Wine Tasting 101

To spit or not to spit…that is the wine 101 question.

And it is just one of the many questions answered at’s first wine tasting class – Wine Tasting 101 – held last week. From how to swirl, what colors to look for, how to detect a flaw and more, the course – lead by Lorrie Norman, a winery consultant – took wine education to a new level by focusing on boosting tasters confidence instead of technical knowledge.

“Winemakers are artists. Their wines are all different,” said Lorrie to the class participants. “And like artists – some of them are crazy too!”

Sparkling wine tasters at Domaine Meriwether

Held out at Domaine Meriwether just 20 minutes east of Eugene in Veneta, Oregon, the event welcomed wine lovers of all varieties to sample some amazing wines, ask questions in a no-judgment setting and enjoy the general merriment that is wine tasting!

Even as a regular wine drinker, I learned great golden-nuggets of info at this Wine Tasting 101. Two of my favorite tips from the night:

1. One participant asked: “When people go tasting and they are like..”I smell this..I smell that..”…How do they know what is the right thing to smell?”

Lorrie’s response – “Oh…they’re lying!” – Wine scents & tastes are subjective. Everyone will sense different qualities in wine. There is no right or wrong answers. Use tasting notes as a guideline.

2. A general rule of thumb for bottle aging… The number of days a bottle lasts open will be around the number of years it can age.

Lorrie Norman smelling her wine is a new venture by wine industry powerhouses Lorrie Normann, owner of the winery consulting film Winery Speak, and Denise Vendley, the marketing director for the South Willamette Wineries Association. Bringing wine experiences to the public through events, classes, tasting parties and festivals, the duo shares their passion for the beverage that-makes-the-world-go-round so that everyone can enjoy wine just as much as they do!

“Wine is not rocket science. Anyone can learn about wine, as long as they’re willing to drink it.”

Get all your wine 101 questions answer at their next course at Domaine Meriwether on Wednesday, May 23rd and check out their other fantastic upcoming events at

P.S. You really should go out and taste Domaine Meriwether’s wines! The winery serves up stellar sparkling wine with just the right amount of bubble and the 2006 Pinot Noir….all I can say is YUM!! A must for wine tasters visiting the Eugene area.


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