Introduction to Wine Tasting – Day 1

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Day 1 is officially here! Check out the first installment of our series, Introduction To Wine Tasting, and get to know me, Annie, your personal sommelier and virtual consultant.

WATCH on Youtube.

In this Episode: Introduction To Wine Tasting Featuring Chianti Classico

In this episode, Introduction To Wine Tasting, we introduce the series and the concept behind it, that wine is more than vocabulary. We all have stories about how we first discovered wine, what made us love it and why we wanted to learn more. Maybe you hated wine the first time you ever tasted it. I did.

Head over to the comment section to tell me all about it.

We’ll touch on the sense of smell and how it works. To prepare our noses to pick up some common scent notes in the WINE OF THE DAY: Chianti Classico DOCG Agricola San Felice 2016 , I brought Rosemary, dry salami, and cherries to the class.

Wine is a language. 

The language of wine, like any language, is more than vocabulary. It is culture, and history, and context.  DiVino Wine School is full emersion. 

DiVino Wine School is full emersion.

Starting today.  I’ll publish a new video every Thursday.

In every episode we will not just taste a wine, but we’ll smell something so that you can train your nose and your palate. 

Introduction To Wine Tasting: Train your nose and your palate. 

That’s the way I learned. For three years of sommelier school I rediscovered scents in the world that I thought I knew. 

I invite you to join me, wherever you are, whenever you want, to learn a little more about wine, the world, and yourself.  

  • What do you like and why? 
  • How to do you describe it?
  • Can you drink red wine with fish?  

These are just some of the topics we will explore in the episodes to come. I recommend watching these episodes in order, but that’s completely up to you. 

There are two ways to follow along. Subscribe today to stay tuned whenever a new lesson comes out.  

And click ENROLL link below to find out in advance what we’ll be smelling and what wine we are tasting next week, along with all the class notes.

Enroll

I look forward to sharing this journey with you! 

Cheers! 

Find a wine and follow along!

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Introduction To Wine Tasting Video Transcript:

Hello Everyone! 

Welcome to 21 Days To Wine, a free, 21-episode introduction to wine tasting with me, Annie Shapero, a certified sommelier and wine consultant. 

Introduction to Wine Tasting.

Welcome to DAY 1 of DiVino Wine School, Introduction To Wine Tasting! I’m so happy you are here. 

In a normal classroom I would ask you all to introduce yourselves, but since you’re on the other side of a screen so I’ll go first.

About Me

My name is Annie. I’m a certified sommelier and the founder of DiVino, a wine education and consulting company based in New York City. 

Divinonyc.com

I’ve been working in the New York wine industry for a decade.  I’ve seen the rise and fall of wine trends like “Rosé all Day,” and growing curiosity about things like “natural” wine and “spontaneous fermentation.”

I helped restaurants open with wines by the glass that many of their clients had never heard of, like Primitivo or Gavi, and we saw those wine became bestsellers by the glass. 

That’s great progress from an industry standpoint, but wine still feels – at least to a lot of people I know in New York and all across North America – like some sort of exclusive, members-only club.  

But here at DiVino Wine School you are all card-carrying members.

Please participate!

Use the comment section!  Think of it as raising your hand to share a story or ask a question. I’ll read them all and respond. Don’t be shy. I can’t see you. Or can I…. (cut this?)

Anyway, before New York, I lived in Italy for a decade. Throughout Europe wine is part of daily life. 

Trends come and go of course, like anywhere else. Winemakers are always developing new techniques or trying to revive the ancient ones in a more palatable way.  

The “natural” wine trend is all about that. 

But at the end of the day, wine is less about how much you know, and more about tradition, local flavor, and food. 

Of course there are sommeliers and wine experts running their own shops and restaurants, but for the general population, wine is part of the culture and the community. No one feels ashamed or ignorant about it. 

Everybody drinks wine, no matter who you are.  

A lot of times it doesn’t even have a label.   I’ll bet some of you have a story about sitting down at a rustic little Italian trattoria or a French Bouchon, and ordering a carafe of house red or house white. You probably didn’t even know what you were drinking and it was one of the best meals of your life

I created 21 Days To Wine as a beginner’s guide to wine-tasting. 

But also to share my philosophy, which is that wine can be as extraordinary as it is an ordinary part of every day. For anyone. 

Friends and clients tell me all the time that they don’t know anything about wine. 

They say things like, “I love Malbec or Pinot Grigio…. But I don’t know why.” And they’re embarrassed to admit it.  

Breaking News guys!  If all of you were wine experts, I wouldn’t have a job.

I went to school for three years to become a sommelier. (Yes, that is a lot of wine drinking).

Breaking news part two: You don’t have to be a sommelier to appreciate wine in a powerful, passionate, and intelligent way.  

The super nose is a myth.

I wasn’t born with the ability to smell green pepper in my glass and know it was Cabernet Sauvignon.  I couldn’t tell you what cracked stones smelled like, or why that means you might be drinking a Chardonnay from Burgundy. I studied, I traveled, and I made scent memories.

Wine-making is equal parts art and science 

Our sense of smell is linked to the most primitive part of our brain, the limbic system, where memories are formed. That’s science, and I’ll tell you more about it in the videos to come. 

Wine is memory

Memories are what made me fall in love with wine in the first place. The wine was Chianti.  The cheapest bottle you can imagine. The place was Siena, Italy. Where I studied abroad. I’ll leave the details to your imagination.

But 20 years later Chianti still takes me back to that summer.   I remember the faces of my friends, the colors of the countryside, and most of how I felt, so alive and lucky.

A lot of people say that Chianti smells like Italy. They’re not far off.

I brought a Chianti Classico with me today.

SAN FELICE CHIANTI CLASSICO 2016

I also brought some things to smell. Cherries, dry salami, and rosemary. 

Chianti Scent Notes:

  • Sour Cherry
  • Aromatic Herbs
  • Ripe Earth
  • Tobacco, Salami.

When I smell that symphony of sour cherries, aromatic herbs, ripe earth, salami, and tobacco (Yeah I smoked. Everyone did It was the 1990s.), I know it is Chianti. 

Chianti is not a grape. It’s a wine and a region.

I also learned that Chianti is not a grape. It’s a wine and an appellation, a specific wine-growing and winemaking region. The wine is made from Sangiovese or a Sangiovese-based blend. 

If that’s news to you, don’t feel bad about it. Bordeaux isn’t a grape either. Neither is Champagne. You might be surprised to discover that plenty of people don’t know that. 

Your turn.

Is there a smell or a flavor that takes you back? Think about it. Take a deep breath right now. What do you smell? Where are you right now? This is how we begin to build a scent vocabulary, and this is part of what makes winetasting so fascinating. Tell me in the comments.