Posts Tagged ‘wine class’
I’ve organized or promoted over 1,000 wine tastings and wine classes in the Washington, D.C. area since 1997 through my organization TasteDC.com. A few times a week I get a phone call at headquarters (a room in my Georgetown townhouse with 2 computers, a color printer and a Fax..but it IS Ground Zero for DC wine tastings!) asking me to organize a wine tasting or class for a group of say maybe 15 people. What’s funny/unfortunate/amazing is that the call is almost always the same – THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A WINE TASTING IS OR WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING FOR!
A wine tasting is an event from the TasteDC perspective – it has a beginning time, an ending time and a theme to fill the middle of the tasting. Say for example, a wine tasting of wine styles: rent a room, supply it with glassware (maybe a little food – cheese, crackers and bread would be nice!), a selection of wines with say three different “styles” (could be anything, but normally it might be light-bodied, medium-bodied and heavy-bodied wines) and put them at their own tables with volunteers pouring the wine..or people could pour their own wine – then we suggest you put out an information tasting sheet on each wine..
- Do you have a Date?
- Do you have a Venue?
- Do you have a wine “theme”?
There are literally thousands of ways to organize a wine tasting! I do want to make note – if you use the term “wine class” that most likely means a seated event with a speaker. Does a wine tasting necessarily need a speaker? No – the simple answer is sometimes (most of the time!) a speaker ads an unnecessary expense to a tasting – speakers charge for their services and the fees range significantly (I start at about $500 per event, but I have other ways to increase my profitability – hey, don’t attendees want a copy of my book “I Drink on the Job” ?
I’m going to write more about what to look for in a wine tasting – both for a private group and for a fun public form of entertainment – keep checking back – Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
I hate picky eaters – not with a passion, but totally through self-interest: if you don’t try new things to eat and drink, you won’t be attending any of my wine or culinary events. Why? Because I always add adventurous foods and stories to TasteDC’s Events(blatant plug!) whenever possible. I’ve included in this Post below the complete menu from my 2006 “Unique and Unusual Food and Wine Festival”, check out the menu and click on link for photos.
As an anecdote, last night I taught the Wine Basics 101 class at TasteDC. I told everyone as I often do, that food is way more important than wine – you have to eat, wine is really just an added spice or nuance to the meal, no more. So I told everyone that food would be a primary focus of my introductory wine class – food and wine pairing, talking about food, cooking food, and experiencing food. I always say that if you understand how to cook and balance the flavors of a dish, then wine will come easy to you. I consider wine a missing component in a dish..well, let me digress.. So it was a small class of about 15 people and I noticed alot of ethnic/international diversity – a woman from India, one from Brazil, one from Togo (I think?) in Africa, and then a smattering of Americans from different parts of the country. DC is ethnically diverse. After talking about food and wine for awhile, I began to ask people for their favorite dishes and foods. The Indian woman mentioned she loved butter – which makes sense, because Indian food often incorporates ghee (clarified butter). To a Brazilian woman sitting next to her American boyfriend, I mentioned Feijoada and her eyes lit up – and all across the room most Americans acted disgusted when I mentioned that Feijoada is essentially the leftover parts of a pig stewed with beans – their equivalent to our chili. So I asked her if her boyfriend liked Feijoada..and then the long pause..that uncomfortable pause when a person begins to look for the right thing to say, for that special person to react in a certain way, and for the universe to somehow come to balance..no, her boyfriend didn’t like Feijoada, or for that matter anything she considered delicious, he was an..peanut butter and jelly sandwich addict! I don’t think I need to fill in the details..another woman at the event LOVED to eat food, oh she just adored food, she really enjoyed it..as long as it was white meat chicken “simply” prepared – no sauce, no seasoning, but grilling it was OK..oh, and she also enjoyed salmon..that’s it! Ohh, she had “tried” other foods (she said this in such a way like a young child looking for praise from her mother!) – gold star stuck to the forehead – but she would never consume these foods – too risky, I mean they would taste outside her comfort realm of chicken and salmon, simply prepared..I should have named this article “Peanut Butter and Jelly and a Little Chicken”..
No comment or explanation from me about the American palate – there’s plenty of discussion of that in my book I Drink on the Job – the only adjective that comes to mind is “limited (extremely)”..I’ll post more on this topic soon!
The complete Menu for TasteDC’s “Unique and Unusual Food and Wine Festival” below (Thumbnail Photos – Click to Enlarge – Here – Feel free to Post These Anywere, Permission Granted!
TasteDC’s 1st Annual “Unique and Unusual Food and Wine Festival”
Wednesday, October 25th, 2006
List of Chefs and Dishes:
Chef de Cuisine, James Phillips – Juniper Restaurant, Fairmont Hotel
1. Rattlesnake Gumbo with Sassafras Scented Rice
2. Pink Peppercorn and Wattleseed Crusted Ostrich Leg Roast with Diablo Hollandaise
Lebanese Taverna and 100 King Street
1. Veal Kidney with a Dijon Mustard Sauce – 100 King Restaurant
2. Hindbeh Bil Zayt (sautéed Dandelion Leaves in olive oil with garlic,
parsley, and caramelized onions) – Lebanese Taverna
Executive Chef Dan Wecker, The Elkridge Furnace Inn
1. Nut Crusted Sweetbreads with Pomegranate Syrup
2. Buckwheat Blini with American Caviar and Crème Fraiche
Executive Chef Daniel Labonne, Tabaq Bistro
1. Jerk Frog Legs with Jamaican Spices
2. Caribbean Tripe Stew with Grilled Bananas
Executive Chef Daniel Kenney, and Executive Sous Chef Neal Bailey, Willard Hotel
1. Barolo Braised Veal Cheek with Shropshire” Orange” Blue
2. “Bacon and Eggs”: House Cured Berkshire Pork Belly with Fried Quails Egg
Executive Chef, Russell Cunningham, Dupont Grille, Jury Hotel
1. Calf Fries
2. Smoked Duck and Fried Squash Blossom Salad with Port Reduction and Pumpkinseed Oil
Executive Chef Charlie Hansji, The Jefferson Hotel
1. Beef Bone Marrow and Liver Parfait
2. Lamb Brains in the Style of Peking
Executive Chef Jamie Stachowski, Restaurant Kolumbia
1. Terrine de Tête de Veau
2. Boudin Rouge, Black Mission Fig and Goat Cheese Strudel
Executive Chef, Stefan Jarausch, The Madison, a Loews Hotel
1. Stuffed Squash Blossoms, Braised Pigs Feet, Xerez Gastrique
2. Crostini of Beef Tongue, Basque Style
Executive Chef Bryan of Chef Bryan’s Kitchen
1. Llama Slider with Bleu Cheese and Rosemary Red Onion Jam
2. Grilled Cayman Tail (crocodile) with Smoked Tomato and Basil Butter
Executive Chef, Brian Boots, Elegance Ala Carte
1. Alligator Étouffée
2. Caramelized Fennel, Yucca and Jicama Puree served over Fried Sweet Potato Chips
Executive Chef Daniel Amaya, Dino’s
1. Polipo: Olive Oil Braised Octopus with Cici (garbanzos) and Lemony Vinaigrette
2. Crostata di Formaggi. Erborinato di Pecora Cheese Tartlet: cave aged raw sheep’s
milk cheese with natural bluing. Robiola La Rossa Cheese Tartlet: Cow and sheep
mixed milk cheese wrapped in cherry leaves that are macerated in grappa
As always, from Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler