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May 18, 2002 01:28 AM

Wine Class in W LA?

  • k

Met someone at the health club the other day who told me about a great wine appreciation class he is taking, the name of which escapes me. It is a husband and wife team, and they host the classes in their W LA home, cook simple food, and each week sample new varietals.

Anyone know about this class or any similar ones? Or... I'm sure there are a few Hounds out there exceptionally versed in wine appreciation who could aptly conduct such a course. It could be fun, one could meet some new friends, and have a little business-hobby with it. If I had the knowledge, I would do it!


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  1. Don't know about the husband/wife venture you mention, but The Wine House (Cotner, betw. Pico and Olympic) has a very broad selection of courses from beginner to advanced.

    Ah, you've plantd a seed though. I could escape my well-paying but albatross-like job and use my 7 year and growing wine obsession to start hosting wine appreciation nights? Hmmmm.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Tom M.

      Depending upon how well-paying your job is.... maybe yes!!! Figure w/in 3 months having a clientele of 20 members paying $60 a class = $1,200 a night. And this could be done M-Sa = $7,200/wk revenue. Wine cost would be say $15/bottle wholesale (beginner's class) x 8 bottles a night = $120. Food could be prepared for $75. So $1,000 a night profit multiplied by six nights = $6,000/wk = $300k+ annually. Advertising expenses would deduct maybe $150/wk from your $1,000 gross profit (15%), so 15% less than $300k, would be $255k net annually. Not too shabby for doing what you love to do.....

      Again, if I had the wine education and a place large enough to accomodate 20 guests, I'd do it in a heartbeat!


      1. re: Kara Elise
        Leslie Brenner

        Teaching six hour classes a week (presumably two hours long or so) is way too much for any mortal. Remember that there is a lot of preparation time involved in teaching anything, and here you've got food shopping, prep, cooking, and clean up as well. No one in their right mind would attempt such a thing (alone, anyway) more than once or twice a week. And finding a hundred and twenty students per session wouldn't be easy either--in fact to me it sounds impossible. And come to think of it, twenty is too many to have in a home-taught course, where a seminar-type setting is preferable anyway. (I've taught fiction workshops out of my home in the past.) But hmmm. It is an interesting idea.

        1. re: Leslie Brenner

          Six hour-long classes a week is too much??? I teach 15 group exercise classes a week, personally train another 10 hours and still have time to cook, clean, shop, entertain, etc. (Though I don't have family obligations...) Thank you kindly, however, for your considerate input.

          Maybe 20 people a night is a bit much -- doable,but likely the numbers would be smaller. If you were to advertise on the right sites, it could be a hit though. Could also be popular with the singles crowd. Yes, we're off the topic of food, but the emphasis of the event would be food and wine exploration and appreciation.

          1. re: Kara Elise
            Leslie Brenner

            Kara, I think you misread my post, in which I suggested two-hour classes (not much would be accomplished in an hour). Perhaps excercise classes are a different beast--do you have to do much prep? And cooking, cleaning, etc. for one or two is one thing, and twenty times six yet another...

      2. re: Tom M.

        Be sure to check into the necessary licenses for selling alcohol (which you will be if you charge for the classes) or hold the tastings in a licenses facility (e.g., restaurant).

      3. I picked up a flyer at the $9.99 and under wine shop on Overland a few weeks ago. Classes looked really good, great wines plus dinner but --- expensive, like about $300 plus which means if two people took the course, really high. There was, I remember a one nighter (the other course was more than one night) - the people giving the course seemed really knowledgable.

        1. Another option is to organize a group of friends for potluck food and wine feasts. If everyone prepares one dish and brings a bottle meant to compliment it, the education and fun quotient will be high while keeping the costs pretty low. Six to eight people/courses/wines is probably ideal, and the hosting duties can be rotated amongst the group.

          Granted, this is not a moneymaking scheme, but by keeping the focus on the food and wine rather than the profit, you might just enjoy the eating and drinking all the more.

          3 Replies
          1. re: u4ik

            A casual potluck could certainly be enjoyable.... I certainly did not intend to convey an idea of a 'scheme', rather just offered a simple idea that would be an enormous service to many interested in developing their wine appreciation. $60 for a class and dinner and camaraderie seems a good deal for both the customer and the host. A win/win situation rather than a scheme.... I'd be the first to sign up!

            1. re: Kara Elise

              No offense was intended. The point I was trying to make was that good food and wine in the context of good company can be an extremely pleasurable experience. From your postings, I believe that you share this viewpoint.

              However, once the party becomes a "for profit" venture, I think the sensibilities change, as aesthetic appreciation begins to take a back seat to the bottom line.

              So yeah, attending a well thought out food and wine pairing class with similarly curious people that share interests sounds like a plan. But organizing a series of those classes with the goal of making enough money so as to never have to eat domestic foie gras again seems to me to be another kettle of fish entirely.

              1. re: u4ik

                I see a little difference in philosophy here.... I have no problem with someone profiting from such a venture. Call me a capitalist.

                We're getting off the subject of food now (feel free to email me privately if you'd like to further discuss), but I would really like to attend such an event and certainly would be delighted to support getting someone 'off domestic foie gras' as you mentioned, or contributing to the host's economic well-being, so long as I am receiving a service which I feel is worth its price, which I think I would.