Your teachers are Peter Richards MW – Master of Wine & Paz Levinson – Best Sommelier of the Americas 2015, who will teach you all about wines, wine regions, grapes, winemaking and food parings.
The Master Classes are ranked higher than WSET level 3
WineMasters Class Part 2
Part of a 48 episodes/ 8 seasons series covering all wine regions and grapes. 96 wine and food parings and countless wine making techniques explained, 48 experiments and lots of fun!
Austrian Whites (free preview of S1 by Christy Canterbury – Master of Wine & Andreas Larsson – World’s Best Sommelier 2007)
Austria makes some of the greatest dry white wines on the planet, both in terms of value and overall quality. The Danube River going through the north-eastern part of the country provides ideal conditions for the rock star white grape varieties Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. You will learn to train your palate and all about the Austrian wine regulations, one of the strictest wine laws in the world and be surprised about two wine and food pairings. To better understand the blind tastings in this episode try to taste a good Grüner Veltliner and Riesling from Austria.
Eastern Loire Valley
This eastern segment of the Loire Valley is the reputed birthplace of Sauvignon Blanc and it is here where you can find the two most famous appellations of the Loire; Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. We will explain one of the fundamental traits in wine; acidity, which we will explain more in detail in our experiment. Besides Sauvignon Blanc we will also speak about Pinot Noir and other appellations like Menetou-Salon, Reuilly and Quincy. Compare different styles of white Sancerre wines with Pouilly-Fumé wines to better understand the blind tastings in this episode. Also, try some Pinot Noir wines from Sancerre and the other regions.
The fame of this land was well described by the Romans, they knew the region as Campania felix, which translates into English as “land of bounty and joy”. Its fame as a great wine-producing region faded with the collapse of the Roman Empire. But today, Campania counts some of the highest densities of DOCs and DOCGs (quality wine-areas) within Italy. Campania is thriving with re-planted ancient varieties that once grew on these lands some 2,000 years ago and were buried under volcanic ash and pumice in 79 A.D. We recommend buying wines from the 4 DOCG appellations to better understand the blind tastings in this episode. We also suggest trying different ancient grape varieties from various appellations within Campania to discover their flavours.
The Alsace area is known for its aromatic, fruity intense and spicy white wines, primarily from Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat which are the 4 noble grapes varieties. Alsace wines tend to be dry, but these days wines can be more divers in styles including some residual sweetness but that is not often indicated on the label, so that can make challenging for us drinkers. We will help you understand the wines more in detail. We will also highlight the Alsace sweet wines; Vendange Tardive and Selection de Grains Nobles. The term vintage will be explained and what is needed to create great wines. To better understand the blind tastings in this episode, buy quality wines made from noble grapes from different producers to learn the different styles of wine made from these grape varieties. Also, fun to host a dinner with only Alsace wine, from a sparkling wine with your starter until a dessert or cheese platter with a Vendanges Tardive or Selection de Grain Nobles.
Spanish Old Vines
The future of Spanish wine lies in its history. Ambitious winemakers are heading off to the hinterlands in search of old vines. We visit Toro where red wines are made from Tinta de Toro (a local version of Tempranillo) are making fame. Then to Bierzo where between the hills and lush river valleys red wine is made of the Mencia variety. We also visit Jumilla in the south of the country near Valencia, where red wines are made from old Monastrell vines. And last but not least our journey ends at Tenerife, where some of the oldest vines of Spain can be found. We recommend buying wines from all the areas discussed in this episode to understand the flavours and potential.
Altitude is key in Argentina. Except for the Patagonia region, most vineyards in Argentina are situated on 600 to 2000 meters above sea level and located close to the Andes mountains. Of course, we will highlight the most famous wine area Mendoza and the Malbec grape, which was brought from France around 1850 and has adapted greatly on the terroirs of this country. In our experiment we sniff, and swirl. We explain why some wines need to breathe. To understand the blind tastings, we recommend buying a good quality Malbec and also try different red blends. For white wines we suggest tasting a quality Torrontes from the north of the country. Look out for wines from the Patagonia regions Rio Negro, Neuquén and Chubut, where French grapes like Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir are making fame.
Southern Portugal & Madeira
We start this episode on a unique island in the Atlantic Ocean, which gives its name to one of the world’s great fortified wines; Madeira. The 4 styles of the quality spectrum get their names from the white wine grape used in them: Sercial, Verdelho, Bual and Malmsey aka Malvasia, and in this order, they range from dry to sweet. On the mainland we visit unique appellations near the capital city of Lisbon and then on to a huge rural wine region known as Alentejo, where white and red wine are blends of local and international grape varieties. We recommend trying different wines from Alentejo to understand the blind tastings better and learn about the wide variety of styles made in this area. We also advice to explore Madeira wines, try different styles and ages to understand the full potential of these wines.