We recently had the pleasure of attending a Wine and Wedge class with wine expert Lynn Grundmeier in Vancouver, Washington. What could have been a dry and rather simple tasting of Italian wines turned out to be a fun evening with small vineyard wines as a take-away.
It was early evening in Vancouver's downtown. After signing up with Wine and Wedge for "Italy North to South" we decided to make an evening of it and start early with a small plate and glass of wine at Niche Wine Bar, next to the historic Kiggins Theater on Vancouver's Main Street.
The small plates were creative and the Barbera, originally from Northern Italy, being poured for Happy Hour gave us an entry into the Italian theme of the evening. Soon it was 6:30 and time for the class. We went next door to the Angst Gallery space where a long table had been set for the tasting. It was a nice sized group of about 12 congenial people.
Lynn Grundmeier had provided an informational wine map of Italy and a hand-out describing the wines we would be tasting for the evening. There were seven in all, a generous offering for the low class price of $30.
Lynn Grundmeier began by talking about her background and how she came to be a lover of wine and food pairings and an executive and expert for the wine department of a leading specialty food store. She had recently developed "Wine and Wedge," an education and consultation service based on her knowledge of wine and foods. The class was part of her offerings.
As the evening progressed Lynn walked us through the interesting wines she had chosen for us. We learned about the wine, the wine growing regions of Italy and what to look for in selecting wines to pair with foods. We were surprised by some of the offerings... the Clara C Brut Prosecco from Veneto was a delightful bubbly that got better as the tasting progressed. We learned we could pair it with buttery triple-creme cheeses or alone as a brunch beverage.
She took us through the white wines and then the red wines offering tidbits of fascinating information about Italian wines as well as painting word pictures of her travels through the little villages of Italy. We felt as though we were spending the evening in Italy quaffing wine with friends.
We enjoyed the crackers and grissini with the wine offerings and even learned that, in Italy, there are many varieties of grissini, Italian bread sticks. To spice up the evening Lynn offered Italian prizes, won by answering wine trivia questions.
As the class drew to a close, we tasted a Moscato, Centorri Moscato di Pavia from Lombardy. This light wine was a real surprise and we could appreciate Lynn's story about sipping it with friends after a long day touring vineyards. It was refreshing.
The evening ended back at the Niche Wine Bar with coffee and tea and a great discussion of Italy and Italian wines. We had all learned, enjoyed and even ordered the reasonably priced wines to grace our tables at home. Now, to search for equally enticing recipes!
Lynn Grundmeier's wine classes will continue with an exploration of French wines on Thursday March 20th, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Vancouver. Lynn can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 360.525.4693.