In culinary school I ran a wine club called “Uncorked!” (I know, so damn clever, right?) I had some pretty good wine teachers, too, so I already knew a fair bit about wine when I walked into Brian Freedman’s class and practicum on wine tasting. I was very pleasantly surprised, though, by the river of truly useful, well-framed information and advice he offered. Many people are passionate and knowledgeable about wine, but Freedman sets himself apart by being an engaging speaker and a skilled teacher, too. (His Master’s Degree in Education probably helps, too.) Plenty of sommeliers and wine geeks can direct you to a few choice bottles, but an enthusiastic educator like Freedman is a much more rare, and more helpful, kind of person to find. If I were to give him a mantra, I’d recycle that old cliché about fish and fishing: “Tell a man what bottle to buy and he’ll have a good drink; teach him how to understand wine and he’ll drink well all his life.”
It would be impossible in this limited space to bottle up and label everything Freedman had to share, so let me just pour us a few glasses of the more significant lessons of the day.