Attending Wine School 101 at Table 100

August 10th, 2011        —        Table 100

I’ve briefly mentioned before how and why I’m not much of a drinker. I’ll probably always be this way, due to a range of negative side effects I suffer from when consuming alcohol.

Because of my aversion to alcohol, the amount of knowledge I have on the subject compares to the collective amount of knowledge the cast of Jersey Shore has about the national budget crisis – not much. Nevertheless I can appreciate other indulgences in life, including wine, which is so closely related to the culinary world.

This is why I found myself at Table 100′s first Wine School on a Wednesday evening after work.

A friend and I met at the conference center adjacent to Table 100 and walked into a medium-sized room filled with tables. At each place there were four full pours of white wine, a glass of water, a wine description card, recipes, a Wine School information packet and a pen. You better believe I kept that pen.

The event was split up in two segments, first a cooking demonstration by Head Chef Mike and then the wine school by owner Paul Ruiter (read their bios).

Chef Mike charmed the crowd while narrating the basic steps to the recipes in his faint German accent. When he was wrapping up his show, we were served a small plate of the Pan Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree and Tomato Caper Salada he had been demonstrating. The dish was simple and delicious, a perfect accompaniment to white wine. I just wished I had double the amount!

Then Paul took the floor and went into Wine Tasting 101 which covered a brief summary on how wine is made, learning how to drink wine, how to order in a restaurant and other various tips. We would swirl, observe color, smell, taste once and taste again even slower. The process was repeated for each glass and by the end I finally was able to discern some nuances and gentle flavors. These are the wines we tasted:

Pine Ridge: Chenin Blanc-Viognier
Cline: Viognier
Elk Cove: Pinot Gris
Honig: Sauvignon Blanc

I also learned when ordering wine in a restaurant it’s quite alright to hand over the decision making to the sommelier. And never smell the cork, unless you want to stand out as a newbie (the cork should be felt for moisture).

Measuring by the increasing volume in the room, it sounded like most everyone had a good time. Table 100 plans to host a Wine School once a month, which is an absolute steal for $25 per person. I hope they cover new material with each successive class and am looking forward to the next one.

There’s no way I could drink all that wine! About 1/3 of each glass was enough for me, but many true wine lovers left empty glasses.

– via Gidget Eats