Connect With Wine, 

The Official Newsletter from The Atlanta Wine School    

Help Local "Social Media" Expert Land the Dream "Wine Job"
It's a dream job -- Murphy-Goode Winery is offering a lucky job applicant $10,000 a month to blog, tweet and video-log news about the California winery. The social media staffer also lives rent-free in California wine country.

Murphy-Goode winery, an Alexander Valley-based winery making a full line of wines, is seeking candidates for their "A Really Goode Job" contest. Ed Thralls, our candidate of choice, is considered by many to be on the "unofficial" final list of candidates. In a short time, he has achieved the CSW expert credential, started a wine blog called WineTonight, and is also a student in the UC-Davis Winemaker's distance learning program. If Ed beats out his competition, he will start a six-month social media project with Murphy-Goode Winery on August 15th, earning $10,000/month and living in a house provided by the Winery!

How do you help? Visit Ed's video page and VOTE BEFORE June 19th, 2009. This is a great opportunity for Ed, and also an admirable sacrifice for both he and his wife. After-all, they must pick up and leave Atlanta for the Winery if they win. Winners will be announced on July 21st, 2009. Please send Ed's link to your friends and ask them to vote for him!

Vote for Ed Thrall's before June 19th, 2009!
Expansion Plans for AWS
Do you have capital and wish to get involved in the wine industry? AWS is expanding its concept, and is seeking capital funding. Contact Michael Bryan with serious inquiries.
Only Four Seats Remain for Trip to France this Fall
Sixteen fun-loving, wine-tasting, culture-seeking individuals have already booked their trip for October 17th - 25th with us. The rivercruise line closes out reservations on July 2nd, 2009! >>> More Info
Six Riedel Vinum XL Kits Remain (30% off Retail)
For the month of "weddings" and Father's Day, you couldn't ask for a better gift. You can get them 30% off retail for $85. >> Purchase
The Spanish Wine Academy--50% SOLD OUT
Now a THREE-day intensive on the wines of Spain--July 20th - 22nd, 2009. The sessions will be conducted at our Wine Room in Roswell, and they are offering 20% OFF for AWS customers.
Use Atlanta20 when registering
. You may download an information brochure here. (PDF file)
We'll report on our involvement in Atlanta Magazine's June 25th "TOP DOCS" event, and we'll take you into the fantastic hospitality cottages of Persimmon Creek Winery--now open and available for reservations.
In Vino Veritas,

Michael Bryan
Director, Atlanta Wine School
Wine Speaker & Reviewer 

Jane Garvey

Slip into Summer with European White Wines

Nothing beats the heat better, and nothing delivers such poignant, crystal-clear flavors as white wines spawned on the upper latitudes of Europe. Refreshing and food-friendly, crack open a canister of crisp coolness. And relax.

>>> This Month's Column

Course Schedule

Want to see the NEW courses in Spring 2009? Download a schedule.

>>>> Download the Document (PDF)

Ten Wines Under $10
Wednesday, June 17th (AWS Wine Room, Roswell)
Instructor: Michael Bryan

The economy-sensitive course. Discover 10 new wines that taste better than their retail prices would suggest! >>>> More Info

For Beginners ONLY
Tuesday, June 23rd (AWS Wine Room, Roswell)
Instructor: Michael Bryan

Sure you can drink it, but can you pair it? Can you speak it? Come to terms with it in a special tasting that helps you express yourself in the world of wines. Don't be left standing there holding the bottle--get more confidence and find more pleasure in every sip.

>>>> More Info

Wines & Cheeses (mentioned in 4/3/09 Wall Street Journal)
Wednesday, June 24th (AWS Wine Room in Roswell)
Instructor: Michael Bryan

Artisanal cheeses are no less labors of love than their wine counterparts. Location of pastureland, seasonality of milks, and aging all weigh heavily on the final taste experience. Join us for 8 pairings of wine & cheese. >>>> More Info

American Wines ~ YEE-HAW!
Wednesday, July 22nd (AWS Wine Room in Roswell)
Instructor: Michael Bryan

Sure, you've had a California wine, and even perhaps a Washington, and Oregon wine. OK, just 47 more states to go! We have at least one winery in every state. Join us as we explore the best wines made in the US of A. Many of these have been medal-winners at national competitions. >>>> More Info

Certified Specialist of Wine Training Program (5 seats remain)
Sunday, August 2nd (AWS Wine Room, Roswell)
Instructor: Michael Bryan

Get the confidence that comes with having a "wine expert" credential. Includes 18 hours of training sessions, 250-page Study Guide, 250-page four-color binder of lecture slides, quizzes, and exam. OVER 100 enthusiasts have gained this credential through us since November 2007. >>>> More Info (Discounts for Trade)

Taste Like a Pro
Tuesday, August 18th (AWS Wine Room, Roswell)
Instructor: P. Kelly Wheeler

Join Kelly Wheeler for some in-depth cues, pointers, and methodologies for the proper analysis, evaluation, and ultimately the conclusion of wine's identity--blind.

>>>> More Info

Atlanta Wine School Advertisers or Sponsors Section
Share Our Strength's Give Me Five Event
The Spanish Wine Academy in July, 2009
  • The Theory of Intelligence, as Explained to Norm from Cheers
    'Well you see, Norm, it's like this . . A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the heard is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of (wine) eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few glasses of wine.'
  • Food Inc. Fair at Ponce de Leon WholeFoods on Saturday, June 13th, 2009
    In honor of the upcoming release of FOOD, INC., Whole Foods Market and Food, Inc. have partnered for the Food, Inc. Fair to support local farmers and organic vendors on Saturday, June 13th.There will be an amazing panel discussion starting at 11:00am with CDC, Georgia Organics with farmers and local vendors participating, afterwards there will be a fair with samples, games and prizing (including screening passes for a special screening on June 16th).
    >> Event Invitation
  • What Makes Napa Valley Great?
    Most would think of the litany of micro-climates, soil fractures, and world-class know-how making it one of the most prestigious wine regions globally. Dig a little deeper and you would find self-less individuals like Mary Miner, Lee Hudson and Bill Harlan who jumped into the 29th Annual Auction Napa Valley this year, bidding generously on auction lots from friends, neighbors and even rivals. Now that is team spirit.
    >> More
  • The Typical Government Perception of Wine
    Since the time of Thomas Jefferson, our government has viewed wine no differently than beer or spirits. While countries in Europe regulate wine as a "food", our government has only concerned itself with the taxable potential of the healthful lifestyle beverage. Yes, since day one, regulating wine has not fallen under the FDA but the TTB, a branch of the US Treasury. Now, with our economy awash in financial woe, the US Government is going to tax wine--seeing it as a convenient source of "quick income." >> More
  • High Schoolers Make Wine
    Just think if along with Spanish, Home Economics and P.E. you were given an elective choice to make wine with your friends! High School students at St. Helena High School in Napa got the chance. >> More
  • The Top 10 International Wine Destinations
    Contributed by subscriber (and AWS student/class assistant) William Reynolds, here is a list of top wine country destinations, as chosen by author George Tabor. >> More
  • Newly Published Book, "How to Launch Your Wine Career"
    The new book How to Launch Your Wine Career, published by the Wine Appreciation Guild, identifies wine industry growth positions and charts a career-course in each of these fields from an aspirant’s first spark of interest to the executive rung of the ladder. The book also includes interviews with some of wine’s most prominent figures, like winemaker Heidi Barrett, and wine writer James Laube of the Wine Spectator, about how they “made it.” 354 pages, $29.95, ISBN-13: 978-1-934259-06-1

Jane's Monthly Dozen: European White Wines
by Jane Garvey

In Savannah, Christian Depken operates a most out-of-the-box kind of retail wine operation. There is no sexy merchandising. Depken’s bicycle—he eschewed automobile transport some years ago—hangs on a wall, ready to bear him home. The most lavish appointment in the space is a fine new computer with a huge screen. There’s a sofa. And some modern art, the work of girlfriend Katrina Schmidt-Rinke? He wears neither tie nor jacket. He doesn’t need to.

For the past half dozen years, Christian Depken has been a Savannah leading voice for “Old World” wines. It’s a position—indeed a passion—he’s come to after years in the restaurant business and finding that big, over-extracted, alcoholic, over-oaked wines just don’t go with food. But the more restrained, evolved fruit of European wines, he found, worked easily with food.

While on balance that is accurate, the more robustly flavored new world foods—from the southern hemisphere to the northern—seem to need the more robustly flavored wines to go with them. For instance, a Sancerre doesn’t handle Asian food nearly as well as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc does (although a Riesling certainly will).

Thus, unique to most markets, Depken only sells European wines. It’s a tough niche, but he makes filling it seem, if not easy, certainly comfortable. Perhaps even inevitable. The task no longer breaks a sweat for him, for he has a good kitbag of customers who trust him explicitly.

Depken is fussy about what goes into the small space he has for storing wine, which is both humidity (70%) and temperature (55º) controlled. But don’t think that all of it is high price tag wine, either. He’s out for value.
As we sit down to talk about European wines, we talk about the rationale for his business plan. He says he’s tasted every wine that’s in the chai, and if a wine doesn’t pass muster with his palate, it doesn’t get in the door. Period.

I can identify with that process. What governs his decision making is pretty much the same rationale that drives this column: What pleases this palate goes forward in print. And like Depken, I’m finding that Old World wines go with food almost effortlessly, in fact, except for more exuberantly flavored dishes.

This summer, take a moment (even if you’re a red-wine enthusiast) to sample some of Europe’s white wines. Explore beyond the regions and grape types you’re accustomed to, and sample what you might find in Eastern Europe. Greece produces some outstanding white wines, perfect for summer’s enjoyment. I’ve not included in this line-up some of my favorites, but don’t overlook them: Muscadet (from the Loire Valley), especially when done sur lie; Grüner Veltliner from Austria (so good with sushi); Viura and Parellada from Spain; and so many from Italy that aren’t mentioned here, especially Inzolia from Sicily, its native soil. Also from France, check out white Chateauneuf du Pape, splendid with salads, smoked or grilled salmon and heftier dishes. In fact, I find this especially useful with the “red wine only” crowd, as they’re amazed to discover a white wine they can enjoy with enthusiasm. Look, too, for dessert wines made with some of these grapes, such as Riesling or Garganega, the grape of Soave. A recioto di Soave (Anselmi) and summer fruits work perfectly for warm weather.

For serving white wines, choose (generally) a medium-sized tulip-shaped glass, although white Burgundy needs something more generously proportioned, such as glasses you would use for Pinot Noir. Don’t serve white wines too cold, a common practice in this country but one that should be banned. Serve a white wine too cold, and you won’t smell or taste anything. Keep them around cellar temperature, in fact, 55F/13C.

How does Jane rate these wines? Where is the archive of her reviews? It's all HERE.