Whilst my knowledge of food and ingredients is pretty extensive for a self-taught lassy from Yorkshire, my familiarity and appreciation of wine leaves a lot to be desired. So when I was invited to sample a session of the beginner’s wine course hosted regularly by Uncorked Bodega I jumped at the chance to hopefully open my horizons to the world of oenology.
At their Hostafrancs-based bodega specialising in Spanish and New World wines, over 4 weeks genial hosts Zara and Leanne lead you through the basics of wine production, grape varieties and wine producing regions. They also give you a crash course in opening up your senses, enabling you to identify and appreciate good wines.
Each week features a different wine type, traversing from world wines to whites, then reds before finishing the course with rosés and cavas, each with food pairing. The class begins with a study of how that type of wine is produced, then focuses on three popular grape varieties for the category; the grape’s appearance, growing region, the typical wines and likely flavours and aromas they produce. To prepare us to be able to identify those varieties in the tasting to follow, our senses were tested by encouraging us to identify some well know scents…..no spoilers here about what pricked our noses though.
From there we were led through looking at the colour and legs (body), encouraged to take a ‘standing’ and then ‘swirling’ inhalation of the wine before finally letting the nectar pass our lips for the tasting. Who knew that a white serviette is so useful in capturing the true colour of a red? With palate cleansing bread and water alongside we worked our way through 3 wines as we put what we’d learnt during the previous couple of hours into practice. Could we identify in these glasses what we had learnt so far?
We ended the class with a recap of the session’s content and learnt a little more about food pairings for our tasted wines whilst sharing some excellent chorizo and sheep’s cheese.
The course costs 125€ for 4 weeks which includes tasting of 20 wines in total and an exam to test your new found knowledge at the end. The bodega also offers other courses and workshops as part of their wine academy.
Photos courtesy of Riccardo Salamanna Photography
Uncorked Bodega, Carrer del Farell, 12, Hostafrancs