Wine classes for 2017

grapesHere’s the schedule for my wine classes for 2017, with links to get more info:

Jan. 21: The 10 insider tips every wine lover should know, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

There aren’t any secret handshakes or coded passwords to learn, but there are some secrets, some history and some well-established principles that can enhance every glass and every bottle, no matter what your level of vinous experience.

Feb. 11: Pairing wine at cheese, at You’re So Crafty in Seguin

Feb. 18: 10 wine and cheese pairings that will shock and amaze, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

As far back as grapes have been fermented and milk has been solidified, the two wonders of nature have been a match. You’ll learn the concepts of getting wine and cheese to make beautiful music together and learn to appreciate the huge variety of both.

March 4: The 10 things you should learn in every tasting room, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

Texans are blessed with an abundance of wineries and tasting rooms within a short drive of home. And while getting to sample wines is great, your experience can be even more rewarding if you know what kinds of things to ask about when you step up to the bar.

April 1: 10 things you can learn about wine without opening the bottle, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

Wine has a language of their own – one that often looks like a foreign language. But with some basic knowledge, you can find out a lot about what’s inside a bottle by looking at the outside.

May 6: 10 food and wine pairings that will knock your socks off, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

Matching food and wine doesn’t require an advanced degree, just a willingness to follow some simple concepts. You’ll get to taste those concepts in some unexpected ways, as a jumping-off point for developing your own pairings.

June 3: Winemaking in 10 (sometimes easy, sometimes difficult) steps, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

The basic process of growing grapes and turning them into wine is simple, but the number of variables involved can make your head spin. Learning the process is great if you want to make wine at home – or just appreciate what’s in the bottle even more.

June 10: Texas wines and their history, at You’re So Crafty in Seguin

Texas has a long and up-and-down wine history, starting with the Spanish missions in the 1500s. Prohibition all but killed the industry in the state, but a revival launched in the 1970s that has gained momentum since 2000 has pushed Texas wines into national prominence.

July 8: 10 French wines every wine lover – especially the frugal ones – should try, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

The French make huge quantities of wine every year, including some of the world’s most expensive bottles. But you don’t need to break the bank to appreciate the huge variety – and the quality – of products from the world’s preeminent winemaking country.

Aug. 19: The 10 most influential people in wine history, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

Wine has been around for thousands of years, and millions of people have been involved with wine in one way of another. But there are 10 people through the ages who have a made a difference, some in surprising ways.

Sept. 9: A 10-step guide to wine tasting, with no spitting, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

Using all your senses can enhance the experience of drinking wines in ways you might not expect. You’ll learn the keys to sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, to make every sip a little bot more of heaven.

Oct. 7: 10 Texas wines and the tall tales behind them, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

Texas is a state full of stories and storytellers, and the Texas wine business is no exception. You will taste some of the state’s best offerings and learn the stories about the wineries and the winemakers that make Texas wines unique.

Oct. 14: The cheapskate’s guide to wine, at You’re So Crafty in Seguin

Learn how to walk into any store that sells wine, from the corner grocery to the corner Walgreens, and come away with something good without breaking the bank. Consider it a survival guide for the cheapskate wine drinker.

Nov. 4: How to buy 10 truly amazing wines for less than $10 each, at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

Like winemaking, wine shopping is both a craft and an art. You’ll find out what to look for and where the bargains are when it comes to wines that won’t break the bank.

Dec. 2: 10 accessories every wine lover needs (or needs to get for Christmas), at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels

One of the great joys of wines, besides the drinking, is the accessories. From a wonder of physics to the most basic of tools, find out what every wine lover needs to have around the house – just in time to put them on your wish list.

Winery U turns 10

Logo for Winery U at Dry Comal Crek VineyardsThe year 2017 will mark the 10th year for the Winery U wine classes at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, so to change things up a little, all the classes will have a theme of 10.

They still will include lots of info, as well as wine tastings, but the approach and the content will be new. Here’s the rundown, with registration opening soon at the Dry Comal Creek website.

Jan. 21: The 10 insider tips every wine lover should know

There aren’t any secret handshakes or coded passwords to learn, but there are some secrets, some history and some well-established principles that can enhance every glass and every bottle, no matter what your level of vinous experience.

Feb. 11: 10 wine and cheese pairings that will shock and amaze

As far back as grapes have been fermented and milk has been solidified, the two wonders of nature have been a match. You’ll learn the concepts of getting wine and cheese to make beautiful music together and learn to appreciate the huge variety of both.

March 4: The 10 things you should learn in every tasting room

Texans are blessed with an abundance of wineries and tasting rooms within a short drive of home. And while getting to sample wines is great, your experience can be even more rewarding if you know what kinds of things to ask about when you step up to the bar.

April 1: 10 things you can learn about wine without opening the bottle

Wine has a language of their own – one that often looks like a foreign language. But with some basic knowledge, you can find out a lot about what’s inside a bottle by looking at the outside.

May 6: 10 food and wine pairings that will knock your socks off

Matching food and wine doesn’t require an advanced degree, just a willingness to follow some simple concepts. You’ll get to taste those concepts in some unexpected ways, as a jumping-off point for developing your own pairings.

June 3: Winemaking in 10 (sometimes easy, sometimes difficult) steps

The basic process of growing grapes and turning them into wine is simple, but the number of variables involved can make your head spin. Learning the process is great if you want to make wine at home – or just appreciate what’s in the bottle even more.

July 8: 10 French wines every wine lover – especially the frugal ones – should try

The French make huge quantities of wine every year, including some of the world’s most expensive bottles. But you don’t need to break the bank to appreciate the huge variety – and the quality – of products from the world’s preeminent winemaking country.

Aug. 19: The 10 most influential people in wine history

Wine has been around for thousands of years, and millions of people have been involved with wine in one way of another. But there are 10 people through the ages who have a made a difference, some in surprising ways.

Sept. 9: A 10-step guide to wine tasting, with no spitting

Using all your senses can enhance the experience of drinking wines in ways you might not expect. You’ll learn the keys to sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, to make every sip a little bot more of heaven.

Oct. 7: 10 Texas wines and the tall tales behind them

Texas is a state full of stories and storytellers, and the Texas wine business is no exception. You will taste some of the state’s best offerings and learn the stories about the wineries and the winemakers that make Texas wines unique.

Nov. 4: How to buy 10 truly amazing wines for less than $10 each

Like winemaking, wine shopping is both a craft and an art. You’ll find out what to look for and where the bargains are when it comes to wines that won’t break the bank.

Dec. 2: 10 accessories every wine lover needs (or needs to get for Christmas)

One of the great joys of wines, besides the drinking, is the accessories. From a wonder of physics to the most basic of tools, find out what every wine lover needs to have around the house – just in time to put them on your wish list.

Top 10 reasons

It’s the 10th anniversary of Winery U at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in 2017, so everything has a common theme, from the subjects of the classes to our little video, with the top 10 reasons for signing up today:

Wine education for the rest of 2016

penguinIf you’re looking to learn more about wines, winemaking, grape growing, sensory evaluation and a variety of related and semi-related topics. here’s your Field Correspondent’s schedule of classes for the balance of the year:

July 9 – Growing grapes and making wine: An inside look at the processes involved in viticulture and the art of making wine. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, New Braunfels, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Click here to sign up.

July 23 – Wine and cheese: Learn about how and where cheese is made, as well as principles to follow when pairing wine with cheese. You’re So Crafty, Seguin, 3-5 p.m. Click here to sign up.

Aug. 20 – Wine on a budget: Find out how to walk into anywhere that sells wine – including the drug store and the corner ice house – and pick out the best wine in the place. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, New Braunfels, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Click here to sign up.

Sept. 10 – Sparkling wines of the world: From Champagne to Spain, from Italy to who-knows-where, get a look at the remarkable world of wines with bubbles. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, New Braunfels, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Click here to sign up.

Sept. 24 – Bring your own bottle: Each participant in the class brings a bottle of red wine, learns principles of sensory evaluation, then takes part in a “blind” tasting to try and identify each wine. You’re So Crafty, Seguin, 3-5 p.m. Click here to sign up.

Oct. 8 – Texas wines: Learn about the long history of Texas wine, the booming present and the optimistic future for the business – as well as taste some of the best examples around. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, New Braunfels, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Click here to sign up.

Nov. 5 – Thanksgiving and wines: Find out about food pairings, and how to match wines with the biggest meal of the year the easy way – by tasting. You’re So Crafty, Seguin, 3-6 p.m. Click here to sign up.

Nov. 12 – Port and cigars: Two of life’s luxuries, examined in detail, with examples. Come prepared to sit outside. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, New Braunfels, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Click here to sign up.

Dec. 10 – Cabernet Sauvignon. We’ll be taking at look at the global phenomenon that is the King of Red Wines, with a little look at history and a lot of tasting. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, New Braunfels, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Click here to sign up.

Vive la France (and its wines)

Wines of FranceAs folks who know your Field Correspondent are well aware, cheap is good when it comes to wine.

Yes, even French wine, which is the subject of this Saturday’s Winery U class at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good wine from France, but you do need some knowledge about history, labeling and growing regions.

Lucky for you, that’s what we’re providing, along with tastings of an assortment of reasonably priced gems from across the land, from Burgundy to Bordeaux, the Loire to Provence.

Armed with some knowledge, you’ll be able to march across the French wine aisles and understand that white Burgundy is Chardonnay, pink wine starts out as red, and Muscadet has nothing to do with Muscadine, Muscadelle or even Moscato.

Click on through to sign up.

 

 

 

 

 

In the land of wine and cheese

Cheese trayIn its simplest terms, cheese is made by converting liquid milk into a solid or semi-sold state.

Of course, nothing is simple in the world of fermented products like cheese – or wine or bread. Dozens of variables, from source materials to processing to aging, are involved. There are hundreds of types of cheeses produced around the world, many of them made with traditional methods handed down for hundreds or even thousands of years.

For most of those years, cheese has been paired with wine. Some of the world’s most-famous combinations are the result of that long history, and some of the best are the result of the overlap between winemaking and cheese-making regions around the world.

As in the case of most food-and-wine pairings, there are some that are train wrecks, there are some that work pretty well and there are some that will give you the fireworks-in-your-mouth effect that makes eating and drinking worthwhile.

We’ll be talking about cheesemaking, matching wines and cheeses, and showing off some amazing pairings on Saturday, July 23 at You’re So Crafty in downtown Seguin. Learn more and sign up at YoureSoCrafty.com.

 

The wine label translator is here

supermarket-732281_640Walking down the aisles at your local wine seller is a lot like a trip to a foreign land: It’s full of pretty sights and the lure of the exotic — all covered with an indecipherable language.

But your guide to understanding words and phrases on the outside of wine bottles is on the way to downtown Seguin. “Translating the Wine Label” will be in session at You’re So Crafty, 208 S. Austin St., from 3-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21.

Registration is $30 per person and is available at YoureSoCrafty.net.

We’ll be looking at wine labels from across the globe and then opening the bottles to see if what’s inside holds up to the hype on the label.

In addition to finding out what all the legal stuff is about and why it’s there, we’ll also look at clues every label reveals:

  • Who made the wine and how you can communicate your pleasure (or displeasure) with them
  • What’s in the bottle, or at least a good idea
  • When a wine was made, and why that matters
  • Where the wine was made, and why that matters even more
  • Why so much information is on every label
  • How to know what to believe and what to ignore

As always, you also can depend on your Field Correspondent to come up with wines both exotic and affordable. It’s what we do.