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House Wine U Graduation Day

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 7, 2010

my first i-Phone photo, twelve wines sampled during week 12 of class

On Tuesday night I graduated from House Wine U(niversity), a prototype twelve week wine course taught by Donnie Austin the owner of house wine. House Wine is a retail wine store and wine bar in what is known as the Worthington Corner across from Worthington Inn.

Here is a copy of the e-mail I received about the class before I enrolled. I’ll use Donnie’s words for the background:

For the two years since we’ve opened, I’ve had many inquiries about wine classes and wine education in general. As you have purchased wine from House Wine, we feel like we’ve been able to share our passion and knowledge.

We are excited to bring you House Wine U., a 12-week wine education program to teach you what you need to know about wine to take your wine appreciation and enjoyment to another level. The classes will cover all the major wine regions around the world and enhance your “romance of the grape.” You’ll be among a small group to taste and talk wine with me, with a format of education and open discussion. By the end of the program, you will have tasted more wine than you ever imagined.

Our program is something new for Columbus and we think those participating will come away with a more intimate connection with wine. As I’ve learned more about wine in recent years, I’ve had a passion to share my knowledge and the setting for House Wine U. is the perfect environment. This program for novices who want to learn wine or seasoned wine drinkers who want to learn more.

Week 1: The Basics – Whites and Bubblies
Week 2: The Basics – Roses, Reds and Fortifieds
Week 3: Wines of the USA
Week 4: Italy 1: Tuscany
Week 5: Italy 2: Other Great Wines
Week 6: France 1: Bordeaux and Burgundy
Week 7: France 2: Other Great Wines
Week 8: Spain 1: Rioja and Sherry
Week 9: Spain 2: Other Great Wines and Portugal
Week 10: Germany 101: Riesling
Week 11: Australia/New Zealand
Week 12: Argentina/Chile and South Africa

Starting in January, our class of nine met each Tuesday at 6 PM to explore the world of wine in the back corner of House Wine. Fortified with Stan Evans crackers and cheese, we tasted, sipped, dumped and occasionally pounded pours of seven to nine wines. We received a handout at the start of each class describing the region we would cover and how wine is produced, defined and grown in that area. Students left with more knowledge about a region and the wine styles it is known for as well as the grapes that give the area it’s trademark appellation. Questions from my classmates included history, hot picks, industry trends and insider stories from the world of retail wine. The class is perfect for wine novices who are afraid of wine snobs as well as intermediate wine drinkers that are looking to expand their range of tasting knowledge beyond standard grocery store picks. It was a good value in comparison to other wine classes I have taken. I learned about a lot of French and Italian wines and was given an opportunity to sample vintages I would not have considered before. I also found a Rose I liked, which I did not think could happen. Donnie plans on offering the class again, perhaps in the fall.

I do want to give a quick shout out for Donnie and House Wine. Donnie is active in the community, especially in Old Worthington. He has worked hard to expand events to promote the area and his fellow independent business owners. Donnie has partnered with the Worthington Inn to create a new wine dinner series which is a good value and a good way to learn about wine pairings. Donnie also has a small but deep collection of microbrews in the shop as well which serve as the foundation for beer tastings.

What I like most about House Wine is the self serve wine pourer. You buy a card which gives you access to twelve select wines then you can decide if you want a taste, a pour or a glass. This allows customers an easy way to sample an expensive wine they know they will never buy or take a risk on a value wine they were not sure they wanted to buy.

More information on house wine
644 High Street
Old Worthington
house wine

2 Responses to “House Wine U Graduation Day”

  1. Dave said

    Nice post, I’ve driven by it many times. Nice to see a local business run by a local. I can never characterize in words what I like in a wine, so the self serve sample sounds great.

  2. Bear said

    Donnie is awesome. Glad to hear he’s doing this… will keep my eyes peeled for the next one.

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