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Tune up your tastebuds with a wine course!

A number of you have asked us whether we hold wine appreciation evenings and the like.  I’m delighted to report that the answer is, from now on, yes.

Jack Barrett of Cork company Woodstock to Rootstock (pictured below) will be bringing his popular, highly informative and entertaining wine courses to our Kinsale Road premises this October.  It’s a great chance to tune up your tastebuds in friendly surroundings and become a savvier shopper to boot.

The six-week basic course, which is an informal, general introduction to wine and wine tasting,  begins at 7.30pm on Thursday 14th October.  The classes are informative but relaxed, aiming to provide ‘ground rules’ to allow you to make the best choice when shopping or eating out.  An initial session covering the techniques of how to taste and what to look out for (faults, such as corked wines, included) will be followed by a tasting tour of wines from around the world, with perhaps two or three countries covered each night.  By the end of the six weeks you should have had plenty of practice at assessing the quality of a variety of wines – which is a different skill from deciding whether or not you like them!  Each participant will receive a set of tasting glasses and printed notes complementary to the classes.

Jack has been running wine appreciation courses since gaining the WSET Diploma qualification nearly ten years ago, and has continued to refine his knowledge and understanding of wine by attending Master of Wine tastings and also the much-acclaimed courses held by “the Arnold Schwarzenegger of wine tuition” Michael Schuster.

If you’re already familiar with the practicalities of tasting and have a good idea of what wines come from where, there’s also a six-week advanced course beginning at 7.30pm on Wednesday 13th October.

The advanced course examines in detail wines made from familiar international grape varieties (eg Chardonnay, Sauvignon/Semillon and Riesling; Cabernet/Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir – though there may be an occasional surprise!). Each evening there’ll be a tasting of a half a dozen wines across a range of styles and prices, demonstrating the effect climate, soils and winery techniques have on the final product and its value.  A set of notes on each of the grapes under discussion will be provided.

Although the advanced classes are run along the same informal lines as the beginners’ sessions, they are not suitable for beginners as a knowledge of wine tasting techniques and terminology will be taken for granted.

Places are strictly limited for both courses (though if they’re oversubscribed, we may start a waiting list in case Jack can be persuaded to consult his diary again).

Reservations for either course by telephone only on 021 432 0233.

Beginners’ course (Thursday 14/10/2010 for six weeks) costs €190.

Advanced course (Wednesday 13/10/2010 for six weeks) costs €225.

First come, first served!


  1. hi guys,
    this sounds like an excellent idea!
    I must check my calendar – hopefully I can make the beginner one.

  2. hi there,
    this is such a tantalising way to sink into the long evenings but I live in north Co Kerry!

    Kinsale is a long ways to go every week.
    Any chance of a weekend type course?
    Sign me up if there is.

  3. Hi Maria,

    We’re based in Cork City, probably a little closer to you than Kinsale, but understandable – you could be handier!

    No plans afoot as yet for weekend tastings/courses, but you can keep up to date with everything by keeping an eye on our monthly newsletter.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] This time last week we announced that beginners’ and advanced wine courses will be starting next month in Cork, but not all Irish people live in Cork, so I searched my little heart out for 10-15 minutes to see what everyone else is up to over the next 6 months or so across the country. […]

  2. […] a gentle blend of education and socialising as Jack Barrett’s informal and extremely useful wine appreciation course returns to Curious Wines at 7.30pm on Tuesday 1st […]

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