Up through Wine Essentials session five, Director of Wine and Beverage Studies, Richard Vayda, has taken us on a worldwide, whirlwind tour of the wines of France, Italy, and Spain. Session five grounded our palates back in the U.S. of A., with Vayda’s introduction to the wines of our own true terroir.

The class was a true education in getting to know what’s lying right here before us, whether from California, New York, Texas or even Arkansas. Grapes are growing far and wide through our fifty states and they’re here for the drinking.

Tastes ranged from a light, summery, picnic-friendly pinot gris through hearty, substantial, tannin-filled cabernets and syrahs. Throw a Carneros pinot noir into the mix, and you realize that just how versatile American wines can be. With less staid regulations than centuries-old traditions in European countries, there’s plenty of barrel space for creativity and reinvention. And as the controversial Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 proved, the whites and reds of our fifty states aren’t be too shabby.

So, whether you’re planning a boozy drive through Napa, or heading just a train ride away to upstate New York or to the East End of Long Island, American grapes are right at your doorstep.

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