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clayrae
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I went to a wine tasting 101 class about a year and a half ago with an ex-girlfriend who wanted to learn about wine. Honestly, it seemed a little disorganized to me, but it seems to be a very popular class. Can't recall what the price was though.

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I worked with TasteDC on an "Intro to Cheese" class that was (I think) a huge success. Yes, it was a little boisterous, but I attribute that to the vast amount of wine so generously served with the cheeses. All in all, it was lots of fun. We're doing two more in the next two months - another Intro class and an Italian cheese class. Their web site is tastedc.com and all the events and prices are listed there - you can even sign up online.

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Sorry if we (actually me, Charlie Adler!) didn't get back to anyone on TasteDC, we're at TasteDC.com Website and we're actively throwing 10 or more events a month around food and wine. We specialize in working with local producers and vendors like Jill Erber of Cheesetique, Rob Kingsbury of Kingsbury Chocolates in Old Town, Alexandria, Howsoon Cham of Red Ginger Bistro in Georgetown, and many other local culinary pioneers.

We started in 1997 as a wine tasting group, but have since then broadened our appeal to food lovers as well. We primarily organize cooking classes at restaurants and at our headquarters in DC as well as "Dine Arounds" where we tour and taste 9 dishes at 3 restaurants in popular destination areas like Old Town, Alexandria, Georgetown, and Annapolis, MD. Wine education is important, but at TasteDC we create events that are relaxed and fun so attendees can learn about wine without the stuffiness.

Enough already, if you want to see what we do, go to our photo album with pictures at TasteDC's Photo Album where you will see 8 years of events, over 10,000 attendees, and probably more wine served than was consumed last week in Slovakia - Cheers!

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Has anyone participated in any of their classes/events?

What did you think?

Thank you!

My +1 and I attended their Indian cooking class in June, up at Heritage India, and had quite a good time. The class was well-organized and informative, so I'm guessing that any of the more... fluid events others have mentioned have more to do with a particular event's venue or attendees than anything else. :lol:

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Got a recent email announcing the DC Cheese and Wine Festival next month. A minimum of 40 cheeses from around the world. Tickets are $80 at the door.

Maybe I'm just a cheese snob or something but there is something so wrong about this. Who can taste 40 cheeses in one go and actually determine what you like and don't like? I know when I go to a wine tasting I max out at about a dozen. Everything after that just blends together. It's the same thing for cheese. In fact the pros, like Max McCalman at Artisanal, recommend trying much less in one tasting session.

Then there's the walkabout nature of this event with simply a handout describing the cheese. So, for $80 I'm not even going to get a chance to talk to a rep from the cheese maker? Who's going to answer my (or anyone's) questions? Just some handout?

Again, $80 and 40 cheeses. That's $2/cheese! That's kinda pricey for a nibble.

I'm a cheese lover and, frankly, I encourage any other cheese lovers to steer clear of this train wreck. Take half the money. Go to Cheesetique in Delray or Arrowine in Arlington. Taste, for free, some small samples of 5, 6, 7 or 8 cheeses. Ask the folks behind the counter some questions. "What makes this cheese taste this way?" "How come some blue cheeses are saltier than others?" "Which of these cheeses is the best for melting?" You'll get real answers from real people who know their products and will work with you to find something just right for you. Then spend $20, $30, $40 on the cheeses that you had an opportunity to be educated about and not just simply taste blindly.

Support your local cheesemonger. More education and individual attention for less money. Not this 40 cheeses and a handout fluff.

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It does seem like a bit much even when you include the following (from the web site).

Included with the cheese tasting is a Full Crêpe Station with a variety of savory

Crêpes, a wide selection of charcuterie, breads, crackers, cheeses, fruit and for dessert,

a lovely selection of D.C.'s own Patisserie Poupon handmade pastries!

I would like to see the list of wines and cheeses before shelling out any money.

Edited by mdt
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Who can taste 40 cheeses in one go and actually determine what you like and don't like? 
You could always spit.

I think you are understating what one would get if they attended this event. They are also serving 25 different wines as well. Unfortunately, they do not list the wines that will be poured, so I have no idea if the $65 advance price is worth what you will get.

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Couple points from the organizer:

-Tickets are $65 IF you purchase at the Website TasteDC Cheese and Wine Fest,

-Cheeses will be broken down at each table by type: Fresh, Soft-Ripened, Natural-Rind, Pressed, Blue-Veined, and possibly 1 more category - so each table will stick

to that category of cheese,

-Wines have not been chosen but are based on simple wine and cheese pairing formulas eg. Ports and dessert wines will be suggested as pairing with blue, Sauvignon Blancs with goat cheeses, etc.,

-A handout will be given to explain the basics of cheese, and cheese and wine pairing - most of what I have personally learned is from 3 cheese classes Jill Erber instructed for TasteDC, these classes were at TasteDC's Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

-Crepes were not listed on the website, so they are Chicken with smoked Mozzarella, Salmon and Asparagus and a Vegetarian crepe as well, more details on that one soon,

-Desserts are pastries from Patisserie Poupon,

-Overall, it's a 1st year event, and a feeling out event, so any ideas to improve the concept are welcome. It's important to note that this is not a Foodie Event per se - in other words, most of TasteDC's events are for people who "enjoy" food, not necessarily study, analyze, critique food - I leave that to Rockwellian's!

-Cameras will be allowed and attendees can take as many pictures as they like and use them for posting on their websites/blogs or whatever!

Charlie Adler, President

TasteDC

"TasteDC - DC's Taste!"

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