Wine Immersion Boot Camp is held every Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoon at Little Washington Winery. My mom, my roommate, and I attended the boot camp on a frigid and snowy March Sunday morning. This was my second trip out to LWW, so I knew what to expect at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. In case you’re worried, Wine Boot Camp only consists of 3oz arm curls, rather than drinking then running.
The sign that meets you at the door is a rather intense gentleman holding a sign that says spit. Fortunately, there was no spitting required, because the wines were all good. Although we drank a manageable amount for how long we were there, the order of the class made for an experience that was wine heavy at the very end. This was good in the sense that after the class you had new knowledge about wine and could put it to use. The problem of a end-heavy experience is it could leave you feeling a bit tipsy.
After a presentation from Carl teaching most of the items found in the class description (during which there was little drinking), we had a glass with lunch, then three chocolate and wine pairings, then the “Dirt Road” tasting of seven wines. Donna called the red wine and dark chocolate a survival kit because they are two items the doctor ordered. To fix the problem of an end-heavy experience, Carl could have talked less and poured more in the first hour and then used his lecture to let us sober up.
I always like to compare products to their description. The description on the LWW website reads:
“Spend 2-1/2 hours with us and we’ll turn you into a certified wine snob….Guaranteed! Led by our winemaker, Carl, this 2 hour seminar is the snob-free zone in plain English all about wine. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about wine including how to taste like a pro, how to achieve aeration perfection, how to choose the perfect bottle in the wine shop, how to pair food with wine and get it right every time, the chemistry of making red versus white, what you are really supposed to do with the cork they hand you in a restaurant, and how to tell if you are buying a dessert wine made with the juice from a grape or with a bucket load of granulated sugar. This session includes a molecular pairing experiment with a sandwich & 5 chocolate pairings.”
Is the session snob-free? No. Carl makes up for the lack of snobbery from participants.
Do you learn everything listed in the description? Yes.
And more? Yes. pairing wine with thin mint girl scout cookies!
Is it worth $40?Yes, you get to taste 12+ wines. Plus, lunch is a glass of wine and a killer sandwich.
I learned that over-aeration is possible, and wine can turn brown just like an apple. Though most of the information could probably be found on the internet, some of the experiences were just irreplaceable. If you ever wanted to smell a ‘corked’ bottle of wine, you’re in luck. ‘Corked’ means that the wine has been spoiled either by improper storage or a faulty cork. I thought it smelled a lot like a wet paper bag, so I will be sure to steer clear of any bottles that reproduce that scent.
There are so many ways to get this event half price that if you pay the full $40, you’re ripping yourself off. There are coupon codes available on VirginiaWine.org and VAwineIMP has a 50% off deal. But no matter how you pay, you get to walk away with this snazzy certificate, new found knowledge and a full belly.
If you happen to take LWW’s Wine Immersion Bootcamp and hear Carl use a metaphor about how pressing grapes is like squeezing a tea bag, you can know that it came from me!