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Topics covered in class

Each class includes an in-depth, downloadable workbook.

1. Introduction

Meet your new instructor: Internationally-renowned wine critic James Suckling. In your first lesson, James brings you into Tuscany's Il Borro Cellars to tell you what you'll learn, why he's teaching, and how wine appreciation can enhance your life.

2. Tasting Techniques: Conducting a Blind Tasting

James believes that blind tasting can tell you a lot about a wine. Learn how to refine your palate and utilize the 100-point scale to evaluate the quality of a wine.

3. Discerning Flavors and Aromas: Student Tasting Experience

In order to appreciate wine, you must first be able to truly taste it. Understand the common characteristics of different varietals by discussing flavor, aroma, acidity, structure, texture, and balance.

4. Meet the Maker: An Introduction

Every bottle has a story. Meet the maker behind the historic Marchesi Antinori, and learn about the winemaking family's role in creating the legendary Super Tuscan Tignanello.

5. Appreciation on Location, Part 1: A Vertical Tasting

Soil and climate play an essential role in the winemaking process. James teaches you how to look for subtleties between vintages with a vertical tasting of Tignanello.

6. Appreciation on Location, Part 2: Barrel Tasting

Tasting from a barrel can be dramatically different than from a bottle. Learn what to look for in the barrel, and how to determine a wine’s potential direction.

7. Primary Factors of Influence: In the Vineyard

All great wines begin in the vineyard. Learn the principles of viticulture as James teaches you the factors that influence a great wine, and the importance of soil, climate, varietals, and regions.

8. Storing and Curating: A Home Cellar

James shares professional tips on how to design and organize a home cellar, properly store and age important bottles, and collect with confidence.

9. Education and Etiquette: Reading a Wine List

Along with legendary winemaker Lamberto Frescobaldi, James demystifies the process of reading a wine list. Gain the knowledge and etiquette to properly order in a restaurant setting, as well as share from your own collection.

10. Breaking the Rules of Pairings: A Tuscan Luncheon

For James, breaking the rules when experimenting with wine pairing is essential to the dining experience. Learn how to pair unconventional foods and wines to bring out new and highly creative flavor combinations.

11. Closing

James ends his class with a reminder of the key elements of wine appreciation: Be curious, be passionate, share with family and friends, and above all—don’t drink bad wine!

James Suckling

James Suckling Teaches Wine Appreciation

Called one of the “world’s most powerful wine critics,” James Suckling has tasted more than 200,000 wines over the past 40 years. In his wine tasting MasterClass, James tours legendary Tuscan vineyards and teaches you to explore the stories, history, and people behind every bottle. Deepen your knowledge of the properties in each sip, cultivate your passion, and choose, order, and pair wines with confidence.

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