay, So I did this calculation for myself and before I got to the very last point, I asked to start doing this calculation and all this wine, and it's like, Okay, I know I like it old. And I'm looking at some things in the cellar. I'm thinking, OK, that's gonna take, like, 30 years to get to where I want it. And then how much wind after by between now and then to drink and then how Where will I be in 30 years? Well, I want to drink that thing. Will I be in a shit when shape to drink that thing? I plan on being in shape to drink that thing. But I had a conversation with a guy in here yesterday who did the exact same math is like, Okay, I'm buying these wines knew every single year, every single year I buying Barolo, for example. And it's always a great vantage because the presser the Barolo produces, producers do that to your Whatever the Appalachian is, you gotta have it because you keep buying and then you like Well, you know, if I'm I mean, I'm not. But if I'm 65 I'm buying wines that need 30 years, who by buying those for right, you're writing for your kids at that point, I mean realistically. So, you know, do that calculation, like, how much one can you possibly drink? So if I am 40 today and I'm gonna live 120 I get another 80 years times 3 65 and that's the number of bottles I could possibly drink. Right? So what is that number? That's actually not that big of a number, you know, So do that math And like, how much one do you actually need? When I did that math and I thought about how these things agent how they get old, I decided, Actually, I'm done selling wine. And so we've been drinking at quite a clip. And knowing that, um, you know, in say the old days, the way you know, wine used to be shipped and sold. It was it was you almost had to do that. And now we have this thing, the Internet, You know, I use a nap. I found a bottle. I drank a bottle the other night. On what you look at that under today, and I think a picture of it. And it put it in the app. And it said, Hey, do you want to buy this just like, Oh, my God even know I could You know, it's a 14 year old wine like, Yeah, buy it and hit the button And six bottles were coming to my house this week, and that's kind of awesome. And so I didn't I didn't have to feed the puppy. I don't have to water the puppy. I didn't have to deal with any of the drama. You have to pay to send the puppy to daycare. It's when I want it. There it is in that to me, is just like that's the new reality of How toe How to buy it. Care for it? Yeah, I have a quick question. Also, someone from our online audience asked him, Can wine be frozen solid to keep? That's an awesome question. The answer is yes. I've done it accidentally like you're getting ready cooking doing. You put stuff in the freezer like it's just it's not cold and it freezes. Um, the short answer is, you definitely don't want to do that if you want. Teoh, you have any hope of it being great over time. But, you know, if you stick a bottle of white wine in the freezer and accidentally it freezes, don't throw it out to drink it. You know it's gonna be different expression, but it's gonna be yummy. Yeah, it's like the ICI's at 7 So you said this is interesting. Each bottle in a case. The longer the years ago, the more likely to be different. Yes, is there like a ratio of a bottle not working out that far down Hmm. That's a great question. They say it depends on who you ask. If you ask the cork manufacturers that producers, um you know what percentage of corks are bad like, actually, they're effective. Is something talked about yesterday? TC. It's tricolor. Try chloral an assault, and I'll make your wine smell like a wet dog or stack. Await newspapers. You know that. They'll say, 02 to 4% of corks have that problem. Like globally reality. It's probably more like 10 or 12%. It was a guy that opens a lot of wine. You know, I see it at about that incidents. And so right off the bat, let's just say 10% of it under cork has an issue. Um, over time, you know that it's the issues are compound. It's not just the cork itself. At the outset, that was the problem. Like some of them, you know, we're going to dry differently. Some of have been stored differently. And so the every cork is unique, just like your puppy, right? And so it's going to take a different course. And so for sure, I can't say, um, you know, it's 50% at age are going to be dead. But you can say that it goes up by a multiple over. The longer you wait, the higher the odds are that it's that it's less good. So then you're selling something that's imbued with your hopes and dreams and hopes and dreams, and you're waiting for that occasion. And then when you get to the occasion instead, it happens a lot. I like to write. Yeah, totally. Exactly. Or 12 12 is the idea. Okay, cool. Other questions on him on this. How do I care for it? Yes, So when light so light effects the way the wine earth, wind ages. Uh, this one was a month old, and it was the darkest. But in my experience, the light tends to fade things out. Why, that's a great question. And so this is really it's not so much a product of the light. This is a proactive oxes, oxygenation or oxidation, part me oxidation. So you cut an avocado and you leave it on the counter and what happens? Okay, this is grape juice, and it's exposed oxygen. It's turning brown to right. So, um, if you actually sit pretty efficient, if you take a look at a really old tawny port and a really old Madeira, they're gonna look exactly the same. They're going to serve this light, Tony Color. Sort of like the back. Some of the darker would hear one of those wine started life as a red wine. And one of those winds started life as a white wine, and they look exactly the same. So when the red wines age, a couple things happen. The first thing is, it precipitates out pigment So color pigments falling out all the time simultaneously, they're both turning brown. So over enough time the Reds fallen out and they both turn brown and they look almost the same. It's crazy. It's really an interesting thing. And so what you're seeing here is it's much like damage is starting to turn brown. Yeah, well, yeah. Questions, Yes. So are you saying that one way to ages to just hold onto the bottle another way? If we did like saying that, you know? So I appreciate the question and the question being, you know, if we open these things up well in advance, um, can we approximate the aging curve? You're only approximating the destruction. You're not approximating the beauty or the patina that really happens when a ages in the right environment, right? So this is only by way of to show you what goes wrong, even if it tastes better to you. It's definitely it's the destructive processes as opposed to the development of patina, which happens under court.

Class Description

Do you cower when presented with the wine list? Feel at a loss while walking the wine aisle? You are not alone! Many of us struggle to differentiate between the subtleties of the world’s oldest beverage. But wine is not destined to be difficult! Join Master Sommelier Richard Betts for a fun and informative guide to buying, tasting, and enjoying wine.

Become a Great Wine Taster is your guide to wine varietals, trends, and tastes. You’ll learn Richard’s “wine is a grocery, not a luxury” approach to wine while exploring the differences between regions and the history behind them. Richard will teach a simple method for looking at, smelling, and tasting each wine so you understand the nuances and the provenance of the drink in your glass. You’ll study the important factors and features of winemaking by exploring ideas through related varietals. Richard will discuss:

  • Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc – the impact of climate and oak
  • Riesling, Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Zinfandel – balance, sweetness, and alcohol content
  • Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio, Gruner Veltliner, and Chenin Blanc – important grapes, small subtleties
  • Cabernet Sauvignon and it’s subjects – regional expression of the ubiquitous reds
  • Pinot Noir – temperamental grapes and growing in France, California, Oregon and Australia
  • Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo – wine production in Italy and Spain
  • Syrah/Shiraz, Grenache and friends – blends and winemaker’s intent

You’ll also learn about the unique ways we modify wine, like making it sparkle, heating it, turning it into Port, and so much more! This class will help you get more comfortable with wine, remove much of it’s mystery, and show you how to integrate it into your everyday life.

Pair your appreciation for wine with knowledge in this accessible and educational class. Join Richard for Become a Great Wine Taster and never fumble over wine selection again.


a Creativelive Student

This course was amazing. As someone who felt really intimidated by wine before, I finished the course feeling a lot more confident and excited to try out my new wine knowledge. Great instructor with great content. Would definitely recommend!


Good course, needs to identify wines to set up tasting. It was fun to do with friends. Perfect to watch in the segments.


Fabulous! I've passed the Introductory Exam for the Court of Master Sommeliers, but, never ginned up (pun intended) the deductive tasting. This did it. There are several of us who purchased this course and are doing out best to re-create the tastings and memorize the map. Thanks so much for the class and for Richard Betts.