Wine Tasting Notes

 "Thinking, Eating and Drinking"
A Journey with Food & Wine

"Thinking, Eating and Drinking" was a class taught by Chad Arnold with special guest Suzanne Drexhage. Chad has been in the restaurant and wine business for twenty five years along with teaching wine courses at UC Berkeley Extension since 2004. He contributes to wine magazines and teaches at St. Mary’s College. Suzanne too has extensive experience in the restaurant and wine business. Currently she works in the kitchen at Chez Panisse and is involved in various projects around the Bay Area related to the food and wine industry.

The six week course is titled, “Thinking, Eating and Drinking”. You are probably wondering what type of “thinking” really happens when eating and drinking wine – you might be surprised.

Here is a snip it from the course description: “The central focus of this course is the application of language to experience – and here, in this course, we will do this through food and wine! We will talk about the connections between wine and food and art and life. To support our ideas of a complete meal, we will read poems and look at paintings too! This will be an amazing course, and it will be challenging and stimulating – and most of all it will be a lot of fun!”

Enjoy the journey as much as I did through this blog perspective over the six week class:

{ Part 1 } James Beard's Onion Sandwich
{ Part 2 } Italian Wine Bar + Crostini Recipe
{ Part 3 } Blending + Bordeaux
{ Part 4 } Burgundy Wines
{ Part 5 } Rhone Valley
{ Part 6 } Worldly Wines

Favorite Wineries

Living in the Bay Area, we are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by wine county.  If we jump in the car for a few hours, we can be in the central valley or central coast.  California has an abundance of spectacular wineries.  With so many amazing wineries, it would almost take a lifetime to visit them all.  The list below are some of my favorites:

Napa Valley:
Gary Farrell Winery
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
Lancaster Estate
Peter Michael Winery
Stuhmuller Vineyards
Twomey Cellars

Livermore Valley:
Murrieta's Well
Steven Kent Winery
Boaventura Vineyard
Page Mill Winery
Wente Vineyards

Paso Robles Wine Country:
Justin Vineyards & Winery
Tobin James Cellars
Robert Hall Winery

Santa Barbara County:
Stolpman Vineyards
Blair Fox Cellars
Sanford Winery

Food and Wine Matching 101

John Ash taught the class titled A Journey into Sensory Awareness: Food and Wine Pairing. John is a renowned chef, author, and food and wine educator. He is often referred to as the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine”. John is a pioneer for opening up the first restaurant in Northern California wine country to focus on local & seasonal ingredients to create dishes that pair with local regional wines. His namesake restaurant is John Ash & Company in Santa Rosa opened in 1980.

Matching food and wine has long been something that quite frankly causes much anxiety for many people. Often we over complicate it. John believes that matching food and wine is very subjective, meaning we all have our own personal likes and dislikes in what we eat and drink. With that, there are no absolute rules in matching food and wine. Throw out the thought that “red wine with red meats and white wine with fish, poultry and white meats”.

To learn more about the similarity and contract along with six basic flavors according to John: Acidity, Sweetness, Saltiness, Bitterness, Pepper and Umami, please click here. Enjoy!!!