Wine School

Meritage Wine Market is happy to have our own in-house wine educator, Michele Graber, of 'M' Wine, in providing some exciting and informative wine education classes and seminars that are enjoyed in our cellar tasting room. Please email sales@meritagewinemarket.com to purchase tickets and for any additional info about the seminars and classes being offered.  

 

Michele Graber

'M' Wine

 

Michele began ‘M’ Wine Education & Consulting in 2009 upon returning from a trip to France and Spain.  Sharing over fifteen years of acquired wine knowledge  and introducing people to the world of wine is what ‘M’ loves to do.  Michele has worked in Canada and the U.S. as a buyer and educator of wine and obtained numerous industry credentials.  Drawing upon her expertise as an educator, global grape trotter and eternal student of wine, ‘M’ offers a series of fun, informative Classes and “Grape Escapes” that appeal to both the beginner and industry pro.  She will show you how to make wine more accessible and fun and provide you with some knowledge to better understand and (more importantly) enjoy your wine.  "Wine uncomplicated from grape to glass."

  

Registration & Information 

Average class size is limited to 16 guests and seminars are limited to 12 guests. Kindly arrive 5 - 10 minutes early as the sessions start promptly. If you are sensitive to cool temperatures, bring a light sweater as the room is set to 70°F. There is ample parking in the RSF Plaza Shopping Center where Meritage is located.

 

Advance registration and payment is required. At the time of registration, please specify which Seminar or Class you are interested in attending. Your name, phone number, email and credit card details will be required.

 

Cancellation Policy: NO REFUNDS OR CREDITS WILL BE ISSUED DUE TO LIMITED SEATING AND THE SPECIAL NATURE OF THE EVENT. The same policies apply when a class is purchased as a gift. Thank you for your understanding

 

Additionally You Get

Water, artisan cheese, charcuterie, and other accompaniments selected to enhance the tasting experience and introduce the concept of food and wine pairing Informative hand-outs  

 

*All of the wines selected for this class will be available for purchase (subject to availability) from Meritage Wine Market. 

 

Bring your desire to learn, enthusiasm for tasting, and prepare to have a fun and informative experience!  

 

Cheers, Salud, Santé, Cin Cin - ‘M’

 

Available Seminars and Classes:  

A Class Exploring Five Key Wine Regions of France

Tuesday, January 15, from 6-8:30

$89

In this session you will be introduced to five significant winegrowing areas of France (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Loire Valley, Rhône Valley), their most noted appellations, and the distinctive white, red and sparkling wines they produce.
By the end of the class you’ll be able to match well-known appellations with the regions where they are located and their principal grapes and wine styles. This means that if you were to examine a bottle of table wine you would be able to identify:
• The region where it was produced
• The type(s) of grapes it contains
• How it’s likely to taste
12 wines will be enjoyed with French cheeses, charcuterie, and other regional accompaniments, selected to enhance the tasting experience and introduce the concept of food and wine


Introduction to Wine


This series (can be taken separately) is ideal for individuals with little or no wine knowledge, those looking to get in to the industry or people wanting to refresh their understanding of all that goes on from grape to glass.

You will learn about the three categories of wine: still, sparkling and fortified. ‘M’ will focus on the “Noble” varieties and their growing regions, along with select grapes that are gaining recognition as “international varieties” and readily available on today’s shelves. You will come to understand how each is made, how to taste and evaluate.

A minimum of 16 aromatic aids will also be experienced and a selection of light appetizers will also be provided in each of the three sessions.

***

Wine 101 - How to Taste, Grape to Glass, Food & Wine Pairing Basics

Saturday, January 19, from 3-5:30

$89

Discover a diverse assortment of wines and how to decipher a wine label. Become skilled at the art of wine tasting by training your palate to identify acidity, tannin, sweetness and alcohol. With a systematic approach, you will also learn how to analyze wine on the basis of appearance, aroma, and taste. As you first begin to taste wine, you may not be able to identify the hundreds of aromas present in your glass. ‘M” will guide you on a tour of the senses with a one-of-a-kind, fun, and interactive sensorial circuit based on the themes of smell, sight, and taste! Experience and a little knowledge of technique will help you along on your appreciation of one of life’s greatest elixirs. The process of getting the grape to glass (Viticulture and Vinification) and the basics of food and wine pairing will also be discussed.
Nine wines will be tasted (Sparkling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Port, Off-Dry Riesling)

***

Wine 102: Explore White & Red Grape Varieties & Growing Regions

Saturday, January 26, from 3-5:30

$99

Discover and taste a diverse assortment of red and white wines and how to correctly serve, store and decipher a wine label. ‘M’ will focus on the following red and white grapes and their key growing regions: 
Red - Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux Blends, Malbec, Merlot, Sangiovese, Zinfandel (7 wines)
White -Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, (5 wines)

***

Wine 103: Explore White & Red Grape Varieties & Growing Regions

Saturday, February 2, from 3-5:30

$99

Discover and taste a diverse assortment of red and white wines and how to correctly serve, store and decipher a wine label. ‘M’ will focus on the following red and white grapes and their key growing regions: 
Red - Grenache/Rhône Blends, Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz, Tempranillo, (7 wines)
White - Albarino, Chardonnay, Viognier/Rhône blends (5 wines)

*

*$259 for the set of three classes.


The Ultimate Trio - Wine, Cheese & Chocolate

Friday, February 15, from 6-7:30

$59

Experience the delicious interaction of some of the world's most incredible taste sensations: chocolate, wine and cheese! Pairing wine and chocolate or wine and cheese is not a straightforward pairing. It takes a bit of experimenting to find the best combinations but when success is achieved it can be a match beyond compare. Tips will be revealed to help you understand why certain types of chocolate have a better chance of working with more wines than others or why an aged, salty cheese packed with flavor tends to pair better with dessert wines. Prepare to be indulged!
Five wines (1 Champagne, 1 white, 2 reds, 1 dessert wine) will be enjoyed with a premium selection of cheeses and chocolates.


France vs. U.S.A – Bordeaux vs. Meritage

Friday, February 22, from 6-7:30

$49

In this session you will be introduced to the reds of Bordeaux. ‘M’ will explore its most noted appellations and the distinctive red wines it produces. You will learn about the key grapes that often make up a Bordeaux or Meritage: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. ‘M’ will then compare and contrast two wines from Bordeaux with two outstanding wines of the same varietal mix from the U.S.A.. As ‘M’ goes through each wine you will learn how to taste and assess. The class finale will conclude with a blind tasting of a Bordeaux vs. Meritage to see if you can apply what was learned and guess which is which. You may be surprised by what your palate prefers!
Six wines will be tasted and enjoyed with a variety of cheeses, meats, and other light appetizers.


Napa Valley Rocks!

Saturday, March 9, from 3-5:00

$79

Join M for an engaging appellation education program digging into what makes the Napa Valley America's premier winegrowing region. Explore the unique geological formation of the valley, why it is the ideal climate to grow grapes, historical milestones and the tradition of leadership that continues today.
Napa has become synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon. The majority of its winemakers produce it, but thanks to Napa’s incredible assortment of microclimates, soils, weather, and topography, all kinds of varieties flourish. This is a region that produces distinctive wines from the major white and red varieties, including Chablis-like Chardonnay, expressive Sauvignon Blanc, cool climate Pinot Noir, hedonistic Merlot, intense Syrah and, of course, cellar-worthy Cabs.
Napa Valley Rocks will further anyone's understanding of Napa Valley and its place within the world of wine.
One sparkling wine, two white wines and five red wines will be enjoyed with a variety of light appetizers selected to enhance the tasting experience.


Pinot Noir: A Comprehensive Class on the ‘Heartbreak Grape’

Saturday, March 23, from 3-5:00

$79

The wines in this tasting are all made from the same grape variety – Pinot Noir. You will come to understand why, perhaps more than any other varietal, this thin-skinned, temperamental grape is able to capture and reflect the unique characteristics of its individual site. ‘M’ will compare and contrast eight distinctive Pinot Noirs from California, Burgundy, Oregon, New Zealand and South Africa. The session will conclude with a blind tasting of one wine to see if you can guess the grapes origin.
A variety of cheeses, meats, and other light appetizers will also be provided to enhance the experience.


A Pure Blind Global Red Wine Seminar

Friday, March 29, from 6-7:30

$59

Each grape variety has its own unique combination of characteristics including color, size, skin thickness, acidity, yield per vine and flavors. In A “PURE BLIND” GLOBAL RED WINE SEMINAR you will learn about the characteristics of SIX red grapes and their key growing regions:

1. Cabernet Sauvignon
2. Pinot Noir
3. Tempranillo
4. Sangiovese
5. Syrah
6. Zinfandel

You will taste them blind in two flights of three to see if you can match the wine to the tasting note.

With a systematic approach, you will learn how to analyze each on the basis of its appearance, aroma, and taste. Experience and a little knowledge of technique will help you along on your appreciation of one of life’s greatest elixirs. The class will conclude with a blind tasting of one wine to see if you can correctly guess the grape variety.

Seven wines will be enjoyed with a variety of cheeses, meats, and other light appetizers.


The Ultimate GSM/Rhône Class

Saturday, April 6, from 3-5:00

$79

Generous Grenache, serious Syrah and the mighty Mourvèdre are the principal red grapes that make up a GSM. In this seminar you will be introduced to the GSM wines of California and France’s Rhône Valley. ‘M’ will explore their most noted appellations and the distinctive red grapes/wines they produce. The session finale will be a blind tasting of two GSM’s: “old world” France vs. “new world” California to see if you can identify the wine’s true origin.
Eight wines will be enjoyed along with a variety of light appetizers selected to enhance the tasting experience.


Embracing the Diversity of Bordeaux

Friday, April 12, from 6-7:30

$49

Bordeaux was first loved for its sweet white wines from the sub-region of Sauternes. The wine had some pretty prominent clientele - Thomas Jefferson! The name Bordeaux is now primarily associated with its famed red blends based on Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. As with the reds, white Bordeaux wines are usually blends, most commonly of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. In this session guests will explore Bordeaux’s most noted appellations and the distinctive wines they produce.
One white wine, four red wines and one dessert wine will be tasted and enjoyed with a variety of appetizers selected to enhance the tasting experience.


Introduction to Wine

This series (can be taken separately) is ideal for individuals with little or no wine knowledge, those looking to get in to the industry or people wanting to refresh their understanding of all that goes on from grape to glass.

You will learn about the three categories of wine: still, sparkling and fortified. ‘M’ will focus on the “Noble” varieties and their growing regions, along with select grapes that are gaining recognition as “international varieties” and readily available on today’s shelves. You will come to understand how each is made, how to taste and evaluate.

A minimum of 16 aromatic aids will also be experienced and a selection of light appetizers will also be provided in each of the three sessions.

***
Wine 101 - How to Taste, Grape to Glass, Food & Wine Pairing Basics

Saturday, April 27, from 3-5:30

$89

Discover a diverse assortment of wines and how to decipher a wine label. Become skilled at the art of wine tasting by training your palate to identify acidity, tannin, sweetness and alcohol. With a systematic approach, you will also learn how to analyze wine on the basis of appearance, aroma, and taste. As you first begin to taste wine, you may not be able to identify the hundreds of aromas present in your glass. ‘M” will guide you on a tour of the senses with a one-of-a-kind, fun, and interactive sensorial circuit based on the themes of smell, sight, and taste! Experience and a little knowledge of technique will help you along on your appreciation of one of life’s greatest elixirs. The process of getting the grape to glass (Viticulture and Vinification) and the basics of food and wine pairing will also be discussed.
Nine wines will be tasted (Sparkling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Port, Off-Dry Riesling)

***
Wine 102: Explore White & Red Grape Varieties & Growing Regions

Saturday, May 4, from 3-5:30

$99

Discover and taste a diverse assortment of red and white wines and how to correctly serve, store and decipher a wine label. ‘M’ will focus on the following red and white grapes and their key growing regions:
Red - Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux Blends, Malbec, Merlot, Sangiovese, Zinfandel (7 wines)
White -Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, (5 wines)

***
Wine 103: Explore White & Red Grape Varieties & Growing Regions

Saturday, May 11, from 3-5:30

$99

Discover and taste a diverse assortment of red and white wines and how to correctly serve, store and decipher a wine label. ‘M’ will focus on the following red and white grapes and their key growing regions:
Red - Grenache/Rhône Blends, Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz, Tempranillo, (7 wines)
White - Albarino, Chardonnay, Viognier/Rhône blends (5 wines)

*

*$259 for the set of three classes.


Burgundy, France 

Friday, May 10, from 6-7:30

$49

The most complex and simplest of the great winegrowing regions! Within its boundaries lie the four distinct vineyard areas of Chablis, the Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise, and the Maconnais. M will explore its most noted appellations, and the distinctive white (Chardonnay) and red (Pinot Noir) wines they produce.
Six wines will be tasted and enjoyed with a selection of regional cheeses, meats, and other light appetizers.


Wines of the Pacific Northwest: Oregon & Washington

Friday, May 31, from 6-7:30

$49

All wines come from someplace, but the best wines can only come from an extraordinary place! The terrain of Oregon and Washington, have a complete mix of soil, climate and other growing conditions that make it ideal for growing a wide variety of grape varieties.
Although Washington and Oregon are neighbors, there are key differences that contribute to each region’s uniqueness. This diversity sets them apart not only from each other but many other New World wine producing areas.
Six wines will be tasted and enjoyed with a variety of cheeses, meats, and other light appetizers.


A Tale of Two Pinots - Exploring the New Frontier of California & Oregon Pinot Noir

Friday, June 7, from 6-7:30

$49

The terrain of California and Oregon have a complete mix of soil, climate and other growing conditions that make it ideal for growing a wide variety of grape varieties: white and red. For this session the focus will be on one grape only – Pinot Noir. ‘M' will share some fun facts as well as dig into geology, geography, history, people and the ABC’s of Pinot Noir.
Six Pinots from the same vintage will illustrate how well the grape expresses its site. Guests will enjoy them with a variety of meats, cheeses and other light appetizers. Prepare your palate for a showcase of regional diversity!


Drink Pink – The Rise of Rosés

Tuesday, June 11, from 6-8:00

$69

Think pink means sweet? Think again. No market segment is growing faster in the U.S. than dry Rosé wines from around the world, unless of course, its bubbly wines. They are being made from grapes such as Pinot Noir, Grenache and Cabernet Franc and in a variety of styles: light, easy drinking to drier and more sophisticated. Enjoy a delicious exploration of all things pink with a couple of sparkling wines thrown in for good measure!
Eight Rosé’s will be tasted and enjoyed with a variety of meats, cheeses and other light appetizers.


Iberian Odyssey: A Class Exploring the Wines of Spain & Portugal

Saturday, June 15, from 3-5:00

$69

Experimentation with traditional and international grape varieties is resulting in wines that are rich and lively, yet crafted in styles that are recognizably Spanish and Portuguese. This new world of wines in an old-world setting offers fertile ground for enjoyable exploration. You will learn about a number of Spanish wine regions from Rias Baixas to Rioja to Priorat and discover wines based on the grapes of Albarino, Tempranillo and Garnacha. Then we’ll head west to Portugal to uncover the delights of the Dao and Douro’s reds and the value of Vinho Verde. The diversity of these two nations offers plenty of outstanding wines, with many well-priced offerings. This will be an interesting adventure for those of you with an inquisitive palate.
One sparkling, three white and four red wines will be tasted and enjoyed with a variety of light appetizers.


Cabernet Sauvignon - The “King” of Red Grapes

Friday, June 21, from 6-7:30

$59

Cab is one of the most widely-planted of the world's grape varieties. World-class examples can improve for decades. In this session ‘M’ will explore the complex, multi-layered, concentrated bouquets and flavors that this grape can offer. This “Noble” grape is strongly associated with the great red wines of Bordeaux but the grape's most notable success over the past decade has been its use in wines of the "New World". The consistently optimal climates (more so than in Europe), strong investment and innovative winemaking techniques have allowed countries such as Argentina, Australia, Chile, Italy, and South Africa to produce exceptional, quality Cabernet at competitive prices. California is, after Bordeaux, the world's largest grower of Cab!
Six exceptional wines will be enjoyed with a variety of meats, cheeses and other light appetizers selected to enhance the experience so prepare your palate for an elevated tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon!



Please email sales@meritagewinemarket.com to purchase tickets.  For any additional info about the seminars and classes being offered, please email michele@meritagewinemarket.com