An Introduction to Italian Wine: Regions, Quality Levels and Winetasting with Rachel Erdman - Context Travel

An Introduction to Italian Wine: Regions, Quality Levels and Winetasting with Rachel Erdman


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Come and discover the fascinating world of Italian wine. Explore the most important wine regions, varietals, and learn how to decipher Italian wine labels. Join us with a glass of wine as we discuss the fundamentals of wine tasting and food pairing.

All roads lead to Rome, and all wine lovers make their way to Italy – either virtually or through travel. Wine plays a fundamental role in Italy’s culture, daily life, and identity, where no meal is complete without wine and no celebration is complete without glasses being raised. This seminar, led by an expert in Italian wine, is designed as an introduction to Italy’s wine regions and varietals, quality levels, and the fundamentals of wine tasting.

We will discuss how grapes were first introduced to the Italian peninsula and how wine production has evolved since then. We will learn about some of the most important native grape varietals and into which wines they are skillfully crafted.

Italian wines are closely linked to specific geographical areas of cultivation and production. This is the underlying concept behind the quality level classifications in Italian wines today: DOCG, DOC, and IGT.

Join your wine expert in a glass of wine to follow along with the tasting portion. Learn how to appreciate wine with your eyes, nose, and palate, as we taste a glass of white and a glass of red wine together (we'll provide a list in advance). We will discuss suggested food pairings how to make sure your wine enhances your meal.

We will discuss the following topics during the seminar:

  • The most important wine regions of Italy
  • The most significant native grapes and wines
  • The quality levels of Italian wine
  • How to read an Italian wine label
  • The fundamentals of wine tasting
  • Tips on food and wine pairing

There will be plenty of time for questions at the end of this seminar. Led by certified Italian sommelier, Rachel Erdman, this interactive conversation will provide a solid introduction to the world of Italian wine. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of Italian wine regions, varietals, and tools for deciphering Italian wine labels.

The two wines that we will taste together:

  • Prosecco DOCG brut or extra dry
  • Suggested pairings: a fresh Asiago cheese, aged approx. 1 month, or another mild cow’s milk cheese, bread with butter, or mortadella
  • Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
  • Alternatives: Rosso di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano or Rosso di Montepulciano will also work well
  • Suggested pairings: aged Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, or another aged cow’s milk cheese

Rachel is a wine and food expert based in the Veneto region of Italy, her home for more than twenty-five years, and a graduate of Boston University. She received her sommelier certification in Italy in 2009 through the Associazione Italiana Sommelier. Rachel continued her studies to become a cheese taster (ONAF) a few years—and many cheeses–later. She has led wine tastings and gourmet walks for Context Travel in Venice and Padova since 2007. She co-founded www.venicedaytrips.com, which specializes in wine and food tours in northern Italy, to share her passion for Italian wine and artisanal cheese with visitors from around the globe.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 24 reviews
79%
(19)
13%
(3)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
4%
(1)
A
A.F.
An Introduction into Italian Wine

Very Good seminar. A whole new world is now opened to me! Thank you!

A
Anonymous
Comprehensive but not overwhelming!

I thoroughly enjoyed this detailed but measured introduction to the history of Italian wine. Although sophisticated and specific, this seminar was not overwhelming or intimidating. On the contrary, it was a great confidence-builder that included clear visuals and practical advice for every budget. I loved the way in which Rachel broke down the map of Italy, region by region, explaining its native grapes and their various applications. Rachel's suggestions for pairings, whether dining out or cooking at home, were terrific. I feel equipped to tackle the aisles at my wine store at home or the winelist at a local trattoria or ristorante during my next (hopefully soon) trip back to Italy. Grazie mille, Rachel, for an evening well spent!

A
A.
Excellent survey of Italian wine regions

An Italian wine regions overview, the areas, grapes and wines to look for in each area. The food pairing enhanced the presentation. Rachel is open, knowledgeable and enjoys sharing with others. A great tour of Italy.

C
C.D.

Guest did not leave comment

J
J.
Excellent Presentation

Rachel is very knowledgeable and presented the material in a very clear and interesting manner.

Customer Reviews

Based on 24 reviews
79%
(19)
13%
(3)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
4%
(1)
A
A.F.
An Introduction into Italian Wine

Very Good seminar. A whole new world is now opened to me! Thank you!

A
Anonymous
Comprehensive but not overwhelming!

I thoroughly enjoyed this detailed but measured introduction to the history of Italian wine. Although sophisticated and specific, this seminar was not overwhelming or intimidating. On the contrary, it was a great confidence-builder that included clear visuals and practical advice for every budget. I loved the way in which Rachel broke down the map of Italy, region by region, explaining its native grapes and their various applications. Rachel's suggestions for pairings, whether dining out or cooking at home, were terrific. I feel equipped to tackle the aisles at my wine store at home or the winelist at a local trattoria or ristorante during my next (hopefully soon) trip back to Italy. Grazie mille, Rachel, for an evening well spent!

A
A.
Excellent survey of Italian wine regions

An Italian wine regions overview, the areas, grapes and wines to look for in each area. The food pairing enhanced the presentation. Rachel is open, knowledgeable and enjoys sharing with others. A great tour of Italy.

C
C.D.

Guest did not leave comment

J
J.
Excellent Presentation

Rachel is very knowledgeable and presented the material in a very clear and interesting manner.