Wine tasting classes?
My wife and I are flying into SF tomorrow and will be in the area (between the Peninsula, SF and Sonoma) through Sunday. I used to live in the area and have done the Napa and Santa Cruz wine tasting thing a handful of times, but my wine knowledge is still pretty limited by Bay Area standards (I can tell the varietals apart and can pair them with food, but that's about it), and my wife's is basically nil. I'd love to find a reputable class of some sort, but it's extremely short notice, and schedules for, e.g., the CIA in St. Helena don't work. Are there any stores in or outside SF that have regularly scheduled tasting courses, a la Astor Wines in New York, or could arrange a private class on request?
If not - and I'm guessing the scheduling is too tight at this stage - any wineries in particular that would be particularly helpful? I know most people are desperate to avoid larger wineries, but a Coppola or St. Supery may not be out of sorts as a good first stop if they're more willing to talk us through the basics and not-quite-basics.
Thank you all for your replies; a couple of these sounded perfect if the timing could work out better. Unfortunately the whole trip has now been called off because of the blizzard in New York (no flights out until after New Years), but I now have some good leads for next time.
It's too bad the weather came between you and your plans. Please keep in mind the Wine Merchants at the Ferry Plaza the next time you make it to the city. I'm a "frequent flier" at their wine bar. Last week I sampled a flight of three French champagnes and a one-ounce jar of caviar (excellent toasts, good creme fraiche). Sitting at the bar there can be a class unto itself. Ask a few questions, make a few friends. Staff is knowledgable and easy to get along with.
It's unclear to me whether you will be in the Napa area; you didn't list it in your itinerary, but then you mentioned the CIA, Coppola, and St. Supery.
If you are going to be in Napa, I'd recommend Mondavi. They are certainly one of those larger wineries, but also an important part of Napa Valley history, and they have a basic wine tasting class daily. Call ahead to make reservations.
The folks at Solano Cellars in Albany do a lot of classes. I don't think there is anything scheduled this week, but I would be surprised if they wouldn't do something for you at their wine bar if you call and ask.
18 Reasons has a sparkling tasting tonight.
You might also ask the people an Vin, Vino in Palo Alto. They do some fun weekend tastings.
I haven't been here, but they are worth a look as well: https://sites.google.com/site/secretw...
593 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA