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The Secrets of Mental Math


In 1976, a single event rocked the wine world. In the famed Judgment of Paris Tasting, top French wine experts chose two unknown wines over the best that France—long considered the epitome of great winemaking—had to offer. The source of those remarkable wines? California. Since then, California has become one of the most exciting and important wine-growing regions in the world; home to reds, whites, and sparkling wines that are on par with some of the most iconic wines from older wine regions, including Italy and France. Consider that ·if California were considered a nation, it would be the fourth-largest wine-producing nation in the world; ·unlike winemakers in more traditional European wine regions, those in California are free to experiment with new grape blends and wine-making technologies; ·wine is grown in more than 80% of California counties; together, they make more than 600 million gallons of wine (about 250 million cases) per year. More than 21 million people visit California wine country every year to sample wines that are unlike those found anywhere else in the world. And now you can get a well-rounded experience of California’s great wines—without having to leave your home! In the six lectures of The Everyday Guide to Wines of California, you’ll join acclaimed Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan on an engaging and interactive tour of the unique flavors California has to offer. By surveying both perennial top-sellers and experimental underdogs, you’ll discover why California is one of the world’s greatest wine producers. Filled with interactive tastings, suggestions for food pairings, shopping tips, and more, you’ll learn how to enjoy all of California’s offerings (whether you’re a novice to the world of wine or a seasoned connoisseur)—one delicious glass at a time. Explore California’s Great Wine Regions Throughout The Everyday Guide to Wines of California, you’ll survey some of California’s best wine-producing regions, each of which puts its own unique stamp on wine. While many of the grapes grown in California originated in France, you’ll learn that the diversity of the California landscape is more than capable of giving birth to wines of astounding and award-winning quality. ·Napa Valley: The most iconic wine region in the United States, Napa Valley is located between the Vaca and Mayacamas mountain ranges. This location prevents cool ocean breezes and wet weather from sweeping through the area; the result is air that stays warm and causes grapes to be riper and richer. ·Sonoma: Generally a little cooler than Napa Valley, Sonoma is a breathtaking region with wines rivaling those in the more famous Napa Valley (actually outproducing that region). Here, wine tasters can find unparalleled examples of everything from Merlot to Zinfandel. ·Santa Barbara: During the 1970s, Santa Barbara began to assert serious claims as a wine-producing part of California. Santa Barbara’s two mountain ranges, which run west to east, pull in cool air from the Pacific Ocean, making it a perfect environment for Pinot Noirs. Taste Great Wines alongside a Master of Wine Central to The Everyday Guide to Wines of California are the wines themselves—some of which are the most popular in the world and most of which are easy to find in your nearest wine shop. You’ll be able to sample right alongside Ms. Simonetti-Bryan as she introduces (or reintroduces) you to the pleasures and intricate details of wines, including ·Chardonnay, a noble white grape variety that originated in France but that California winemakers have made their own; ·Pinot Noir, a pale and aromatic red wine, the best bottles of which are known to come from wineries in Russian River, Carneros, and Santa Barbara; ·Merlot, a red wine often described as “plummy” and that was launched to stardom thanks to, of all things, a television show; and ·Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley’s king of wines, which is riper in its fruit and jam notes than Bordeaux (as a result of the California sunshine). Once you’ve learned about and tasted these and other samples of what California has to offer, you’ll find yourself better able to identify flavors in other grape varieties, as well as put grapes in certain categories in terms of their unique profile. As a Master of Wine and a popular Great Courses instructor, Ms. Simonetti-Bryan will give you insights into the world of wine that will change the way you think about sipping it, shopping for it, serving it, giving it as a gift, making it a part of your meals, and more. Her mastery of the subject makes The Everyday Guide to Wines of California an authoritative introduction—one enhanced by visits to California wineries, interactive tastings, tips on food pairings, and green screen technology that transports Ms. Simonetti-Bryan (and you) to the regions being explored. Completing this course is a wholly unique way to elevate the quality of every sip you take of California’s finest wines. ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan is among a small number of people to have received the highest credentials in the wine and spirits industry. She is one of only a few hundred people in the world to have achieved the Master of Wine (M.W.) title from The Institute of Masters of Wine in London, England—the highest and most difficult title to achieve in the industry. She also has five additional professional certifications from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the Society of Wine Educators. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan has taught courses for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, has trained thousands of professionals in the wine and spirits industry, and has judged international spirits and wine competitions, including the Ultimate Beverage Challenge in 2010 and 2011. She also has hosted seminars with Food Network stars such as Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, and Mario Batali. In 2008, she won the Wiesbaden Tasting Trophy from The Institute of Masters of Wine. Ms. Simonetti-Bryan is a frequent guest on television programs, including The Today Show, Fox Business, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV. Additionally, she has been featured in publications such as Fortune, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and Wine & Spirits Magazine.

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