Fine Wines. French Wine. Did Someone say “Wine”?

How much do you really know about wine? Kellie Timko recently took in an Intro to French Wines class and here's what she thought.
Fine Wines

When invited by Fine Wines to participate in their Introduction to French Wines class, I could not resist. I’ve been drinking wine for 15 years now and thought I knew quite a bit about it already. The class was attended mostly by novice wine drinkers and PK, our instructor for the night started out by asking the class of ten what their favourite wine was. Some of the class could answer red or white wine. Others managed to describe sweet or dry wine.

Amazingly, by the end of the lesson, the entire class was confidently able to distinguish a Pinot Noir from a Syrah. Most of the class was able to pick the Cabernet from the Merlot. To take a group of novice wine drinkers and educate them in a couple hours to be able to taste the difference was no mean feat and we enjoyed our experience at Fine Wines.

Fine Wines Wine Class

About the Fine Wines class

The two-hour lesson delved into several wine regions of France, notably Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. PK explained the intricacies of French wines, components of wine labels, wine lingo and finished with a blind tasting of four different types of wine:

  • Syrah
  • PinotNoir
  • CabernetSauvignon
  • Merlot
Fine Wines Wine Class
Blind tasting

Who doesn’t love a blind tasting? In my opinion, blind tasting truly is the best way to discover and experience wine without preconceived expectations. All bias of what you ought to taste based on a label, vintage, vineyard, wine maker etc are gone. When you taste wine blindly (that is, without seeing the bottle or label), you engage your palate and senses to truly experience the wine. You need to smell the flavours, look for the colour and transparency and use all parts of your mouth to feel the wine before you taste it.

The tasting

Tasting notes were on the table as I sat down in the boardroom style classroom.

After the presentation and “education” portion of the lesson, four glasses of red wine were put in front of each participant. We were asked to smell, swirl and smell again. We looked for the differences in colour and transparency. Then came the taste. Given what we had just been taught, we tried to determine the type of wine and vintage year.

Fine Wines Wine Class

The verdict

PK had succeeded in teaching us well. The first two glasses were identified correctly by 100% of the class. Keep in mind that at the start, their experience extended to only being able to favour a white or red wine. I myself was surprised that I could easily identify them blindly. Vintage, on the other hand, was a lot harder to determine but I might need a few more classes before I’m that good.

Fine Wines Wine Class

Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or new to wine tasting, enhance your wine knowledge with practical and informative tasting lessons from Fine Wines. Learn how to shop for French wines, talk the lingo and speak with confidence at your next dinner party.

About the Founder of Fine Wines

Bok Nan Lo has been drinking wine for over 30 years, with around 2000+ tasting notes written down. He is currently #1 ranked in Vivino, the wine app and website and has about 12k followers. His speciality is French wines and specifically the Bordeaux wine region. With his refined palate, he chooses the wines that are imported, not relying on scores, wine critics, or medals.

Bok says My belief – ‘I Drink, I Test and You Buy’ – is what makes us remarkable in the ever competitive wine industry.”

Fines Wines offers affordable premium wines, wine classes, wine dinners, and corporate events.

For more information about Fine Wines, visit

Introduction to French Wine classes start at $99 and you can find out more about what classes they offer here

Fine Wines is offering Vanilla Beige readers a 10% discount on classes. To take advantage of this offer, use the promo code VB10 and email stating how many tickets you would like, the date of the scheduled class you would like to take and the promo code.

We were invited to attend the Introduction to French Wines class by Fine Wines and did not pay for admission. However, we are never obligated to post a favourable review and will always provide our honest opinions.  

All images by Kellie Timko.

Kellie Timko is an Aussie who has lived abroad for almost 15 years. She loves the life of an expat wife and appreciates the time this allows her to spend with her family, especially helping, encouraging and supporting her two school aged daughters to thrive. Currently living in Singapore she is learning to speak Mandarin in order to support her kids study of the language. Kellie has started a facebook page designed to help parents prepare their primary school students for English and Chinese spelling tests. Studylah creates printable study sets so you don’t have to. Kellie is passionate about encouraging her girls to learn and set up Studylah after producing the printable study sets for her daughters.
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