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Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 2 of 21

Mapping Your Desires


Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 2 of 21

Mapping Your Desires


Lesson Info

Mapping Your Desires

we're gonna start actually, by using this, which is the map to your desire. So, Vanessa, if you'll join me, I'm already for it. So I'm gonna be Richard's 1st 1st skinny pig, right? So you have the book. This is the essential scratches sniff guide to becoming a wine expert. And when you scratch and sniff your way through that, the way this thing works is that you first understand that what we taste is actually what we smell. We only tastes sweet, sour, salty, bitter and over lucky umami, that Japanese idea of savory, right. Everything else that we think that that we're tasting is actually happening up here in your olfactory senses. So if you if you play along with me, then we can say OK, everything that we smell and we can tap into what we like is the direction we should go or shouldn't go in terms of what we're gonna drink. So you can do this in the book. I brought some props today to work through it with you, and we can importantly when we think about why we think about fruit, their f...

ruit aromas, their earthy aromas and their aromas of wood whether I mean, if you age the wine Inwood, it's gonna pick up some of those flavors. So we've condensed them and made it really easy. And we're going to start by snowing these things. So in the case of white wine, you're gonna have either subtle fruits have hairs getting a sniff. Okay. In apples. Okay, for you have more exotic fruits, like apricots or in this case, pineapple. So it's quite a difference, that is, it's very different. Citrus, non Citrus, right? It may be more floral, more exotic. And then all white wines are gonna have an element of Citrus. Okay, okay. And then if it's if it's red wine, the fruits fall into either predominantly red fruits like strawberries and raspberries or blackberries and blueberries. Okay, Diva preference. Yeah, the strawberries, for sure, the strawberries air are a little stronger. We'll see what you guys think when you come up here. Perfect. So that's the free part. Then the earthy part can be. This is a little bit of an abstract concept that it's the piece that takes the longest. Get our heads around, but it's really anything tertiary. Anything in the wine that smells like could be when you've slipped on a camping trip in a river or rain on the sidewalk on a hot afternoon. Any investors of our potting soil in this case, is that what this is? Why wasn't it? Is cool. Yeah, it smells like the earth. And then the last piece is the wood right. And so these air, these are actually pieces of a barrel for barrel staves. Um, and frequently you'll age wine in oak, um, oak barrels for a couple of reasons, first of being flavor, and it will take on the flavor of the oak. The second is it takes on oxygen, says oxygenation, and it helps develop wine. But the flavors are the pieces were interested in right now. And with that, you'll smell things like vanilla beans. Okay, Definitely very been ili cinnamon. So the things that happened with all okay and particularly french oak, the other kind of oak that's used is American oak. And if you use American oak, it has something that gives me I think you get the hives. I don't like Dill, but deal is something that we don't mind it. Okay, So American, It could be a thing okay, in this case, didn't bring any wise with American. Okay, break out. That's not good. We don't want that. So, but now you know You know what you like. So let's just you want to drink red wine or white wine? I personally have. See, That's why I'm glad you're here, because I actually would typically lean over to say the red wine. Okay, I'm but I like the taste of the white wine better. Is that what you want? I think I'll start with white. Okay, great. So did you prefer the subtle fruits sliced apples? Okay, so there's so we're gonna go this direction, right? And then, um, do want it. Okey. Or don't you? I would say no. Okeafor, Rain. Okay, so no oak and I didn't bring you anything earthy. Right. So you're here, and it tells you to drink something like something a block from New Zealand. Such as? But this one Okay, my loud right. You think this is for me? It's for you. It's good work, actually. Exactly what I would pick. Okay. All right. Very cool. So I am just a quick question since I'm up here and I'm trying this with you. Is there a difference? I mean, I hear that white wine in particular, is more chills on the red wine is okay to kind of leave out, Yeah. Is that true? And if so, why is that? Does it affect the flavor of? It? Definitely does. But there's no rule, and I think that this is a great time to begin to talk about one of the themes, which is It's whatever you like. It's super Democratic. I'm not going to say like these have to be served at 32 degrees and they'll have to be serving 58 degrees is like where you like it. Frequently, I find in restaurants that winds stored at a temperature warmer than I like. So actually haven't put the red one in the ice bucket. That's just making it look at me like I'm crazy and maybe I am. So it really should be whatever whatever makes it taste good to you. That said, one principle that we understand is that the colder you make something, the less it has to say. So if you the way this one taste today or right now is one way, if we put it in a nice bucket for the next two hours. You're not gonna taste any of the things you taste now, so really, it sort of puts it to sleep. It unnecessary eyes, Is it right? Um and what would you suggest? Because I typically tend to have this problem a lot if you are actually interested in trying a little bit of the both polar opposites. So fruity. And Oki, is there something? Is there a particular wind? That kind of has a little bit of both. Absolutely. So if you want to go fruiting so exotic fruit, okay. And then here's the would question do you want Okay? Yeah, I want Okay. And if you want it, okey and earthy. Well, then you can drink union, like, from the valley. Or if you want it, okay. And not earthy. You can drink something like California Chardonnay. Very cool. Okay, so I'm actually just noticing. So you actually have four different scenarios and type situations. You want it? Maybe just give me a little explanation about right? You know what? The red fruit is the black for the subtle photo, which we just went over. Exactly. So let's flip it just the way this thing works. Okay, So do you want to work through into a red wine? Sure. So red wine? You said you prefer the red fruits ideo. Right. So this is this is where you make your first decision. You're starting here. I want to drink red wine, Okay. And then if you want black fruits, you're gonna go this direction. If you want red fruits, you're gonna go that direction. So you like the red fruits do OK. And in this case, I brought you a wine that has seen oak, and it's seen French oak. And in this case, it's not earthy because we talked about right, right? Not bringing anything earthy. So in this case, you're gonna want to drink either something peanut Taj or ganache from America or Australia or, in the case of one, I brought you peanut or from the U. S. Okay, so these are grapes that sort of live in this family of red fruited wines that do see a little bit of oak, but are particularly earthy. Does this one, But okay, Okay. Definitely more early, that's for sure. Okay, This one is a little stronger than the white one, that's for sure. For sure it should be. Yeah, it should be. Um what if I was interested in trying something more fruity, like the strawberry versus apple? Okay, so for sure, this that's almost a dividing line between white wine and red wine. It's always just that strawberries and Berries they go to get. Exactly. That's what That's what allows us. Toe make this easy. Is that you can you can say, OK, what are the fruits and white wines and you group them in the heart of the fruit and fruits and red wines in your group Those right? And when you do that, it's really easy. What do you want? Okay, I want drivers. Okay, so then you go here. Perfect. You know, if you want blackberries, then you go there. All right? It's that simple. Awesome. Why don't I'm actually having a really good time appear, but I really want you guys to come up and actually try yourselves. I'm Do we have to call in somebody or one of you come perfectly volunteer. Okay. Hi, Richard. Jenna. Jenna. Nice to meet you. Okay. So, red wine or white wine, I would usually go read. Okay, let's do it. So then you get to start with either black fruits just smelling. Yeah, not even need it if you want. But here we can sniff. Okay. Okay. And then red fruits. And I'm picking between them. Or do I would say the red. Okay, great. So you're gonna head this direction, right? Okay. And then the next question on the wheel here is the wood question. So you're here, and you either hate oak or you love oak. I'm not sure. Let's figure it out. Right. So if it ages in oak, it's going to smell like vanilla and cinnamon. Um, OK, so that comes together to come together, Don't get to separate him, in fact, and that these air actually chips that you can smell, and they do smell a little bit like the smoke a little bit like the oak and the brown spices. And then, if it were American, are gonna get it. And bring anyone with American. It'll also have dill. So do you like the Joker, don't I? I think I prefer thes cause the dill. Um although I like it on food. Kind of smell like grass. Yeah, Yeah, I agree. Okay, Cool. So instead of working towards a result here, let's just work towards what you actually like. So you like the red fruits? You do love the oak. You like friendship. But you didn't love the American up, right? So I don't love American. Okay? Online either. So with that said I would avoid And would you anything that follows American of Trajectory? Um, of course, there are exceptions to the rule, like some zinfandels, but a lot of them can really smell like dill. Um, and I think this is really probably the biggest offender. And Colin offenders. It's very personal, right? That's the idea is democratic. I don't I don't love dill. So I take tend to not drink a lot of Rio hot? No, it's funny. That's probably what I have the most of. So maybe you do like, I don't know what just happened, but it's totally okay. I do have a question, though, before, um, trying I feel like when I go to a wine tasting, there is a lot of competition with, like, swirling the glass. And what she knows. You sniff Adah then right? I like. Does that matter? The only thing that matters is you just knock. That whole competitive aspect pedestal just doesn't better. Different. I mean, I think it's very, very personal. So here, let's just address it. If you pick that up and smell it and just just smell it like if I see a lot of people snow, their mouths closed, and then if you smell with your mouth open, I think that you actually smell more. But I'm not saying Elysa right what to do with this wrong way. Do you or do you have to swirl clockwise or counterclockwise or you know any of that sort of stuff? There's it's whatever brings you the information that you're seeking, You know, I feel like it's also you have to see how far you can tip without. Oh, yeah, totally. There's a little showmanship, like anything but just go, right? Yeah. Doesn't matter at all. Okay, so do you feel good about how this works? Yeah, I felt like it wasn't overpowering, and I get the vanilla great. And I'm actually really curious to see if a male will come up and try the taste wheel real quick cause I feel like girls and guys are a little different on there. And I'm kind of hoping one of the guys will chime in. Okay. It seems like the guys tend to choose cooler already red or white. We did read before. It's too white. Let's do it. Okay. Over guns. And then the first is Do you want subtle fruits door? Something more exotic. Us to, um, exotic, Exotic. Okay, So you gonna be hedging towards chardonnay in this case or But we'll look at what the other possibilities would be then The next question is Earth. Um, do you like it? Or do you like the earthy things, Like earthy things? Okay, cool. And then how about oak? Vanilla? Okay. Consider me. How about Bill? I don't think I like that. And when you were E neither. Okay, so let's just follow it out. Your respective what we have here. You said you like exotic fruits, so you would head this direction and then on the okey thing, I think No, no. Okay, all so, no cinnamon, no vanilla. Okay, cool. So no oak and you do like it earthy. Yes. Okay, great. So you go this direction and there's this whole really cool area of places toe to spend time. So albarino like you might find in Galicia in Spain. Um, all of these, these whites sort of catch all of for Italian whites like Swabey or Fianna or filing Gina, um, or peen agree. Or Pino Blanc from all of us. All things they're gonna have more exotic fruits, but also be earthy in there. Not typically Asian of like, the chardonnay. We just had other things. Riesling, Gruner and diverse demeanor. Right? Do you drink any of those things? Uh, converts, Demeanor, Gruner veltliner. Uh, like some albarino, They make you happy. They do awesome.

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.