The Everyday Guide to Wines of California

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Informational Course but ... Presenter is very knowledgeable in wine and presents it well but moves to fast from wine type to wine type. The accompanied course guide book is poor. The current guide book should be part of an overall course guide. All in all a very average course.
Date published: 2021-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb! She is one of the best, but also made it understandable, interesting, and fun with interesting little tidbits/quotes/pairings/tastings. Highly recommend this one.
Date published: 2020-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I turned red when I drink alcohol including wine. Although I have such drawback, I would very much like to learn about different kinds of wine. This course met my expectation plus. Worth the money!
Date published: 2020-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative and FUN I bought this course for my husband who loves wine, and learning more about it. I gave the course a preview and decided it would work well. We are anxious for the 'shelter in place' to be over so we can invite friends over for wine tasting while viewing the course together. Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan is great and you can witness her passion in everything she does and says. Makes the class that much better!
Date published: 2020-04-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good, but...... Good material and information. However, the presenter speaks so rapidly that she is uncomfortable to listen to and is at times difficult to understand. A marked contrast to the better paced and easily understood speech of the lecturers in the other 15 or so Great Courses that I have watched. It is especially bothersome to me when she rushes through the name of a wine. These names are often not in English and are difficult to pronounce. Only once, in the first 5 lectures I have watched, did she speak a name slowly enough for me to learn the proper pronunciation. If I had watched a sample lecture, I probably would not have bought this course.
Date published: 2020-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Recaps For Us Who Are Wine Hobbiests! Jennifer brings her knowledge and love for wine to the forefront in these episodes. She shares her ideas and opinions as an expert but at a level easily followed. These same comments are true for the other wine regions she covers in other series for Great Courses. Well done!
Date published: 2020-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative Excellent, I am looking forward to Jennifers other wine guides in this series
Date published: 2019-12-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from HUGE disappointment This is the first course that I have watched (started) done by this instructor. I gave up after the first episode. I know there are limitations on lecturing about wine without actually being able to taste the wines. (Yes, I know that I could have purchased the wines that she was talking about but that's not very practical.) I just don't find it very enlightening to watch someone else spend so much time gushing over a wine that I cannot taste. More time could have been spent discussing other aspects of the wines, such as the growing areas, their climates and other growing conditions, and the varieties that are grown in them. Maybe the history of California wines, etc. All told, a wasted half hour.
Date published: 2019-08-06
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The Everyday Guide to Wines of California
Course Trailer
California's Superstar Status
1: California's Superstar Status

What makes California unique among other wine-making regions of the world? How does a French Chardonnay compare with its California counterpart? What's the best way to read a California wine label? What are some general guidelines for opening a wine bottle and tasting in a winery? Find out the answers to these and other questions in this lecture that prepares you for the rest of your journey throu...

34 min
Noble Whites-Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay
2: Noble Whites-Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay

This lecture focuses on two white grape varieties-Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay-that are extremely popular and easy to find. Alongside Ms. Simonetti-Bryan, sample some of California's best, including a Fume Blanc by Robert Mondavi and Chardonnays from Sonoma and Napa. Also, get tips on some delicious food-pairing suggestions, the best temperature at which to chill and serve these wines, di...

33 min
Rising Stars-Fragrant Whites and Organic Wines
3: Rising Stars-Fragrant Whites and Organic Wines

Explore some of California's most fragrant and exciting new white wine varieties, which yield a variety of aromas and tastes reminiscent of flowers and fruits: a Pinot Gris, a Viognier, and an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc. Then, go beyond tradition (and into somewhat controversial territory) and see how California growers are experimenting with organic wine-wine made from organically farmed grapes with...

32 min
Elegance in a Glass-Sparklers and Pinot Noir
4: Elegance in a Glass-Sparklers and Pinot Noir

Turn now to California's sparkling wines and one of its most popular reds: Pinot Noir. These wines not only showcase a more elegant side to California, they're also some of the most versatile food-pairing wines that the state has to offer. Compare and contrast how bubbly wines taste when made using traditional and Charmat methods. Then, explore the tastes, aromas, and finishes of a variety of Pino...

31 min
Big, Bold Reds-Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
5: Big, Bold Reds-Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

Learn everything you need to know about Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which make up approximately 42% of the red grape variety plantings in California. How does a Cabernet Sauvignon stand up to a Bordeaux? What should you look for in a Cab/Merlot blend? How does California's terroir affect its Cabs and Merlots? How do you age a Cabernet, and what does the aging process do to the wine's taste?...

34 min
California's Secret Red Gems
6: California's Secret Red Gems

Conclude your tour of California wines with a look at some of its most interesting reds: a red Zinfandel, a Syrah, a Rhone Valley Syrah, a Petite Sirah, and a Grenache. Also, learn more about the recent trend in California winemaking for creating unique red blends from different grape varieties (you'll also get suggestions for making your own personal blends). These particular wines, you'll soon d...

32 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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