Everybody has that special place, that place where the wine appreciation epiphany occurred. And, as a wine freak-a-nomic, I get asked where that took place for me.
Dang, it wasn’t plucking up raisins at Boone’s Farm or flying with a Blue Nun. Thank my wine-giving-God.
It was the Wine House in West L.A. over 20 years ago. And with the willing husband that pushed me along.
The Wine House, then as they do now, offered “classes” 4 out of 7 nights a week. A perfect way to educate yourself. None better.
Wine and Junk Food was the epiphany class for me. To this day I suggest Champagne, pink or plain, for pairing with popcorn and cheese corn. Hershey’s chocolate with any red imaginable. Red licorice with…you name it, they thought of it and had it covered.
Wine and Pizza No clue what we drank other than…it was mostly red. But, for wine 101ers, learning that you could pair red wine with more than just red meat was good enough for us. But they had it down to some weird science as the pepperoni was paired with one kind of red while the bar-be-que chicken and pineapple was paired with a sparkling white…
Four weeks in Burgundy Don’t actually even remember which came first, the desire to see France after his class or to take this class after seeing France. But it was such an immersion, that must be why I can’t recall…which came first. We were so enthralled, became such fans, that we bought the next group of classes for a friend. So we had four more weeks to be fully immersed in a new wine landscape. And an appreciative friend to travel with.
Zin/Chard/Pinot Fests to this day I think they still do these. You selected the time you wanted; either 12-2pm or 2-4pm. We always chose the earlier time as we thought in our youth that, gasp, they might run out. As what might have been the original ticketed tasting we hoarded our allotment, only to have, time after every time, another guest hand us their unused tickets. Like a buy one get one coupon, no one wanted to let these go to waste.
In looking over a current month’s schedule (yes, we still drive down there to shop occasionally) I spied a wine and cheese pairing, Blind tasting, Best of current Mediterranean, Wines of the Rhone Valley, WSET training (we have their local recommended expert here in DiMaggio Washington) a Sake dinner, native grapes of Slovenia and Croatia, Beers of Summer, Grgich Hills Dinner, Super Tuscan Dinner, Killer Riesling, Absolute Beginning Wine Appreciation, Mount Eden Dinner, Summer Sparklers from around the World, several private events and rental nights available.
Their monthly newsletter is over 20 pages. I want that. I want to have a magazine printed here, with all the class offerings of all our combined wine establishments, all of the wine 101 writers from MY site, subject only to the wishes of the Santa Clarita Valley drinking public…I know I’m crazy. I drink. Call it another epiphany.