University offers couples’ wine tasting event

Sara Root and Sara Root

Dining Services is offering a Community Culinary Class on the five basic types of wine at 5 p.m. in the Union for Sweetest Day, Oct. 20.

Chef Brett Northcutt of The Oaks Dining Center, who has an advanced certification in wines and spirits, will be instructing the class.

Northcutt offered a similar course about wine for University graduates this past year during Alumni Week.

“We got a lot of positive comments and feedback from that [class],” Northcutt said. “So, we decided why not incorporate that into some of our demos and things like that throughout the academic year this year.”

Northcutt came up with a list of wine-based class ideas, but for this first one he said he is focusing on the basics.

“For this first one, we’re going to go over basic methods of production; how are those wines made,” he said. “I think it’s foreign for a lot of people. They don’t really know the ins-and-outs.”

The class will begin with a tasting of each of the five basic styles of wine: red, white, rosé, sparkling and fortified. During that time, Northcutt will teach participants how to do a wine tasting and what to look for.

Following the tasting, he will give a lecture about how each of those wines is produced, along with a brief segment on what foods pair best with the different wine styles.

Afterwards, a three-course meal will be offered to the class in the Black Swamp Pub at a discounted price. Northcutt said he took the time to choose foods off the Pub menu that would pair well with wines from the class.

“We can illustrate, or drive home, some of the points we just talked about,” he said.

Northcutt’s class is open to all faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the community who are interested in learning more about wine.

Jodi Devine, associate director of the Honors Program, is attending the event and doesn’t like the beverage, but said she is still curious about it because it’s such an important part of culture and tradition around the world.

“I just kind of want to learn more about the differences in wine and how to pair wine with food and to find out some of the traditions associated with wine so that I could maybe appreciate it more and understand it more,” Devine said.

Participants had to register for the class by Oct. 12 and pay a fee of $25 per person.

For anyone interested in one of Northcutt’s wine courses who may have missed the registration deadline this month, he is offering a second class Dec. 4. In regards to the holiday season, registrants will learn what wines to serve or bring to a party and what wines to give as gifts.

“There won’t be a lot of overlap between the two classes. You don’t have to do the introduction to the five basic styles of wine to be able to do this next class,” said Sara Meyer, marketing director of Dining Services.