The Wine U sessions at Larkspur (http://www.larkspurvail.com/documents...) this summer has been killer. Next Thursday night (Aug 20) Wine U is food and wine pairings with Kevin and Larkspur’s Executive Chef, Armando Navarro. My guess is this is going to be great food and a lot of fun.
Wine 101 (first session) was really an education. Ken Teague (local distributer) wrapped the bottles to be tasted in foil and numbered. Then Kevin Furtado, Larkspur’s wine director, tasted blind with the “students” to determine the varietals and locations. Kevin shared lots of techniques that can be used in tastings. One of the cool ones was; if it is a red and you can see your finger through the wine, its probably pinot noir. The class was full of give and take, lots of locals and summer folks expressing their opinions.
The Burgundy and Barolo sessions tasted lots of great wines. However, my favorite was the Syrah “class”. By the way, at the “classes” he opens many bottles that are on the Larkspur wine list for triple digits. Kevin opened 5 Syrah Rose’s and 5 Syrah’s (including one he has been working on each fall for the last 3 years in San Ynez and its coming to market this fall). Its was another average perfect evening in the Valley, so the tasting was on the patio. The Syrah’s were across the board price wise, from $30 to $200 a bottle retail. After the tasting, while we enjoyed apps and a pizza in the bar, Kevin continued to pour.