Monday, March 04, 2013

Taste Washington University; Now Enrolling for March 23rd and 24th

To learn more about wine, you have to drink more of it. Sound good? I thought so, and lucky for those of you yearning for learning Taste Washington on March 23rd and 24th is the perfect opportunity. In fact, in the event's 16th year there has been a focus on learning for the consumer with the tag, Drink, Eat, Learn. For both the experienced and the uninitiated Taste Washington offers a an opportunity to enroll one's self in a sort of Washington Wine University over the weekend. Use the following "course catalog" to craft your own Taste Washington learning and tasting experience, and graduate with honors. (Course requirements are in bold and for winery reference please refer to the course catalog addendum.)

Washington Wine 101 (Prerequisites: NONE)
For the beginning level enthusiast enter the WW101 code into your course registration. This entry level course guides students through a survey look at the well known varieties, history and current state of Washington. Beginning with a brief history lesson start your tasting at Washington wine pioneers. Required: Chateau Ste. Michelle, L'Ecole No. 41, Kiona Vineyards and Woodward Canyon. With the history component complete move on to Washington's signature varietals. Required: Riesling from Dunham Cellars and Efeste, Merlot from Northstar and Seven Hills Winery, Syrah from Ross Andrew and SYZYGY. Students may chat with winemakers Ross Mickel about Washington Syrah and Eric Dunham about Riesling for additional credit opportunities. Upon completion of this required course students will be prepared for levels, 201, 202, 301 and 401.

Washington Wine 201: A Sense of Place (Prerequisities: WW101, students may test out of 101 requirements based on prior knowledge) Enter the WW201 code into your course registration. This intermediate level course examines Washington's diversity in growing conditions and vineyard sites. Students will be expected to taste wines that showcase Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain, Wahluke Slope, Horse Heaven Hills, Yakima Valley the Columbia Gorge and the Puget Sound AVAs. Walla Walla requirements: Rotie Cellars, Dusted Valley, Gifford Hirlinger, optional: Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills and Tertulia Cellars. Red Mountain requirements: Col Solare, Force Majeure, Cadence Winery, optional, Cooper Wine Company, Hedges Estate and Hightower Cellars.  Wahluke Slope requirements: Gilbert Cellars, Milbrandt Vineyards, Saint Laurent Estate, optional Desert Wind. Horse Heaven Hills requirements: McKinley Springs Vineyard, Columbia Crest, optional Mercer Estates. Yakima Valley requirements: Cote Bonneville, Avennia Cellars, Maison Bleue, Kana Winery, optional Eight Bells, For A Song and Two Mountain. Columbia Gorge requirements: Syncline Cellars, Memaloose optional Maryhill. Puget Sound requirements Whidbey Island Winery. Upon completion students are prepared for levels 301 and 401.

Washington Wine 202: A Sense of Place (Prerequisites: WW101, students may test out of the 101 requirements based on prior knowledge)  Completion of WW202 satisfies the same requirements as 201. An advanced course on place and wine is available at Taste Washington through their featured vineyards program. Students can speak with winemakers and vineyard managers about some of Washington's signature vineyards. 202 course completion requirements: Sagemoor Vineyards, Tapteil Vineyards, Naches Heights Vineyards and Stone Ridge Vineyards. Students are expected to engage with winemakers and vineyard managers to understand the unique nature of each of these vineyards and the impact that this specific sense of place has on a wine. Upon completion students are prepared for WW301 and WW401.

Washington Wine 301: Talented Craftsmanship (Prerequisites: WW101)
This class will focus on some of the top talents crafting the wines of Washington. Students are encouraged to explore the established talents of Washington, fresh new faces and a special emphasis is placed on the fabulous women winemakers of Washington. Established Talent requirements: Betz Family Winery, Woodward Canyon, Fidelitas Wines, Januik Winery and Owen Roe. Fresh Young Fellows requirements: William Church Winery, Kevin White Winery, Cairdeas Winery, Avennia Cellars. Ladies First requriements, Chinook Wines, Forgeron Cellars, Sonoris Wines, Goedhart Family. 

Washington Wine 401: Wine & Food Pairing (Prerequisites: WW101 & WW201)
Equipped with a general sense of the history, talent and capability of Washington wine students are now prepared to begin exploring the proper pairing of Washington wine and food. Taste Washington University has paired a plethora of chefs and restaurants to offer you the opportunity to practice your pairing. Pairing requirements: Seafood and white wines, Asian cuisine and Riesling, oysters and Sauvignon Blanc, steak and Cabernet Sauvignon, mushrooms and Syrah.

Post Graduate Study:
For those who have passed with flying colors post graduate work is available via the Taste Washington University seminars. Topics include Washington vs. The World, The Art of Blending, The 30th Anniversay of the Yakima Valley AVA, as well as an Introduction to the World of Wine and a Riedel Glass Tasting.

Remember folks, education is everything. Get your tickets here.


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