This place carries out wine tasting courses, predominately for Burgundy wines. Courses are held in a 13th century vaulted wine cellar in front of a plasma screen to present some of the theory of wine tasting and around an illuminated table for observing the colour of the wines whilst being surrounded by the atmosphere of bottles of wines all around you.
What I experienced here
Students are taught about the colour, smell and taste of wines as well as the process of growing and making wines. Course can be customised to need but the general course is about one and half hours long.
I attended the one and half hour course to learn about tasting red and white wines from the Beaune region. There were six students including myself, the others were mainly from the US. We tasted and learnt about 5 red wines and 5 white wines; the red wines where from the Pinot Noir grape and the whites were of the Chardonnay variety.
Although I had been drinking and enjoying wine for most of my adult life, I had never really been able to discern the myriad of tastes and aromas to any depth. As the course progressed, I found that the more I listened to the expert and the more variety of wines I tasted the more sensitive my noise and taste became. It was an amazing experience to suddenly be able to sense such subtle differences in taste and smell, and to find that I could agree with others in the group. I was able to break down the taste and smell of a wine and distinguish between flowers, fruits, and earthy smells and make a personal description of the taste. I felt I had truly learnt something that would allow me to enjoy wine all the more in the future.
I learnt how to assess the colour, aroma and taste of wine from this region. This was so informative; I learnt that the violet colour of a red wine indicates youth, while orange indicates age. Some aromas are incompatible to youth such as prune with youth and flowery with age. I also learnt about the balance of acidity, tannins and smoothness. The dominant grape in this region is the Pinot Noir for the better red wines or Gamay for the less so. I also learnt to taste white wines, Chardonnay being the grape used, with some Aligote. The greenish tinge indicates youth and amber age. Of course there is no tannin in white wine as this is only found in the grape skin, so the balance for white wine is between acidity and smoothness. The Chablis being stored in metal barrels has no oaky taste unlike the others.