Wine & Spirits: Liquid Education

by WL Author

Already bail on your New Year’s resolutions? Sign up for one of these interactive and educational classes and ramp up your beverage knowledge in 2012?
By Kelly A. Magyarics

Get schooled in brews, booze or wine this year.

Brew U

On Saturday, January 21, at the Arlington location of Rustico (4075 Wilson Blvd., 571.384.1820,) class is in session at The Beer Academy. Guided by Neighborhood Restaurant Group Beer Director Greg Engert, Brew U will offer a comprehensive curriculum for beer enthusiasts, with two-hour tutorials held monthly for the entire year. Each class will be held from 1 PM to 3 PM, and is priced at $24 per person. Engert, named as a Food & Wine “Sommelier of the Year,” will guide students of the suds, and each class will include tastes of at least six beers hand selected by Engert, based on the theme of the class. January  21’s inaugural class is about Tasting Craft Beer: Examining the Flavor Spectrum Across the History of Beer.” Students will taste and discuss the basic beer flavor profiles (Crisp, Hop, Malt, Roast, Smoke, Fruit & Spice, and Tart & Funky.) Future classes (held on February 18, March 17, April 14, May 12 and June 9, and other dates to be determined,) will focus on topics such as cask ales, sour ales, farmhouse ales and brewing locally vs. locally sourced brewing. Dedicated students who sign up for the entire year receive a discount of $6 per class, and discounts are also available for those who sign up for 3, 6 and 9 classes. To reserve a spot for The Beer Academy, call Rustico at 571.384.1820.

Get Graded in Grain

On Tuesday, January 17, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, The Museum of the American Cocktail welcomes Dr. Dennis J. Pogue, Vice-President for Preservation at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens, who is also the author of Founding Spirits, a detailed portrayal of the origins of the American whiskey industry, including George Washington’s role as the entrepreneurial owner of one of the largest whiskey distilleries in 18th century America. Philip Greene and Derek Brown will be mixing up 4 whiskey cocktails, while discussing the origins and folklore of each, and students will also sample hors d’oeuvres. Dr. Pogue will be available afterward to answer questions, and to sell and sign copies of his book. The class will be held at The Source Theatre (access via The Passenger, 1021 7th Street, NW, convenient to Convention Center Metro.) The cost for advance tickets is $45 for non-members, with discounts for Museum members. Tickets at the door will be $50, space permitting. To register for the event, visit

Swirl, Sniff and Sip

Instructor Mary Watson describes her class on Wine Regions and Terroir 102 as a “nerdy visit into the world of wine.” Join the Sommelier at Cookology (21100 Dulles Town Circle, Sterling, VA, 703.433.1909) on Monday, January 16 from 7 PM to 9 PM, as she discusses growing conditions that contribute to varietal differences, old vs. new winemaking techniques, price and value in relation to region and winemaking technique, and why wine made with the same grapes can taste so different when it’s made in different parts of the world. Wine samples and light snacks are included, the cost for the class is $45, and you can register online.

Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, DC area. She can be reached through her website at, or on

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