Pouring Points

Articles, profiles, roundups and more from the Napa Valley Wine Academy

Learning should not stop once you leave the classroom! We have assembled a team of wine experts, geeks, enthusiasts, and professionals who delight in sharing their knowledge and passion on the subject of wine, spirits, and sake to bring you new, relevant, and exciting content including articles, podcasts, and videos.

Featured Podcasts

The latest from Napa Valley’s Podcast Series

Episode 14 – Dr. Paulo Lopes – Myths and Truths of Cork

Episode 14 – Dr. Paulo Lopes – Myths and Truths of Cork

In Episode 14, we sit down with Dr. Paulo Lopes, a Portugues scientist and one the foremost experts on cork closures. We explore his journey from being a forest engineer to studying with some of the most influential wine minds at the University of Bordeaux, leading to his Masters and Ph.D. He has conducted some groundbreaking research that has dispelled some of the myths and long-held beliefs of the role of corks in the aging of wine.

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Episode 13 – Dan Dawson, Recovering Wine Shop Owner

Episode 13 – Dan Dawson, Recovering Wine Shop Owner

In episode 13 of our ongoing podcast series, The Stories Behind Wine we speak to recovering wine shop owner, founder of Dawson Wine Advisors, and Napa native Dan Dawson. Dan’s story starts with waiting tables, traveling to the midwest to sell Vouvray, to becoming the French Laundry’s first sommelier, and founding Napa’s most respected wine shops, and ultimately abandoning retail to stake his claim in the digital wine recommendation space. 

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Episode 12 – Lisa Strid, Winemaker

Episode 12 – Lisa Strid, Winemaker

How did Lisa Strid, a Wyoming native, go from working for a wine industry behemoth to making wine in the high desert of Arizona? Find out on our next Stories Behind Wine podcast as we take you to one of America’s unexpected wine regions.

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Featured Articles

The latest articles from Napa Valley Wine Academy

Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: 9 Strategies for Wine Theory Study

Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: 9 Strategies for Wine Theory Study

Recently, I was sharing dinner with a good friend and fellow Master Sommelier at a bistro in the nation’s heartland. We ordered a bottle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne from an excellent grower-producer. What followed, in terms of our server opening the bottle, was somewhere between comedy and tragedy. While telling us about the evening’s specials, our server blissfully destroyed the capsule on the bottle, took the cage off, and waved the bottle around as if it were a half-gallon of milk. In short, everything that could have been done wrong to open the bottle—was done wrong.

There’s really only one way to do Champagne service correctly, and safety is the most important aspect…

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Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: 10 Tips for Champagne Service

Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: 10 Tips for Champagne Service

Recently, I was sharing dinner with a good friend and fellow Master Sommelier at a bistro in the nation’s heartland. We ordered a bottle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne from an excellent grower-producer. What followed, in terms of our server opening the bottle, was somewhere between comedy and tragedy. While telling us about the evening’s specials, our server blissfully destroyed the capsule on the bottle, took the cage off, and waved the bottle around as if it were a half-gallon of milk. In short, everything that could have been done wrong to open the bottle—was done wrong.

There’s really only one way to do Champagne service correctly, and safety is the most important aspect…

read more
Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: Glassware Stance

Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: Glassware Stance

Sometimes, I think the process of smelling and tasting wine is a lot like playing golf. Both are very complex sequences involving the use of multiple senses while processing a good deal of information in the moment. To point, addressing the golf ball consistently before making a good shot in golf is probably the single most crucial factor for success in the game. Likewise, consistency in technique when picking up a glass to smell the wine is incredibly important—but something rarely, if ever, discussed or written about. I call the process “glassware stance.”

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Featured Videos

The latest videos from Napa Valley Wine Academy