How To Go Wine Tasting: Know Before You Go

Let’s assume for the moment that there are three kinds of wine tasters: there’s the novice who has never gone tasting before, the experienced taster who’s been around the block a few times, and the seasoned wine sipper and savorer who knows the drill, knows the do’s and don’t’s and capitalizes on their wine country experience.

For you novice and semi-experienced tasters, upping your knowledge of how to navigate a tasting room and what the etiquette is, can get you a long way in your tasting experience–may even open up doors to special reserve wines, or impromptu winery/cave tours. So, how do you go from being a novice, even experienced taster to a seasoned pro?

We’ve developed a course aimed at answering that question. Introducing: Napa Valley Wine 101: Know Before You Go, a new course that will equip you with vocabulary, teach you to taste and provide you with an array of tools to ensure a great tasting experience.

Classes will be offered every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am – 12pm at our Napa Valley Education Center in downtown Napa (google maps). We’ve conveniently planned this as a morning class so that once the course ends, you can hit the tasting rooms and apply your new skills.

“Napa Valley Wine 101 prepares you to have a successful wine tasting experience,” says Jürg Oggenfuss, WSET Advanced, CSW, AWS, IWP, who will be teaching the class. “We recommend this course for people with no prior knowledge, but also for those who would like to refresh their memory of what Napa Valley is all about. You’ll learn what to expect in a tasting room, what are accepted practices and some tips on what to avoid.”

And that’s not all–you’ll also learn about:

  • The five “S’s” of tasting
  • Key grape varieties that grow in the valley
  • Varying climactic conditions
  • What people mean when they talk about the “legs” of a wine
  • Smelling the cork
  • Taste tolerance levels and temperature
  • What’s up with barrels
  • There’ll be an aroma challenge
  • Putting wine in the trunk

The cost is $100 per person and includes tasting wines, cheese and charcuterie plate, map of Napa Valley and suggestions for both wine tasting and restaurants based on your preferences.

Jürg Oggenfuss bio: Jürg has been a wine educator for over 40 years internationally. He has a diploma in Wine Business from the Wädenswil School of Viticulture in Switzerland and speaks English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. Previously the Senior Wine Educator at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, today he is an active partner and instructor at The Napa Valley Wine Academy. Jürg is also developing a Napa Valley Intensive Seminar (a 3-hour crash-course) for people who really want to dig into the history, viticulture and winemaking of Napa Valley.

Related Posts