Learn About Wine with Ian Blackburn

What’s that you say? Can’t tell the difference between a Cab and a Zin? Wish you knew a little bit more about wine, beyond “Hey if I like it, I drink it”. Which isn’t all that wrong, BTW. Professional wine educator Ian Blackburn is here to help your fermented grape lacking knowledge. Founder of Learn About Wine, his classes and seminars are a great place to educate yourself on the nuances of a peppery Zin or a fruit forward Sangiovese. He also has special classes if you are looking to get into the wine business, something I don’t think I would mind one bit, if it weren’t for my tendencies to finish whole bottles all by myself.

My first class was the Top Ten Wines for under $20. For the price of $59 ($36 from Goldstar!), Ian took us through 20 different bottles of wine, all from a loft in Downtown LA. From German Rieslings to Spanish Reds, he presented each with tasting notes along with tidbits of the wine regions and grapes and where to buy the wine. He provided us with tasty cheese and crackers to clear the palate, then at the end of the seminar, the class rated their top ten wines. The clear winner was the 06 Palacios “Petalos” Bierzo at around $18 a bottle. There were several other favorites like the Paitin “Serra” Barbera, the La Fentre Pinot, and the Altocedro Malbec.

The list of wines for the day.

The list of wines for the day.

We're ready to start! Bring on the vino...

We're ready to start! Bring on the vino...

Taste, compare, and rate, good till the last drop.

Taste, compare, and rate, good till the last drop.

Ian discusses the wines we are tasting today.

Ian discusses the wines we are tasting today.

A plate of cheeses, dried fruit, and cookies to cleanse the palate.

A plate of cheeses, dried fruit, and cookies to cleanse the palate.

The aftermath, we're invited to finish off the bottles!

The aftermath, we're invited to finish off the bottles!

They’ve got lots of cool stuff on their website, like a blog with wine tips and YouTube videos. I’ve provided a list of a few upcoming classes here. Check out their website for more.

January 15, A night with Dennis Cakebread – $69
January 21, STARS of Santa Barbara at the Peninsula Hotel – $79
January 31, Best of 2008 Tasting at Josie Restaurant – $80
February 1, Wine Camp – Introduction to Wine – $50
February 8, Best of Beer – $55
February 14, Wine and Chocolate for Valentines Day – $75

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Author:Matt Mitchell

A lover of everything LA has to offer, Matt created Dig Lounge to tell his friends about all the fun things to do in the city. Matt has worked in the dot com world since 1996, including some of the top online entertainment companies and digital marketing firms. He currently works as a Digital Producer.

One Response to “Learn About Wine with Ian Blackburn”

  1. Matt Mitchell
    January 6, 2009 at 1:17 pm #

    The entire list of the top ten wines are up on the Learn About Wine blog at http://learnaboutwine.com/blog/index.php/2009/01/05/the-2008-top-ten-wines-under-20/