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Heather Lane 

Niner Wine Estates tasting room lead

NEW TIMES When did you start this 101 course on wine?

LANE We host these classes every Monday night, and we started in January of this year, and we will be teaching them until the end of June. This is the first year, and we’ve had a great turnout, so we’ll be planning to teach these courses again next year.

NEW TIMES What are some of the specifics you teach?

LANE Our class helps all kinds of skill sets, whether you are an expert on the subject, a fellow winemaker, or a beginner looking to expand your knowledge. Rick Toyota is our director of hospitality and head instructor of courses and will usually start the first half of the class with a little test to get an idea of how much you may already know about wine. The second half of the class, we talk about the wine that we are currently hosting and what region does the wine come from. For example, the wine we are hosting on March 7 will be from Oregon, and we will have some blind tasting so we can allow you to use all sensory aspects to distinguish the differences in regions, temperature of grapes, and type of grapes used for each bottle of wine.

NEW TIMES What are some of the common mistakes or misconceptions about?

LANE People have a habit of prejudging a wine because they don’t enjoy one winery’s variety. For example, if someone was to try a Chardonnay from a winery, and they didn’t enjoy it, they would then assume that they don’t enjoy any other Chardonnay, when in fact they might enjoy a Chardonnay from other wineries. If you have any questions on wine or would like to join our class, please feel free to visit our website at or call us at 239-2233.

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