Saturday’s Class: Wines of the Southern Hemisphere

This Saturday we are proud to feature Certified Sommelier and former beverage director for The District Steakhouse: Lucas!

Sommeliers are always on the hunt for value. For many, that means exploring lesser known wine regions that remain obscure, despite producing excellent wines. Join Lucas, as he guides you through hidden gems strewn throughout the Southern Hemisphere. We’ll take a heartfelt look at the unnoticed Pinot Noirs of New Zealand and explore the deeply satisfying merits of dry Australian Riesling. Beyond, he’ll briefly illuminate the value in South African blends and familiar reds from Chile & Argentina.

Demystify and discover the little-known wines we Somms rely on when we’re living on a less-than-Champagne budget!

Saturday, May 2nd at 3 p.m. CST

Recommended Wines

white

2018 Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Dry Riesling from the Eden Valley, Australia

Purchase at Specs (under $20)

red

2017 Seresin Leah Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand

Purchase at Specs (under $30)

OR

Head to one of our favorite local wine retailers for:

  • A classic, crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (white)
  • A wild Chenin Blanc or blend from South Africa (white)
  • A familiar, bright Malbec from Argentina (red)
  • A rich, bold Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (red)

See you soon!

Friday Night’s Class: The Spirited Side of Wines with Tara

Fernet, Aperol, Campari, Cynar…oh my! The word of amaro is broad and never boring! Learn why bartenders and those with well-developed palates do not shy away from the bitter creations that are often distilled from grape-based spirits. 

Learn about the history of the aperitivo (or aperitif), the production methods of popular grape-based spirits and apertifs, and the methods of serving each from traditional social customs all the way to modern cocktail creation. 

Grab you favorite bitters and/or brandy and join in while taking tasting notes at home.

Sunday’s Class: Sparkling Wine Styles with Tony!

What’s the difference between Prosecco and Cava? Why aren’t all bubbles called ‘Champagne’? How do the bubbles even get in there?

Join Tony this Sunday at 5:30 pm CST for a deep dive into all things sparkling wine. He’ll cover the basics: the surprisingly laborious methods that go in to making sparkling wines, what grapes they use, and how to pair them with food to maximize your dining experience.

Tony is a Certified Sommelier who previously worked in the Clarksville area at Austin’s prolific steakhouse, Jeffrey’s. A true hospitality professional, you won’t find a more kind-hearted expert. His copious experience in the industry (he’s also a published wine writer) have taught him that humility is essential.

Whether you’re holed up this quarantine with a bottle of vintage Champagne or simply enjoying some lightly fizzy Prosecco, we hope you’ll spend your Sunday Funday with us in what will undoubtedly be an effervescent class.

To reserve a seat in Tony’s class May 3rd at 5:30 p.m. CST, please fill out the form below. We keep our classes at an intimate size so that everyone has a chance to participate in the on-going conversation that is wine.

Attend Tony’s Class

The Stay-at-Home Somm is a donation-based project that supports displaced wine professionals that have been deeply impacted by Covid-19. To reserve your space, we ask for a $25 donation. Unless otherwise noted, 90% of all donations will directly support your teacher, while the remaining 10% is distributed to another unemployed service industry worker in need.

Once you have submitted your reservation, you should receive a confirmation email within 24 hours. If you do not receive this email, please reach out to thestayathomesommclass@gmail.com

We Will See You Soon!

Saturday’s Class: Native Italian Grapes

How do you read an Italian wine label? What are some of their lesser-known grape varieties? How do we best pair our summer recipes with Italian wines?

There are over 300 grape varieties native to Italy. Join Annie this Saturday at 6 pm CST as we explore the origins and qualities of two grapes with strong Italian roots: Schiava (a red wine) and Carricante (a white wine). She’ll lead a guided tasting of these two classic examples, discuss pairings, and how they reflect the land from which they originate.

To reserve a seat in Annie’s class May 2nd at 6 p.m. CST, please fill out the form below. We keep our classes at an intimate size so that everyone has a chance to participate in the on-going conversation that is wine.

ANNIE’S CLASS IS NOW SOLD OUT!

We hope that you’ll consider supporting one of our other Sommeliers who still have classes open for registration this week. Check out our Class Schedule to support another service industry worker in need.

If you’re in Austin and would like to purchase either of Annie’s recommended wines for Saturday’s class, please call the Austin Wine Merchant (512) 499-0512 for safe, curbside pickup of:

  • Red: Abbazia di Novacella Schiava (under $20)
  • White: Terre Nere Carricante (under $30)
  • Or pick up any of your favorite Italian wines

Thank You for All of Your Support!

Thursday’s Class: All About Natural Wines

What does ‘low intervention’ mean? Are “natural wines” better for you? How do we distinguish this classification? The amount of confusion surrounding this topic is wildly, for lack of a better term, unnatural.

Join Ashley, as she breaks down what ‘natural wine’ truly means, while touching on the core concepts that individually build these bottles: organics, sustainability, and biodynamics. We’ll learn how sulfur plays a pivotal role in the winemaking process, and demystify some commonly misunderstood health affects of specific chemicals. Leave this class empowered with natty knowledge, and discover your newest favorite low-intervention bottle of wine via our resident expert.

To reserve a seat in Ashley’s class April 30th at 5:30 p.m. CST, please fill out the form below. We keep our classes at an intimate size so that everyone has a chance to participate in the on-going conversation that is wine.

ASHLEY’S CLASS IS NOW SOLD OUT!

We hope that you’ll consider supporting one of our other Sommeliers who still have classes open for registration this week. Check out our Class Schedule to support another service industry worker in need.

Thank You for All of Your Support!

Friday’s Wine Class: Sweet Wines, Learn to Love ‘Em

This Friday, APRIL 24th we are proud to feature WSET Level II and Certified Sommelier, Dhruv!

As a sommelier you quickly learn that sweet wines can be some of the most generous of character around: it’s just a matter of recognizing quality. Join Dhruv as he guides you through the regions where some of the world’s best sweet wines are produced. Learn how to distinguish sugar from the rest of a wine’s subtle, nuanced structures. Sit back with a fizzy glass of Moscato or your favorite Riesling, and let Dhruv fill you in on some of the best kept secrets in pairing sweet wines.

Friday, April 24th at 6 p.m. CST

Recommended Wines for Friday’s Class

white

2018 Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett from Mosel, Germany

Purchase at the Austin Wine Merchant (under $20)

semi-sparkling

NV Scrapona Moscato d’Asti DOCG from Piedmont, Italy

Purchase at the Austin Wine Merchant (under $20)

still white

Becker Vineyards Muscat Canelli from Texas High Plains

Purchase at Specs (under $10)

OR

Head to any of our local favorite retailers for your choice bottle of sweet wine:

  • German Riesling!
  • Italian Semi-Sparkling Moscato!
  • Cerdon Bugey Semi-Sparkling Rosé from France!
  • Off-dry to sweet Chenin Blanc from Vouvray, France!
  • Dessert Wines like a Sauternes or Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise from France!

Saturday’s Class: Wines of the Southern Hemisphere

This Saturday we are proud to feature Certified Sommelier and former beverage director for The District Steakhouse: Lucas!

Sommeliers are always on the hunt for value. For many, that means exploring lesser known wine regions that remain obscure, despite producing excellent wines. Join Lucas, as he guides you through hidden gems strewn throughout the Southern Hemisphere. We’ll take a heartfelt look at the unnoticed Pinot Noirs of New Zealand and explore the deeply satisfying merits of dry Australian Riesling. Beyond, he’ll briefly illuminate the value in South African blends and familiar reds from Chile & Argentina.

Demystify and discover the little-known wines we Somms rely on when we’re living on a less-than-Champagne budget!

Saturday, May 2nd at 3 p.m. CST

Recommended Wines for Lucas’ Class

white

2018 Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Dry Riesling from the Eden Valley, Australia

Purchase at Specs (under $20)

red

2017 Seresin Leah Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand

Purchase at Specs (under $30)

OR

Head to one of our favorite local wine retailers for:

  • A classic, crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (white)
  • A wild Chenin Blanc or blend from South Africa (white)
  • A familiar, bright Malbec from Argentina (red)
  • A rich, bold Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (red)

See you soon!

Upcoming Wine Class: Let’s Talk Structure with Rania

This Thursday APRIL 23rd we are proud to feature Advanced Sommelier, Rania, of Bufalina.

Understanding a wine’s structure is one of the most important ways to discover what types of wines you enjoy or don’t, as well as how and why they pair with your favorite foods. It can also provide meaningful dialogue when shopping for wine in a shop or restaurant. Join Rania Zayyat as she breaks down the most fundamental components of what’s in your glass and on your palate. 

When: Thursday, April 23rd at 5:00 CST

If you are interested in viewing Rania’s class, please email thestayathomesommclass@gmail.com

Recommended Wines for Let’s Talk Structure

Your Stay-at-Home Somm suggests you purchase any of these 3 wines to enjoy during class:

White

2019 Populis Sauvignon Blanc

Purchase at Bufalina Cesar Chavez (call ahead)

Red

2018 Cascina delle Rose Langhe Nebbiolo

Purchase at Bufalina Cesar Chavez (call ahead)

OR

Head to one of these local favorite wine retailers for a:

  • high-acid white like a Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet or Chablis
  • tannic red like a Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, or Sagrantino

Where to Buy Wine Locally

It’s up to us all to conscientiously consume while our communities transform and eventually rebuild. Here are some of our lovable, local favorite places to buy wine and spirits from during quarantine:

Austin Wine Merchant (Downtown)

Locally owned and operated since 1991. The spot for craft spirits, vermouths, sherries and fine wines. They’ve transformed all of their operations to offer safe, curbside pickup. Orders placed over the phone.

Royal Blue Grocery (Multiple Locations)

Royal Blue Grocery is a compact urban market that opened its doors in in Downtown Austin in 2006. Curbside pickup and delivery available! Call for wine selections.

Sunrise Minimart (on Burnet, North Austin)

If you know, you know

An unassuming mini mart in North Austin is home to one of the best retail selections of wines in town, pleasing natural wine lovers and regional classic enthusiasts alike.

The Austin Shaker (East Austin)

Small and fierce, head to the Austin Shaker for hard-to-find spirits and reliable wines.

Travis Heights Wines & Spirits (South Austin)

“Opened in 2003, Travis Heights Wine & Spirits (formerly Travis Heights Beverage World) is dedicated to finding unique small production wine and spirits that represent true value and quality.” Download their app for Austin delivery!

Twin Liquors (Multiple Locations)

Twins has been sustaining consumers and restaurants alike across Texas since 1937. Their bi-annual Dollar Sale is one of the best beverage sales in town. Order online for curbside pickup.

5 Fast Facts About Texas Wine

  1. The Texas Hill Country AVA (American Viticultural Area) is over 9 million acres. Today there are over 8 AVA’s in Texas, and is the USA’s 5fth largest producer of wine.

2. The global wine industry was saved by a Texan named T.V. Munson from Denizen, TX in the late 19th century. Before he learned to graft vines onto pest-resistant American rootstock, a tiny insect (Phylloxera Vasatatrix) was invisibly ravaging the world’s vine.

3. The oldest surviving winery in the state operates in Del Rio: Val Verde. It opened in 1883 and survived Prohibition.

4. There are 12 Master Sommeliers currently residing in Texas. The numbers: 1 Grapevine, 1 North Richland Hills, 2 Dallas, 2 Austin, 6 Houston

5. “The industry contributes more than $1.35 billion annually to the state’s economy, and has created over 8,000 associated jobs with an annual payroll of almost $300 million in direct wages.” (Edible Austin)

That being said, many Texas wineries have experienced a devastating drop in revenue since Tasting Rooms indefinitely closed their doors. Here are some ideas to both enjoy and help Texas wineries through this time: