Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

Wine is main course in enrichment program

It’s one of those classes where students pray for homework. 

Wine sampling. Yep, you read that right. 

Cheers! DU’s University College Enrichment Program, which holds classes for the public, is sampling a new course on wine as DU prepares to host the third annual Denver International Wine Festival Nov. 1-4.

The course is designed to be “fun and witty,” says Christopher Davies, publisher of Wine Country Internationalmagazine and instructor for the course — Four Hundred Bottles of Wine. (Students get to sample their choices of more than 400 wines from about 100 wineries.) 

“We’re going to talk about wine 101 — the basics — and wine 102 is how to throw a wine tasting party. They’ll learn how to cook with wine, too,” Davies says. 

Students also get to guzzle (uh, sip) at the wine festival to be held at the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management and the Driscoll Center. 

Ana Sanjuan, director of the Enrichment Program, says the HRTM school was one of the reasons the course came to be. “We wanted to increase the amount of food-and drink-related offerings in the Enrichment Program because of the school, and after we learned DU was going to host the wine festival, it just made perfect sense,” Sanjuan says.  

And as for Davies, it’s a wonder he ever ended up liking wine. 

“My first experience with wine was a bad one in my late teens. A girlfriend and I polished off a bottle of Matteus and then got really ill,” says Davies, who has held wine tastings for corporations and individuals, and more recently hosted a wine tasting party for Emmy-award winning actress Marcia Gay Harden in Harlem, N.Y. 

“I was shocked to see some of the ‘Sopranos’ actors in the audience. I was afraid I would make a mistake and get whacked,” he says with a laugh.

The biggest mistake people make with wine? Serving temperature. “They typically serve whites too cold and reds too warm,” Davies says.

In learning about wines, Davies says most people are a little intimidated at first. 

“But once we get them comfortable they will try something unfamiliar. It is all about discovery.”

Read about one professor’s passion for wine.

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