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WineTessa Leung, owner of Söntés, is the single most influential person behind my decision to launch Pairing to Perfection. What she has taught me in regards to hospitality, wine selection and pairing, and high caliber people skills is genuinely inspiring. All the more reason that having the opportunity to hold wine classes in Sontes’ Orchid Room is an amazing gift.

This Monday, January 7th, will be the first of a 3-week series of wine and pairing classes. Class will start at 6:00 pm and guests will taste six to eight wines each week; there will also be cheese pairings for both the white wines and the red wines.

The concept is to taste white and red wines—some familiar, some less familiar—that are each unique by virtue of varietal, blend, or region. We will taste with the intent to first learn to recognize our personal palate preferences and why those preferences are helpful in making wine selections. The classes are designed to last for about an hour to an hour and a half, leaving plenty of time to stay for dinner at Söntés and practice your pairing skills with other dishes.

On January 7th, we’ll taste a silky wine from Italy, an elegant wine from France, a spunky wine from California (its name means “Little Rascal”), and then three delicious reds made from either Petite Syrah, Shiraz, or a blend that includes Syrah from California, France, and Australia. All six wines offer something unexpected yet inviting—and they’re also delicious!

This class won’t be a blind tasting; you’ll know what the name is of the wine as you taste it. We will talk through all the fascinating, sometimes quirky things that help us recognize a wine: its style or expression. whether it is Old World or “New World,” and what that all even means. We will taste some great wines that may not in everybody’s wine vocabulary, but each is available at Söntés because it is a good pairing for their fresh farm-to-table cuisine.

During the last class on January 21st, we will taste wines from the Captain’s list, and you’ll have an opportunity to purchase some to enjoy at home. Most of these wines are unavailable anywhere else in the state, and once these few bottles are gone, that particular vintage (at least!) will be sold out for good. In a few cases, the wine was made by someone who then sold the winery and/or moved to another winery to create an entirely new style of wine. Each of these wines is a great value at a price that’s not scary.

Advance reservations are required, and seats are still available by either calling Pairing to Perfection at 952-358-1285 or emailing bcpitcher@pairingtoperfection.com. Please join the fun in the Orchid Room at Söntés starting January 7th!