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Monday, April 16, 2007 (read 1240 times)
 

Wine Tasting in Salamanca

by Celine

Last week I attended one of our wine tasting classes at don Quijote Salamanca to see what it was all about. I was pleasantly surprised!! In one class I learned more about Spanish wine than I have in the 2 and a half years that I have been living here.

About the students

There were three students in the class which in my opinion was a perfect size to really get involved in the wine tasting experience. Although an interest in wine was a common trait among the students, previous knowledge was not necessary. Some students were quite familiar with their countries' wine while others knew only to differentiate between white and red wine, but they were all there with the same intentions, to learn about Spanish wine. Each had a different reason for signing up for this course, whether it was simple interest, to learn more about Spanish culture, or with interests to perhaps promote and sell Spanish wine in their country. Two of the students were from France and one was from Scotland. There were students of all ages (approx. 20-50). Their levels of Spanish varied a little although in this particular class all had a pretty good domination of the Spanish language.

Topics covered

Although I only participated in one class, I learned a lot about wine in general and the cultural importance it has in Spain. Some of the theoretical topics covered were the history of Spanish wine, it's importance in Spanish culture, the process undertaken from grape to bottled wine, the different grape varieties in Spain and how weather and terrain act as important factors in their development, what food goes well with which wines, how to chose appropriate wine based on quality and cost, and how Spanish wine is categorized based on location, winery, year and quality.

Wine tasting

We then got to put our knowledge to the test, the highlight of every class. We were taught that you can differentiate between wines just by looking at them, by the colour and how it flows in the glass. We then learned how to professionally smell the wines and train our noses to the subtle scents that make up the wine's aroma. We learned how to taste and feel the wine in our mouths and distinguish between the different varieties and the importance of the aftertaste the wine leaves in your mouth after swallowing.

The teacher

The teacher showed a great deal of knowledge not only in Spanish wine, but also in wine tasting itself and was very qualified to teach such a course. She explained everything at a level of Spanish that was appropriate for the level the students had, but underlined the key wine tasting words needed for the pronunciation of wine notes. We tried 4 different Spanish wines, 3 vino tinto and 1 rosado, all very typical of Spain and very unique in their own way. We even got to bring home what was left over after the class!!

Other activites planned

The following day there was an excursion planned to various wine stores where the students learned how to chose the best wine according to quality and price. They were also able to buy wine of their choice with the recommendations of a professional. On Saturday there was another excursion planned to an old monastery that has now been turned into a winery to see the actual production of Spanish wine and the process it goes through from grape to bottled wine.

For who?

This class is ideal for anyone with a little interest in wine who wants get an in depth look at this important national product to better understand Spanish culture.

The next wine tasting class will take place in Salamanca in April 13, 2009!

Click here for more information about this special course


Keywords: wine,students,salamanca,estudiantes,espagnol,culture,cultura,courses,class,aprender

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