Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Total Wine and More Classes - Deals on Wine, Free Food, and a Chance to be a Sommelier

I am apparently on a giant wine kick over here.  In the last week, I’ve told you about the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, Delray Beach’s Wine and Seafood Festival, and today, how you can pay $25 and get at least eight glasses of wine, food, and discounts on alcohol.

I'm in heaven!
Picture courtesy of Colleen M.

Sound like a dream come true?  It goes down at Total Wine and More several times a year.  Though I’ve been to many of these classes, the best one by far, is “Celebrate with Champagne and Sparkling.”

We're regulars at this class!
Picture courtesy of Colleen M.
How convenient… this class is coming up on Thursday at most Total Wine and More stores in South Florida (definitely including Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, Stuart, North Miami, Miami (Pinecrest), Pembroke Pines and Naples).  Most locations offer the class again on Saturday, December 8 as well.

After paying your flat rate of $25, you get a wine tasting packet, complete with tasting sheets, so you can feel like a sommelier.

Look, I wrote "so crisp!" as if I actually know
what I'm talking about!
The Total Wine and More employees pour each bottle quite liberally (maybe not a full glass, but close) starting with a less expensive choice first.  At my class, we got Vignal Prosecco, a $9.99 bottle.  Then the employees guide you through the tasting.  What is the color?  The bouquet?  The flavor?  Do you taste apple or apricot?

I think Colleen tastes a hint of pear...
Picture courtesy of Colleen M.
The employees keep pouring as you keep tasting… an $8.99 bottle of Conde de Caralt Rose, a $15.99 bottle of Louis Boullot Blanc de Noirs, a $29.99 bottle of Montaudon (one of the cheapest real champagnes you can get!).

Montaudon is one of my favorite champagnes!
Picture courtesy of Colleen M.
All the while, attendees of the class can also munch on food provided by the store.  I’ve been to tastings where the food is as simple as a fruit and cheese platter from Jason’s deli, to the food at this particular tasting, which was prepared by store employees (think lemon butter shrimp, mini frittatas, and bruschetta with mushrooms).

Finally, the crème de la crème.  A 1999 Mailly Grand Cru Les Echansons that sells for $79.99 a bottle.  This, I’m told, is better than Dom Pérignon.  But, the last bottle isn’t where the class ends, but almost begins.  After the tasting, you can buy any of the wines sampled for a discount.  The discount depends on the price, but that $79.99 bottle was $10 off.  Even the less expensive $8.99 bottles were a dollar off.

Okay, maybe we go a little crazy when it comes
to the buying part, SUE ME!
Picture courtesy of Colleen M.
So, for your $25 class fee, you got about eight glasses of wine, food, and a discount on however many bottles you want to buy that night.

Total Cost: $25

Best Deal: Chatting with Total Wine employees after the class and getting them to pour you even more champagne that was leftover from the class

How do you feel about champagne?  Do you have as much of a love affair as I do with bubbles?

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