Musings on the Vine
Musings on the Vine
Massachusetts Wine Tasting Events and Education Musings on the Vine
Musings on the Vine
Musinings on the Vine Musinings on the Vine Musinings on the Vine
Musings on the Vine
Musings on the Vine

MUSINGS MONTHLY WINE TASTING EVENTS


All 2011 Wine Tastings

   
     
Wines of Chianti & Chianti Classico
March 5, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA

 
Wines of Chianti & Chianti Classico
Chianti is one of the most well-known wines in the world and its notoriety is not all due to a history of quality. Most people know Chianti because of the memorable straw-covered bottles that most restaurants turned into candlestick holders. For most people, the memories of the bottles were fonder than remembering the sometimes questionable wine that was inside them. Well, all that has changed and Chianti is enjoying an appropriate renaissance, of sorts. With focused attention on quality over the last few decades and the blessings of a string of notable vintages, Chianti and Chianti Classico are producing some truly magnificent wines. At this event we will taste a number of terrific wines from Chianti and Chianti Classico along with a selection of artisanal breads and cheeses.

The cost:$50
Location: Wrentham, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



Wines of Rioja
March 19 , 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA
 
Wines of Rioja
I have maintained for a long time that Spain is the center of high-value wines. It used to be Italy and for a while Southern France, but in terms of sheer volume, Spain takes the prize. Now, to me value connotes not just a great price, but the wines need to be interesting and fun and if the wines end up having pedigree and history to boot, all the better. Enter Rioja. For a long time, Rioja was the only region anyone had ever heard of in Spain. Rioja was the refuge for French wine makers fleeing the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century and the benefactor of their expertise. Producing wines that can be eminently drinkable and also wines with staying power, Rioja offers wine lovers many choices and at prices that will make you smile. At this event we will taste a number of stunning wines from a number of producers in Rioja along with a selection of artisanal breads and cheeses.

The cost:$50
Location: Wrentham, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



The Classifications of Bordeaux
April 2 , 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA
 
The Classifications of Bordeaux
In my Wines of France class the subject of Bordeaux is relegated to one two-hour segment. I have broken out the curriculum into a single afternoon, but still, with the padding of a few more hours, the subject is woefully incomplete. I have stated that if France is considered the most important wine making country in the world, then Bordeaux is arguably the most important wine making region. Bordeaux has a long history of fine wine production and it was one of the first regions to adopt a classification system to rate its wines. The original Classification of 1855 has stood the test of time, despite being somewhat controversial. As a marketing tool, the classification is shear mastery. The other classifications, in St. Émilion and Graves are no less controversial and they too are masterful pieces of marketing. At this event we will taste several wines from each of the Bordeaux classifications at a variety of price point along with a selection of artisanal breads and cheeses.

The cost:$75
Location: Wrentham, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



Burgundy's Côte d'Or
April 16, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA
 
Burgundy's Côte d'Or
Like Bordeaux, the subject of Burgundy is relegated to one two-hour segment in my Wines of France class and like Bordeaux, two-hours is just too short to be able to really do Burgundy justice. Burgundy lacks the fame and notoriety of Bordeaux, but the red and white wines coming from the specific region known as the Côte d'Or are arguably just as impressive. The Côte d'Or is composed of two sub-regions, the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuit and is home to some of the world's most famous wines. It is said that the name Côte d'Or comes from the golden color that the slopes of the vineyards take on during the fall. Collectors of Burgundy would tell you that name likely comes from the often strtospheric prices these wines carry and the fortune they have made for their owners. At this event we will taste several wines from the Côte d'Or along with a selection of artisanal breads and cheeses.

The cost:$75
Location: Wrentham, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



Smart Wine Shopping - TENTATIVE
May 21, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Brighton, MA
 
Smart Wine Shopping - TENTATIVE
One of the biggest questions that I get at my wine classes is: How do you shop for wine? Wine shopping is really about relationship building. While you can spend a lot of time scurrying around town looking for the best wine at the best price, your time will be better spent cultivating a rapport at a few local wine shops. Getting to know the owners, or knowledgeable sales staff at a local wine shop, or more importantly getting them to know more about your own tastes and interests will ultimately lead to a more enriching shopping experience. At this event, hosted in the back room of Martignetti's Fine Wine in Brighton, Wine Director George Bardis will help me lead the group through a selection of fun, high-value wines, culminating in a guided shopping tour of the store.

The cost: $50
Location: Brighton, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm

 
Summer Sippers
June 11, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA
 
Summer Sippers
Summer is a time for easy drinking, high-value wines that require very little thought or demand even less contemplation. The wines of summer should be light and refreshing, pairing well with the usually light repasts or foods from the grill. At this event we will examine several wines, both white and red that are light, refreshing and represent good value.

The cost:$50
Location: Wrentham, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



Napa/Bordeaux Shootout
September 24, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA

 
Napa/Bordeaux Shootout
Back in 2004, we conducted a simulation of the famous 1976 tasting that pitted Cabernet-based wines from Napa Valley against the some of the best that Bordeaux had to offer. In 2007 and 2009 we again reprised the famous standoff. Popular demand has brought this event back to Musings, so once again we will put these two regions to the test. At this event we will taste at least six wines in a reenactment of the historic 1976 tasting. Of course, the wines will be from more recent vintages, but the experience should be quite similar.

The cost:$100
Location: Wrentham, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



Northern Rhone
October 8 , 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA
 
Northern Rhone
The Rhone Valley is one of the oldest viticultural areas in France, with many vineyards being originally cultivated by the conquering Romans. Most folks are most familiar with the sun-soaked regions in the Southern Rhone: Cotes du Rhone, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, etc. where Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault are the likely suspects. Few are as familiar with the less showy, more refined wines of the Northern Rhone:Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and the whites Condrieu and Chateau Grillet. In the North, the reds are all Syrah-based, most 100%, so the wines often more structure than their cousins in the south.

The cost:$50
Location: Wrentham, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



Older Wines
October 22, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA
 
Older Wines
Back by popular demand! Most wine today is meant to be consumed the moment it is bought. Ripe, fruity wines that are "ready to drink" are the order of the day. Given this fact, many wine drinkers today have not had a chance to taste older, well aged wines. At this event we will taste several wines that have at least 15 years of bottle age on them. The wines will be from varieties and regions where aging wine is a requirement (like Bordeaux).

The cost:$100
Location: Wrentham, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



Smart Wine Shopping
November 5, 2011
Time: 2:00pm
Location: Brighton, MA
 
Smart Wine Shopping
One of the biggest questions that I get at my wine classes is: How do you shop for wine? Wine shopping is really about relationship building. While you can spend a lot of time scurrying around town looking for the best wine at the best price, your time will be better spent cultivating a rapport at a few local wine shops. Getting to know the owners, or knowledgeable sales staff at a local wine shop, or more importantly getting them to know more about your own tastes and interests will ultimately lead to a more enriching shopping experience. At this event, hosted in the back room of Martignetti's Fine Wine in Brighton, Wine Director George Bardis will help me lead the group through a selection of fun, high-value wines, culminating in a guided shopping tour of the store. A selection artisanal bread and cheese will be served during the event.

The cost:$50
Location: Brighton, Massachusetts
Time: 2:00pm



The Wines of North America
November 19, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA
 
The Wines of North America
The history of wine making in North America began with European exploration and colonization, much the way it began in other regions outside of Europe. Early experiments with what are known as "non-vinifera" native varietals were not successful and attempts to grow the noble, "vinifera" varietals from Europe failed also. Hostile climates, hungry indigenous pests and other nasty diseases proved too much for the vine. Fortunately, settlers were a persistent and thirsty lot who could only drink so much rum, madiera, sherry and port, and over time improved technology, the settling into better growing areas and just plain better luck prevailed. From about the late 19th Century through today, the wines of North America have been an evolving and improving lot, many offering a serious challenge to their European forefathers. At this event we will taste a number of wines from many important regions across North America.

The cost: $50
Location: Brighton, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



Fortified Wines
December 10, 2011
Time: 3:00pm
Location: Wrentham, MA
 
Fortified Wines
Much fortified wine was born out of a need to preserve fragile wines on long voyages over land and sea. The presence of alcohol in excess of 15% by volume has a preservative effect on wine. Often sweet, but not always so, fortified wine is usually reserved for after dinner, where it is the accompaniment to dessert or cheese. At this event we will taste several fortified wines from a variety of regions and styles, both sweet and dry.

The cost:$100
Location: Wrentham, Massachusetts
Time: 3:00pm



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Archived Wine Tasting 2010
Archived Wine Tasting 2009
Archived Wine Tasting 2008
Archived Wine Tasting 2007
Archived Wine Tasting 2006
Archived Wine Tasting 2005
Archived Wine Tasting 2004

 

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