The Everyday Guide to Wine

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun and interesting course! Fun and interesting course! If you want to learn about wine, try this course very enjoyable
Date published: 2020-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Informative! Although I am mainly a beer and scotch guy, I now and then enjoyed a glass of wine. Some I liked, some not so. I bought this course to help me understand wine, and indeed it did. The "Everyday Guide" descriptor is an understatement. This delves into more then I anticipated and I enjoyed it all! Some reviews criticize the first lecture as being too much about Jennifer however I, as a UM grad, welcomed her revealing her background to insure the instructor was qualified. Indeed she is! She also brings a nice levity during the lectures. I bought this second copy for my daughter who is more into wine than I am.
Date published: 2020-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Enjoyable A great course. Made learning about wine easy and fun!
Date published: 2020-03-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very informative and fun to watch I have been enjoying this class (not finished yet!)-- the instructor knows her stuff very well, and the excursions to vineyards and wineries are both interesting and informative. Given that the instructor suggests having bottles available for tasting during the lectures, it's not a bad idea to do this with a few friends, if you can. The only criticism I'd offer of the presentation is that the instructor does occasionally give the impression of having a bit of trouble with the teleprompter.
Date published: 2020-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enhanced my education on wines I learned a lot about wines in general. Based on the information in this series, I have been branching out and trying some foreign wines from the local Grocery Outlet; I know have some idea on what the labels mean. I now have a better appreciation on how to look for some characteristics and am noticing things besides "UMM this is good" One thing that is lacking is more material on Washington State wines. The copyright on this is 2010 which explains the why.
Date published: 2019-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Everyday Guide to Wine Excellent presenation of the complex and extensive world of wine. There is a lot to learn from this expert and she presents it well. I did NOT buy the wines to try with each lecture and still got plenty from the course.
Date published: 2019-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Education in Wine! I thought I already knew a fair amount about wine, but this course taught me so much more. I am buying a copy as a Christmas gift for a relative.
Date published: 2019-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This lady knows her wine We actually bought this a number of years ago, but are still only half-way through. The video quality reflects the recording date (2010), so it's 4:3 as opposed to widescreen. The instructor is very pleasant to watch and easy to listen to. She's not a professional actor, so one might quibble with a bit of her camera interaction and delivery, but we bought the series for its content, and in that category, it really delivers. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan is clearly an encyclopedia of wine knowledge, and breaks that down into logical, sequential steps for consumption by neophytes like us. I would add a caveat that you will spend many, many (many!) times the price of the course itself buying the wines you need for each lecture. There are around 24 lectures, and around six wines per lecture, the math. I've seen other reviews claim that you have to buy $100 bottles of wine, and that's simply not true. We've been able to source every single one so far from Total Wine, and 90% are below $20, with the most expensive so far being somewhere near $40, as I recall. But still, it can get very pricey. As others have suggested, find two or three other couples and watch the course as a social engagement, splitting the cost of the wine accordingly. Or, as we have done, spread the course out over a period of time. The information is timeless, so no need to rush.
Date published: 2019-10-07
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The Everyday Guide to Wine
Course Trailer
Why Learn about Wine?
1: Why Learn about Wine?

Ms. Simonetti-Bryan answers this question in an engaging introductory lecture that sets the stage for the subsequent lectures. Survey the millennia-old history of wine, discover what kind of wine consumer you are, explore wine culture in America, and more.

30 min
A Taster's Tool Kit
2: A Taster's Tool Kit

Wine tasting can seem like a mysterious ritual, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Here, learn how to properly perform the five steps of tasting: seeing, swirling, sniffing, sipping, and savoring. Also, make sense of wine-related terminology, including "full-bodied," "crisp," "length," "balance," and "finish."

28 min
Winemaking-From Vineyard to Harvest
3: Winemaking-From Vineyard to Harvest

The sensation of drinking a good or bad wine relies on what happens to its source grape in the vineyard. This lecture takes you through the first half of the wine-making process and reveals how climate, altitude, weather patterns, and other factors play a critical role in shaping a wine's flavor and quality.

30 min
Winemaking-From Harvest to Bottle
4: Winemaking-From Harvest to Bottle

Continue your look at winemaking by focusing on the grape's journey from the vine to your palate. When are grapes ready to be picked? What is the difference between wine fermented in steel and in oak barrels? Why is there heated debate over filtering wines? Discover answers here.

29 min
The Whites-Riesling to Chardonnay
5: The Whites-Riesling to Chardonnay

In the first lecture on the Noble grape varieties (used in those wines you see most often), focus on the most captivating varieties of white wine: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. As you explore each wine's unique characteristics, you'll strengthen your ability to compare it with other wines and grape varieties.

29 min
The Reds-Pinot Noir to Cabernet
6: The Reds-Pinot Noir to Cabernet

Experience the Red Noble grape varieties, specifically Pinot Noir, Syrah/Shiraz, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Studied together, these varieties will expose you to the fascinating range of red wine grapes-from the light-bodied and aromatic to the full-bodied and tannin-rich.

32 min
Champagne and Other Sparkling Wines
7: Champagne and Other Sparkling Wines

Venture into the world of sparkling wines, one of the least-understood but highest-quality wines in the world. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan reveals how wines like Champagne, Cava, and Prosecco originated, how they're produced, and how they taste. She even shows you the correct way to open and serve your favorite bottle.

33 min
Port, Sherry, and Other Fortified Wines
8: Port, Sherry, and Other Fortified Wines

Fortified wines-wines whose alcoholic strength has been fortified-are the perfect accompaniment to the beginning or end of a meal. Here, learn more about these wines as you taste your way through the distinctive characteristics of ruby port, sherry, and Madeira.

33 min
What to Drink with Dessert
9: What to Drink with Dessert

Sauternes; Tokaji; Ice Wine; Vin Santo- wines go great either with or as dessert. Survey the range of dessert wines, paying particular attention to three ways these wines can be produced: the process of "noble rot," the harvesting of frozen grapes, and the drying of grapes.

30 min
French Regions-Bordeaux and Loire
10: French Regions-Bordeaux and Loire

French wines are the benchmarks of quality, which makes France the perfect place to begin your tour of some of the world's greatest wine regions. You explore the powerful reds and delicate whites of two wine-producing regions, learn how to read a wine label, and gain insights into how chateaux in Bordeaux are classified.

33 min
French Regions-Burgundy and Alsace
11: French Regions-Burgundy and Alsace

How do you top the rich, full-bodied wines of Bordeaux? Find out in this engaging lecture that takes you through the silky and delicate wines of Burgundy (including those from Chablis and Beaujolais) and the German-influenced tastes of Alsace (including varieties of Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris).

32 min
French Regions-Rhone, Languedoc, Provence
12: French Regions-Rhone, Languedoc, Provence

Sample beautiful wines from the Rhône Valley and the coastline regions of Languedoc and Provence. You are introduced to a youthful and floral Viognier, a refreshing rose from Tavel, and a peppery red from Mas Belles Eaux.

31 min
Wines of Northern Italy
13: Wines of Northern Italy

Welcome to Italy, home to over 1,000 grape varieties. You sample a Barolo and Amarone (two pillars of Italian wine), a Pinot Grigio (the quintessential crowd-pleasing white wine), and other northern Italian wines.

37 min
Wines of Southern Italy
14: Wines of Southern Italy

Explore the wines of southern Italy. You visit Tuscany, home of Chianti; Campania, the source of the legendary Lacryma Christi (or "Tears of Christ"); and Sicily, whose Nero d'Avola is a rising star among red wine drinkers.

30 min
The Tastes of Germany and Austria
15: The Tastes of Germany and Austria

Germany is home to some of the most versatile wines to pair with food. Austria, following a scandal, has turned around its reputation and has begun producing a fantastic quality of wines. Explore both regions, with a particular focus on their variations of Riesling. Also, learn how to decode German wine labels.

29 min
The Tastes of Spain and Portugal
16: The Tastes of Spain and Portugal

Conclude your tour of Old World wine regions with Spanish and Portuguese wines. Many of the wines you learn about and sample-including a Rioja, a Rueda, a Jumilla, and a Duoro red-bridge the gap between traditional and international modern styles of winemaking.

31 min
U.S. Regions-California
17: U.S. Regions-California

California produces 90% of America's wine and is the fourth-largest producer of wine in the world. Travel through the state's rich wine regions-including Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Santa Barbara-and explore its grape varieties, including the predominant Zinfandel.

35 min
U.S. Regions-Washington and Oregon
18: U.S. Regions-Washington and Oregon

How do Oregon producers differ from their California neighbors? What's so unique about Washington's grape vines? Learn the answers to these and other questions as you taste their versions of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah.

32 min
Other U.S. Regions, Mexico, and Canada
19: Other U.S. Regions, Mexico, and Canada

Where are the wine pioneers of today and tomorrow? The answer: New York, Virginia, Texas, and other U.S. states, each of which, you discover, has its own approach to making quality wines. Also, take brief trips to wine regions in Mexico and Canada, where you sample one of Ontario's internationally popular ice wines.

32 min
Sampling Argentina and Chile
20: Sampling Argentina and Chile

South American wines have grown in popularity around the world. Here, Ms. Simonetti-Bryan guides you through the Chilean regions, including Maipo, Rapel, and Curicó, as well as Argentine vineyards in Mendoza and San Juan.

30 min
The Best of Australia and Tasmania
21: The Best of Australia and Tasmania

In terms of wine, Australia and Tasmania has it all: cool and warm climates, French and American oaks, white and red varieties. Australia also makes the top wine imported into the United States. Survey its popular wines, including a Riesling-like Semillon from Hunter Valley and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawara.

32 min
Wines of New Zealand and South Africa
22: Wines of New Zealand and South Africa

Visit New Zealand and the regions of Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Marlborough, and Martinborough. Then, travel to Stellenbosch in South Africa, whose high-end Bordeaux blends are a delicious mix of Old World and New World tastes.

34 min
Becoming a Knowledgeable Wine Buyer
23: Becoming a Knowledgeable Wine Buyer

Discover tips on how to purchase wine, how to order the perfect bottle at restaurants, how to store wine for the short and long term, how to treat wine as an investment, and much more.

30 min
Wine for Any Occasion and Any Food
24: Wine for Any Occasion and Any Food

Conclude with answers to questions about pairing wines with food and occasions. Should a wine complement or contrast a meal? What kind of wine should you serve on particular holidays? What are some myths about wine pairing? How should you serve wine to guests?

31 min
Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan

Working on each of The Great Courses series has been one of most enjoyable and fulfilling projects in my career. While an easy process, the content, video, filming, and editing teams are some of the most professional I've worked with, they are a complete joy to work with.


Institute of Masters of Wine

About Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan

Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan is among a small number of people to have received the highest credentials in the wine and spirits industry. She is one of only a few hundred people in the world to have achieved the Master of Wine (M.W.) title from The Institute of Masters of Wine in London, England-the highest and most difficult title to achieve in the industry. She also has a Professional Certificate in Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a Certified Specialist of Spirits from the Society of Wine Educators. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan has taught courses for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, has trained thousands of professionals in the wine and spirits industry, and has judged international spirits and wine competitions, including the Ultimate Beverage Challenge in 2010 and 2011. She has also hosted seminars with Food Network stars such as Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, and Mario Batali. In 2008, she won the Wiesbaden Tasting Trophy from The Institute of Masters of Wine. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan is a frequent guest on television programs, including Fox Business, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV. Additionally, she has been featured in publications such as Fortune, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and Wine & Spirits Magazine.

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