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May 9, 2007 12:51 PM

Wine Education

Any suggestions for educational wine experiences for the wine novice in the DC/NoVa area?

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  1. Check out the local wine festivals. There's a good one next weekend in Front Royal and another one in Centreville in June:

    1 Reply
    1. re: mojoeater

      Depending on what you're looking for, Bin604 has several classes that offer anything from the basics (Binology 101) to pairings and regional tastings. The classes typically last 1 1/2 hours or so and for the price ($29 person) I think are very enjoyable and educational.

    2. This article made a lot of sense to me. It's on point and you may find it helpful.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dcs

        I'll second the idea from that article that most wine classes are more focused on how to describe wine than on helping you find wines that you like--but wine classes can give you some structure to your tasting experience and, if you attend them for a while, expose you to so many wines that you'll get a good idea of what you like anyways.

        Rob Stewart (formerly of Rick's Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria, now I believe at the Whole Foods in Fair Lakes) offers a 9-week course for $495, which I just finished and was pretty happy with. It's about twice as expensive per-class as the Bin604 ones; you end up tasting and discussing around 13 wines per class, though (vs. I believe 6 per class at Bin604), many of which are ones that you would probably never taste if you were trying to do it on your own, as each class tends to have one or two wines that would be prohibitively expensive for most beginners to try, plus often one or two older vintages that you just wouldn't be able to find if you hadn't been storing them in your own cellar for a decade. You can email Rob at for info.

        1. re: sweth

          I've done this class and it's perhaps the best class I could have taken. Highly educational, wonderful instruction. If you were to do it I would make one reccomendation though, bring your own glasses. The glasses provided are from the hotel in which its held and they never seem to clean their glasses all too well.