Wine Tasting Classes

The Texas Wine School’s Wine Tasting Classes are for the beginner, the enthusiast and the connoisseur in all of us. All Wine Tasting Classes meet once for 2 hours.

Who the Wine Tasting Classes are for

These classes are really for everyone: from those in the industry needing a refresher course in a specific region or topic; the wine enthusiast wanting more information to make informed purchasing decisions; the absolute beginner who wants to understand the fundamentals of wine correctly, simply, thoroughly and importantly up to date.

These classes are some of my favorites as I am able to choose the topic and decide the content. This allows me to have fun, explore topics in more detail or look at a topic from a different perspective, whilst still educating the student in a fun light hearted style. These classes are all about enjoyment for you and me. For you to pursue, a passion or an interest in wine, in a relaxed, forgiving environment that typifies to me what wine is all about: fun, friends, two way discourse and humor. The classes are in a “class room format” with the emphasis on learning through tasting (spitting).

What is Covered

– Presenting the region: its location, history and trade within the world of wine.
– The Terroir: climate, soil, altitude and aspect, viticulture and viniculture.
– Grape varieties
– Understanding and appreciating the wines of the region: white, red, rose, sparkling and fortified.
– The AOC, DOC and AVA’s of the Region
– Food and Wine Pairing
– When to drink –  with who, when, what, why and where

The Outcome

Be able to understand the labels; locate the region on the map; know the main grape varieties and styles; a brief history; wine growing and wine making techniques specific to the region; wine and food pairing; to converse with some knowledge and confidence to a retailer or restaurateur about the wines.

The Texas Wine School offers the following Wine Tasting Classes:

Sparkling, “tiny bubbles, in the wine, make me happy, make me feel fine..”

For all wine drinkers that feel the same as Don Ho did when singing this catchy tune, this is the session you can’t miss. We searched in every corner of the wine producing world and found bubbles everywhere. Travel to five continents in two hours and we’ll cap off the seminar with the king of all sparklers, Champagne. Because after all,

“too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right” – Mark Twain

This class will be lead by Christian Varas.
This class will introduce you to diverse styles of Sparkling wines out there, from the complex and age worthy Champagnes to the delightfully simple and yummy Prosecco’s and everything in between.

Learn how these different styles of Sparkling Wines are made, where they come from, the grape varities and the flavor characteristics.

Introduction to Wine

This is the wine tasting class where the beginner opens the door, only slightly, into the wonderful world of wine. This is your opportunity to dip a toe into wine and discover the wide array that is available to you as a consumer. We will lead you gently through the basics of wine, looking at the different styles of wines, some of the “classic” grape varieties whilst all the time tasting and learning. The class will also introduce you to proper serving and storage, as poorly stored or served wine can spoil the wine or the evening, and some basic wine and food pairing principles.

The objectives are that you will develop a newfound admiration for this incredible product of nature while tasting the differences in body, tannin, and sweetness of wines. Wine has been with us for millennia, and while it can seem a daunting subject, it should not be and in this class we intend to demystify some of the fundamentals of wine. We will be looking at:

– How to taste, judge and buy wine
– Wine and Food Pairing
– Wine glasses, is there a protocol?
– How to store and serve wine (decanting, serving temperatures etc)
– Classic Grapes and Wine Regions of the World
– Different styles: Red, white, rose, sparkling and fortified.

CIVB Approved Bordeaux Class

Come on a journey, with Houston’s only independent International Bordeaux Wine Educator, through the chateaux and vineyards of this great region and discover the magic, that is Bordeaux!. James will lead you through a 2 hour wine education class designed by the Bordeaux Ecole de Vin and taste the different grapes and styles of Bordeaux. We will evaluate Bordeaux wines and their distinct styles and personalities. Discuss the geography and climate, with particular emphasis on the region’s multiple viticultural areas and their defining characteristics. Discuss the region’s complex multiple classification systems and the laws by which the wines are governed. This a great wine class for those interested in learning about Bordeaux from the ground up. We will cover all 6 styles of wine coming from Bordeuax.
– Dry Whites
– Sweet Whites
– St Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac
– Medoc and Graves
– Bordeaux
– Cotes de Bordeaux

BIVB Approved Burgundy Class

Come on a journey, with Houston’s only independent International Burgundy Wine Educator, through the vineyards of this great region and discover the magic, that is Burgundy!. James will lead you through a 2 hour wine education class designed by the Burgundy Ecole de Vin and taste the different grapes and styles of Burgundy. The “Discovering Burgundy Wines” Power Point Presentation was created by the BIVB (Bureau Interprofessional des Vins de Bourgone) for the exclusive use of the accredited International BurgundyWine Educators. The class will look at the rich history that is at the heart of the identiy of this region. We will look at the diversity from Chablis to Maconnais of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We will discuss the Terroir that is the essence of Burgundy. The class will delve into what makes Burgundy wines great and why they are still striving for excellence. We will taste wines and show why they are exceptional wines for all occassions. This a great wine class for those interested in learning about Burgundy from the ground up. James King was the Official Burgundy Speaker at the French Wine Society Conference in 2010.

NVV Approved Napa Valley Class

Introducing Napa Valley Rocks, an engaging presentation digging into what makes the Napa Valley America’s premier winegrowing region. We explore the unique geological formation of the valley, why it is the ideal climate to grow grapes, historical milestones, and the tradition of leadership that is continued today. This presentation will further your understanding of Napa Valley, and its place within the world of wine.

Viniculture or How to Make Wine

This introduction class will cover the classic styles of wine and how they are made. The production method of a wine can tell a person a lot about when to drink it, where to drink it and what to drink it with. We will taste at least 6 wines covering each method of production. We will look at a “classic”:

– White wine production
– Red wine production
– Rose wine production
– Sparkling wine production
– Fortified wine production
– Sweet wine production

Wines of Rioja

Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years – the wine of Rioja. For U.S. wine consumers, Rioja wines were the first introduction to fine wine hailing from Spain. Some thirty years later and close to thirty Spanish wine regions later, Rioja has never changed its level of quality wine. Where Tempranillo reigns supreme – we now have more distinct and delicious renditions of Rioja than ever before. We’ll throw in a couple of crisp and delicious Rioja whites and re-discover the excellence of this world-class wine region all over again.

Viticulture or How to Grow Wines for Winemaking

The mantra today is great wine is made in the vineyard yet many of us know very little about the vineyard and fewer instructors dedicate much time to it. In this class we will look into the fundamentals of viticulture in general broad strokes. We will taste 8 wines to highlight viticulture:

– Understand the different varieties of grapes that are used for viticulture.
– The constituents of a “grape”
– Where grapes can be commercially grown and classic climates
– Some of the classic soil types from around the world
– The effects of Altitude, Aspect and Bodies of Water on viticulture
– Diseases and Pests that affect grapes
– Harvest time and yields

How to Blind Taste

Info coming soon!

Wines of France

Info coming soon!


Center for Wine Origins’ Wine Location Specialist Champagne Class

Info coming soon!

Center for Wine Origins’ Wine Location Specialist Port Class

Info coming soon!