Secrets of Iconic Regions 4 (Sept/Oct)

You could pay a fortune to see one of Mark Oldman’s famous, “five-star” (Food & Wine) “wildly popular” (Aspen magazine) live seminars at the nation’s top food festivals or you can take a Bevinars virtual wine class for a fraction of the cost and from the comfort of your own living room. In his trademark style that Bon Appétit calls “winespeak without the geek,” award-winning author and renowned speaker Mark Oldman transports you to four of the world’s iconic wine regions: Spain, Portugal, the Loire, and Champagne. Secrets of Iconic Regions 4 runs for four Wednesdays starting Wednesday, September 21st, at 7pm ET/ 4pm PT.

1] SECRETS OF SPAIN CLASS: September 21, 2022, 7pm ET

No other wine region is more diverse than Spain. Not only does it have breathtaking variation in climate and grape variety, but it excels in almost every category of wine, from the bubbly cava to white wines of personality to a range of deeply rewarding, spicy reds to sherry and more. And it does so with affordability and flair.

We will consider a range of key subjects, including the stylistic differences between Spain’s traditional and modern wineries, which Spanish wines are collectable and which are among the world’s best values, why some insiders are obsessed with dry sherry, and which Spanish wine accessory never fails to be the life of the party.

First, we examine the effervescent delights of the Spanish cava. We then head to the vineyards of Galicia on Spain’s north Atlantic coast, where the white wine Albariño has become a favorite of wine drinkers around the world. After that we arrive at Spain’s’ preeminent wine region, Rioja, and also learn about Priorat, a region tucked in the mountains southwest of Barcelona that has been transformed into one of the hottest names in wine.

In addition to the featured wines being presented, Mark will clue you into a slew of other fabulous Spanish wines, from blue chips such as Ribera del Duero to lesser-known Godello.

And we will cover tasting techniques, decoding the label, and food pairings — including regional favorites such as Jamón Ibérico, paella, gambas al ajillo, and more.

Moreover, if you’ve ever been to one of Mark’s presentations, you know it is brimming with humor and his trademark “nuggets” of useful insider information that you won’t find anywhere else.

2] SECRETS OF PORTUGAL CLASS: September 28, 2022, 7pm

Portugal is so much more than Port, the delicious dessert wine for which the country is world famous. Portugal’s dry wines – both white and red – offer some of the best quality for your money in the entire world of wine.

We will consider a range of key subjects, including how a flood of new investment and talent are rejuvenating many of Portugal’s growing zones, which wines best reflect their region’s terroir, which indigenous grape varieties are the most important to know, and how and why Portugal’s ancient winemaking techniques have persisted.

We will start with the perfect aperitif, Vinho Verde, which is priced for overindulgence and about as far from an oaky Chardonnay as you can get. We then move to the Douro and Alentejo, where the dry reds benefit from prime volcanic soils, hot days with markedly cooler nights, and vertiginous hillsides. We then shift gears to explore the many manifestations of Port, which will enrapture you with its lush aromas and taste.

In additional to the featured wines being presented, Mark will clue you other tempting Portuguese wines, including Madeira and red wine from the region of Dão.

And we will cover tasting techniques, decoding the label, and food pairings — including regional favorites such as roast suckling pig, sopa da pedra (hearty bean soup), and a variety of tempting cheeses.

3] SECRETS OF THE LOIRE CLASS: October 5, 2022, 7pm ET

Follow the Loire River — France’s longest and laziest — and you will find some of the world’s most refreshing, food-friendly, gently-priced wine. In the Loire Valley, you have France’s largest production of bubbly outside of Champagne, the world templates for the grapes Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, and reds of remarkable brightness and savoriness.

We will consider a range of key subjects, including why Loire wines are considered among the most versatile, why sommeliers adore the region, why the Loire is considered the epicenter for both the idea of terroir and the natural wine movement, and which Loire wines have surprising ageabiilty.

We will start with Crémant de Loire, the quality sparkling wine that not enough wine enthusiasts know about. Next comes Loire’s well-known favorite, Sancerre, a paragon of grassy pungency and tongue-tingling crispness. We then turn to two excellent Loire reds, Sancerre Rouge and Chinon, which are snappy, charming slingshots of red berry flavor and earth.

In additional to the featured wines being presented, Mark will clue you into a slew of other tempting Loire types, from Muscadet to Vouvray.

And we will cover tasting techniques, decoding the label, and food pairings — including regional favorites such as Crottin de Chavignol (rounds of goat cheese), rillettes (a type of pork pate), and fish in beurre blanc sauce.

4] SECRETS OF CHAMPAGNE CLASS (October 12, 2022, 7pm ET)

If you polled any group of wine experts, the majority of them would name Champagne as their desert-island wine pick. This precious potion from northeast France remains one of life’s great glittering indulgences, primed to mark a celebration or as reason for one, and increasingly a wonderful accompaniment to almost any meal.

We will consider a range of key subjects, including how to distinguish between seemingly similar types of Champagne, how to find the house style that best fits with your taste, what accounts for the growing appeal of grower Champagne, whether prestige cuvée Champagnes are worth their price, and the best bottles for the upcoming holiday season.

We will start with grower Champagne, the small, privately-owned producers that grow their own grapes and are currently all the rage with insiders. Next, we examine an all-Chardonnay Champagne against a Pinot-dominant bottling and see how grape proportions, and other factors, can account for stylistic differences. Finally, we look at rosé Champagne, the category most coveted among connoisseurs and most versatile for pairing with food.

In additional to the featured wines being presented, Mark will clue you into other Champagne types, including brut nature and demi-sec styles. And, as is his tradition, he will demonstrate the fine art of sabering a bottle of Champagne.

And we will cover tasting techniques, decoding the label, and food pairings — including classic favorites such as caviar and sushi as well as less formal matches such as French fries, mac & cheese, and spicy fare.

In additional to the featured wines being presented, Mark will clue you into other Champagne types, including brut nature and demi-sec styles. And, as is his tradition, he will demonstrate the fine art of sabering a bottle of Champagne.

MORE ON THE COURSE:

You are encouraged — but not required — to taste along with Mark. If you wish to buy the accompanying Wine.com wine kits listed below, please do so through these links as soon as possible after you register below. 

TASTING KITS (Optional)

Bevinars Secrets of Spain Tasting Kit at WIne.com

Bevinars Secrets of Portugal Tasting Kit at Wine.com

Bevinars Secrets of the Loire Tasting Kit at Wine.com

Bevinars Secrets of Champagne Tasting Kit at Wine.com

The specific selection of wine, and its vintage, can vary depending on your location, but all bottles have been personally approved by Mark for their deliciousness and typicity.

If you do not purchase the wines online, you are free to ask a trusted local merchant for their recommendations for the wine types listed above.

Registrants will be emailed the Zoom link and reminders prior to the class. The class fee is non-refundable.

MISS A CLASS, NO PROBLEM: Full course participants may access video recordings of the entire course for two months after the course ends, ideal for those who miss a class or want to watch again.

FREE GIFT WITH FULL 4-WEEK COURSE: Purchasers of the full course will be mailed a complimentary, limited-edition Bevinars wine glass polishing cloth. Custom-made for Bevinars, the cloth is extra large and made of plush microfiber, perfect for polishing your stemware to a fine sparkle.

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