Paula’s Wines of the Week – 29th March 2021

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 29th March 2021

How is an online wine class different to the classroom?

The basics are the same in that there’s still a teacher and course attendees, but rather than looking at each other across a table you’ll be seeing each other on your computer screen. They’ll still be the same opportunity to learn, chat and make friends but this will be at a virtual distance so it may take a bit of getting used to.

It happens live, so you’ll need to switch on your computer and login at the specified start time. Then you’ll see the faces of the others on the course and your online wine tutor. You’ll then get started straight away with tasting wines and learning about them – all while keeping in contact through your computer’s webcam and microphone, and also using the inbuilt course chat function which allows you to type in a question.

Online courses generally use what is known as video conferencing software to make them work – whether you view them through a browser like Chrome or use a downloaded app. As these are transmitting and receiving both video and sound then they need quite a bit of internet capability – basically the better your internet connection the clearer the video images and the more immediate the sound gets to you without a time lag.

You will need to purchase the wines to be covered at each class. These may be specific wines from a specific retailer or wines of a style or grape variety that can be found in many places and at various prices. A list of suggested wines will be provided along with places to purchase – both online and locally.

You’ll need to bring along a couple of wine glasses and it’s handy to have alongside your computer some white paper for note taking and to aid visualisation. A corkscrew will be required to open wines that use a cork and a cloth to mop up any drips or spills.

Paula’s next online Wine Appreciation course starts Tuesday May 11th at 7pm with Buckinghamshire Adult Learning. You can find out more by clicking this link.

Wine reviews from

Anakena The Birdman Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2019
£4.99 Morrisons, £5.99 Ocado
A simple Sauvignon Blanc with apple and almond frangipane aromas and lemon and grapefruit flavours. Not top notch but then it is cheap.

M&S Classics No.10 Barossa Chardonnay 2019
£9 M&S
This is a classic Aussie Chardonnay of the old school with apple, melon, creamy almond and lemon zing. A nice wine but expensive.

Tesco Finest Douro 2019 red
£10 Tesco
Perfumed and chocolatey with deep damson flavours, this is a great addition to Tesco’s Finest range. Made for Tesco by Sogrape Vinhos, a large wine group with many brands, this wine stacks up as a serious Portuguese red blend made from grapes you’d normally see in port. The Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca create juicy blackberry and blackcurrant flavours with a cocoa dryness. Worth seeking out.

Lenne German Pinot Noir 2018
£12.99 Virgin Wines
A nice example of a non-French Pinot Noir with its spicy plum and earthy blackberry flavours. With its modern bottle style and labelling (“spatburgunder” is what you might normally see on the label of a German Pinot Noir, their own name for the “late-harvest Burgundy” grape) this wine is worth a try if you are a Pinot fan.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5* outstanding – the top rating given by
4* very good wine
3* good wine but over priced
2* a disappointing wine
1* little to offer
0* avoid – pour down the drain

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© Paula Goddard 2021