From time to time I talk about wine to university, community, and professional groups. If you're interested in having me speak please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm happy to talk about the history of wine or modern trends in wine, about attitudes toward wine and alcohol more generally. If you have a wine-related topic in mind, try me.
Among the talks I gave in 2000 were:
A public talk on the creation of modern French wine to the Ottawa Historical Association.
A public talk on French wine sponsored by the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University in the Niagara wine region.
A talk on the emergence of French wine in the Seminar Series of the National Capital Sommelier Guild.
Remarks on the Spanish and Chilean wines served at a dinner hosted by the Opimian Society.
In 2001 I will give presentations at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and to groups in Edmonton, Adelaide (Australia), and in several cities in the U.S..
Through Worlds of Wine, I'm also available to give professional presentations on various aspects of wine. They are suitable for corporations, service clubs, sports organizations, community associations, or even for informal groups who want to learn more about wine. These illustrated presentations include wine tastings and can be customized to your requirements. Below, I've listed some you might consider, but I'm very happy to work with you on a presentation that's pitched just right for your needs.
Six of the Best
Here I introduce the six grape varieties used for most of the domestic and imported wine available in Canada: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay (whites), and Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon (reds). The presentation includes a tasting of a good example of each so that participants can appreciate their distinct characteristics. I discuss matching food with each wine.
Something Old, Something New
I present the different styles of wines made in the Old World (Europe) and the New World (North America and the Southern Hemisphere). We taste wines made from the same grape but in different Worlds (such as a French and Australian Syrah/Shiraz) to see the different styles. This presentation encourages participants to be experimental and to try the wines from less- known regions that are often very good value.
Wine Labels: What they say, what they mean
What does appellation contrôlée on a bottle of French wine mean? What does the 'Bin number' on an Australian wine mean, and is Bin 707 eleven times better than Bin 65? Is a wine that has a 'chateau' name better than one that hasn't? Is a bottle described as 'Proprietor's Reserve' really from the owner's private stock? This presentation cuts through the verbiage and helps people understand the language of the label. It will help you buy the wine you're looking for and, just as important, help you avoid the one you don't want.
What should I order if....
You're in a restaurant in a party of four. You order the shrimps, your partner wants pepper steak, and your guests order the vegetarian pasta and the curried chicken. Panic! Is there a wine on the list that goes with everything? Should you order what goes best with your shrimps, and to hell with the others? Will you pay for this strategy later? This presentation uses actual restaurant menus and wine lists to help participants sort through wine and food matching dilemmas. I also give practical advice on ordering wine in a restaurant setting.
Wine Snobbery 101
How to meet wine snobs on their own turf. This is an introduction to many of the terms used by wine writers. It helps to undermine the mystery and snobbishness still too often associated with wine. An amusing, understated little presentation, somewhat gamey on the nose but charming on the palate.
Canadian wine, eh?
I'm a big fan of many Canadian wines and I'm impressed how far the Canadian industry has come in so short a time. This presentation stresses the individual character and qualities of Canadian wines, explains the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) system, and includes both table wines and icewines. Hey, the Canadian flag is red and white, isn't it, so why don't we salute Canadian reds and whites sometimes, too?
If you are interested in having me speak to your group or organization, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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