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The French Broad Vignerons is sponsoring a series of on-line classes to help develop your wine tasting skills and improve your wine drinking enjoyment. We are calling the series
“Taste like a Sommelier – A Zoom Detective Series”.

A series of 12 online classes with the goal of being able to blindly identify a vinifera varietal or blended wine type by describing the characteristics of a classic example of a vinifera wine varietal or style on sight, aroma, and taste. The classes will be presented by Rick Jelovsek whose certifications include Certified Wine Specialist (CSW); Certified Wine Educator (CWE); French Wine Scholar (FWS); American Wine Society certified Wine Judge for Commercial and Amateur Wine Competitions (CWJ).

Participants will taste and participate in a Zoom video conference discussing one wine each week for 12 weeks. The focus will be on characteristics that make that wine varietal unique so that when sampling that wine again in a blind tasting, one can deductively identify the wine. Participants will not taste that wine blindly; they will know the producer, vintage, production area, and wine type they are tasting. During the video conference, the class will go through the Court of Master Sommeliers Deductive Tasting Sheet asking participants for their assessment of the items noted.

Schedule for the tasting the 12 classic vinifera wine classes (Subject to change):

Friday Oct 2nd, 5:30 pm – The Hubert Brochard Sancerre ‘Tradition’ (Sauvignon Blanc)

Friday Oct 9th, 5:30 pm – Tegernseerhof ‘T-26’ Federspiel Grüner Veltliner

Friday Oct 16th, 5:30 pm – Trefethen Merlot Napa Valley

Friday Oct 23rd, 5:30 pm – Bernard Baudry Chinon (Cabernet Franc)

Friday Oct 30th, 5:30 pm – Jean-Marc Brocard ‘Saint Claire’ Chablis (Chardonnay)

Friday Nov 6th, 5:30 pm – Pennautier Viognier

Friday Nov 13th, 5:30 pm – Capitain-Gagnerot Bourgogne Rouge (Pinot Noir)

Friday Nov 20th, 5:30 pm – Chambourcin 

MondayNov 30th, 5:30 pm – Forge Cellars Seneca Lake Dry Riesling

Friday Dec 4th, 5:30 pm – Benito Santos Albarino

Friday Dec 11th, 5:30 pm – Caparzo Rosso di Montalcino (Sangiovese)

Friday Dec 18th, 5:30 pm – Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon


Any computer with an Internet connection. Your computer should have a speaker and video camera integrated our attached to the computer. Technical support for using Zoom conferencing software (free) will be provided for those not used to Zoom software prior to the first session.

12 Sessions will start Friday, October 2, 2020 at 5:30PM and run every Friday for 12 weeks.

You can have several people attending the Zoom session on your computer screen (to share your bottle) and learn together. Each group of Zoom screen participants will purchase a specific case of the 12 wines  from a local Asheville retail store that has curbside delivery. For the wines selected, we will try to have purchase prices in the range of $20-$30 per bottle.

The classes are free to paid members of the French Broad Vignerons. Click here to join the French Broad Vignerons and pay the $25 dues for the calendar year 2020.
Non-members can attend the 12 classes for $30  Click here to pay the $30 non-member fee.

These are the handouts you should print out before the classes:
CMS (Court of Master Sommeliers– Deductive Tasting Grid (3 pages)
Characteristics to Identify White Vinifera Grape Varieties and Varietal Wines (12 pages)
Characteristics to Identify Red Vinifera Grape Varieties and Varietal Wines (14 pages)

FBV members call Elaine Ryan at 864-590-9137 or  Rick Jelovsek at 423-367-5333 if you are interested.

 Country Wines Tasting Event

Learn the history of Fruit/Berry/Root/Flower based wines and how they are made differently from grape wines. This series will be presented by Chuck Blethen, Resident Vigneron, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard, author of “The  Wine Etiquette Guide – 2006” & “Entertaining with Wine – 2018”, cruise ship lecturer, and guest lecturer of viticulture classes at many colleges and universities. Bottles of commercially made Country Wines will be sampled. NC does not have a robust Fruit Wine industry. Therefore, we had to go to other states to find classic examples of our Country Wines. Most have won double gold medals in international fruit wine competitions. Expand your knowledge about these American Country Wines made by our ancestors long before vinifera wines were available in North America. We can throw in a few recipes if you are interested so you can try your hand at making some of these special wines at home.

January 8, 2021 – 7:30PM –  Cider
January 15, 2021 – 7:30PM – Blackberry
January 22, 2021 – 7:30PM – Blueberry 
January 29, 2021 – 7:30PM – Cherry
February 5, 2021 – 7:30PM – Peach
February 12, 2021 – 7:30PM – Raspberry 
February 19, 2021 – 7:30PM – Honey (mead)
February 26, 2021 – 7:30PM – Rhubarb
March 5, 2021 – 7:30PM – Dandelion Wine


The cost of the 9 Country Wine Tasting Event is $218. Click the ADD to CART link below to order. Purchase of the Country Wines will end at midnight Wednesday, December 16, 2020 so we can have time to order the wines and consolidate them for participants. The wines will be consolidated at the Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard classroom in Marshall. We will coordinate pickup/delivery of the wines with participants before January 5, 2021 using CoVid-19 precautions.

** Enter your telephone number and then press on the yellow “Add to Cart” button below to pay $218 using any valid credit card **

Telephone number