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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Boston Wine SchoolMark and I headed out after work on a Thursday night to the Boston Wine School for a wine and cheese class. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve driven by, or even stopped at the liquor store next door, not realizing the school’s location. Located right on Commonwealth Street, parking can get a little tough so leave a few minutes early. There are about a dozen people in the class, we mingle a bit before we sit down to learn about wine and cheese.

IMG_3537The first pairing while we are getting to know our fellow classmates is a ricotta fresca, a young cow’s milk cheese from New York. It’s served on toast a few different ways,

IMG_3546The ricotta is paired with a NV Jaume Serra “cristalino” cava rose brut that is from Penedes in Southern Spain. It’s light and crisp – perfect for summer.

IMG_3538While pairing our wine and cheese, we also have focaccia bread and olives.

Boston Wine School 1The wines of the evening, in order from left to right:

2012 Chateau de la Chesnaie Muscadet (Sevre en Maine, Loire Valley, northwest France) Muscadet is a white grape and the flavor of the wine is dry and strong.

2013 Berger Gruner Veltliner (Gedersdorf, eastern Austria) This wine was a bit zippy with a light body.

2012 Talbott “Kali Hart” Pinot Noir (Monterey, northern California)

2010 Destino “Cruzados” Tempranillo Syrah (La Mancha, south central Spain)

2011 Chateau Roc de Segur (Lanerrouet, Bordeaux, western France)

We tried the wines by themselves, and then with the cheese to see how the flavors changed.

IMG_3547(Starting at 12 o’clock and going clockwise)

Bucheron Chevre a goat’s milk cheese from the Loire Valley, northern France

Three year old gouda a cow’s milk cheese, Gouda, southern Holland

Brie paturages Comtois a cow’s milk cheese from Franche Comte, central France

Manchego a cow and sheep’s milk cheese from La Mancha, south central Spain

(not pictured) Great Hill Blue, a cow’s milk blue from Marion, MA


IMG_3550Jonathon Alsop is the founder and executive director of Boston Wine School. I admit, I don’t know anything about wine, just what I like and what I don’t like. Jonathon makes trying wine and learning about wine very approachable. We learned as a group, sharing what flavors we tasted and what we liked and didn’t like. We learned the 7 S’s of wine tasting: see, sniff, swirl, smell, sip, swish, and spit.

IMG_3559The chalkboard gave students a little cheat sheet on wines.

Boston Wine School 2After we tried the wines and cheeses we all sat down to dinner, provided by Bottega Fiorentina in Coolidge Corner in Brookline. We had Pollo Cristina, a chicken and sage dish baked in wine; spinaci all Fiorentina, a baked spinach dish with mushrooms and Timballo a baked pasta with eggplant. Dinner was served with a 2013 Le Piera Pinto Grigio from Veneto in northeast Italy and a 2009 Selvapaina Chianti Rufina from Rufina, Tuscany in central Italy.

Bottega Fiorentina is a small restaurant in Brookline known for thei “fast fine food”.  They have pasta dishes as well as made to order sandwiches. Part market, part restaurant, Bottega Fiorentina has been a neighborhood staple since 1994.

Boston Wine School

1354 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA

Bottega Fiorentina

313 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA

Bottega Fiorentina on Urbanspoon

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