Introduction to Wine: Tasting and Describing with Jordan Mackay – January 27

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

We kicked off the new session at the Wine School @ San Francisco Wine Center in style with our ever-popular Intro Class, Tasting and Describing. James Beard Award-winning wine author Jordan Mackay led a record sized Intro class of 24 guests through a blind tasting of popular varietals in classic styles made around the wine world. From color, aromas and flavors to acidity, tannin and alcohol, this class serves as an important foundation in recognizing the attributes of wine and pinpointing them to certain grapes and countries. As guests focused in on training their senses like professional sommeliers, Jordan also dropped a heavy dose of knowledge on them from the basics of winemaking to a summary of the most important wine growing regions of the world.

For the white wines, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc displayed the bright, zesty, citrus flavors typical of this wine; a Chardonnay from Chablis showed the crisp apple, blazing minerality and subtle creaminess of this grape’s motherland; a German Riesling added a little touch of mid-palate sweetness to the flight.

For the red wines, Oregon Pinot Noir warmed our palates with cherry, spice and soft tannins. Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero was punchier with added weight and an earthy element. Sangiovese from Chianti made mouths water for red sauce and pasta, and bold Shiraz from Australia introduced a meatier element that segued nicely into the grand finale, a juicy and bold Napa Cab from the highly respected 2001 vintage.

Thanks to Jordan and SF Wine Center Owner, Brian McGonigle, for a great line-up of wines and a fun introduction to the world of wine! If you’re in the Bay Area this Spring, come join us for other exciting tasting classes including Pinot Noir Shoot Out, Three Big B’s of Italy, New World versus Old World, Indigenous Varieties of Spain, and many, many more! Visit for more information. Cheers!

Wine List:

1.   Hunters Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012– New Zealand ($17)

2.    Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Premier Cru Vau de Vey 2011 – Chablis, FR ($28)

3.   Max Ferdinand Richter Graacher Dompropst Riesling Kabinett 2004 – Mosel Valley GE ($26)

4.   Archery Summit Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir 2009 – Dundee Hills WV OR ($100 mag)

5.   Dominio de Atauta Ribera del Duero 2000  – Ribera del Duero SP ($60)

6.   Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’ Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 – Tuscany IT ($50 & Wine Spectator Top 100)

7.   Schild Estate Barossa Valley Shiraz 2005  – South Australia ($30 & Wine Spectator Top 100)

8.   Tor Kenward Clone 4 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 – Napa Valley, CA ($80)

– Melanie Solomon

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