Held several times a year, classes include a variety of topics between wine and whisky will be covered. Expect at least 6 beverages, tasting notes loaded with information, snacks, and plenty of grandiose, rambling analogies from Justin Vann. Classes have a maximum of 40 spots, unless noted. Classes held on Saturday afternoons. Purchase tickets online.
Can’t make it to a class? We offer tastings that can be booked online via Tock. Offerings currently include: Brandy 101, American Whisky 101, Scotch Whisky 101, World Whisky, Japanese Whisky. If you are looking for a more customized tasting, please contact us directly.
Current Classes and Events
Irish Whisky 101
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 3pm, $60pp+tax
We’ll be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day one day early this year with a deep dive into one of the most overlooked regions of Whiskey production: Ireland. We’ll look at classic producers and explore more modern expressions to see where the industry is headed. As usual, Houston Dairymaids will supply the snacks and Justin Vann will supply the hyperbole. Purchase tickets here.
Past Classes and Events
Join us as we host Vermont-based cider company Shacksbury for a seminar dedicated to the past, present, and future of American cider production. Shacksbury co-founder and Cidermaker Colin Davis will be on hand to discuss his process of foraging for apples in the woods of Vermont and reviving lost heirloom cultivars. We’ll have snacks befitting cider from Houston Dairymaids, and will have some ciders on special for happy hour immediately after.
Madeira 102 (January 12, 2019)
Our first “102” class moves beyond the basics of Madeira and will showcase more unusual styles, with plenty of old vintage bottlings of our “second favorite” fortified wine. We’ll go deeper into the history and production process. After class, we’ll be selling Madeira cobblers and pouring extremely old Madeiras at cost for happy hour!
Piedmont 101 (November 3, 2018)
Here we show you the ropes of the top of the boot! We’ll discuss classic Piedmontese grapes, growing regions, and styles. Justin will resist speaking in a singsong Italian accent and will be pouring Arneis, Dolcetto, Barbera, and several Nebbiolos. See also charcuterie and cheese!
How to Talk to Your Kids About Natural Wine (December 8, 2018)
Natural wine is a sexy and dangerous new phenomenon in the wine world. Are your kids using? More importantly, how do we describe and explain natural wine in a world that is so heavily polarized between classics wines, and more modern styles? Here we’ll revisit the definition of what it means to be natural, and provide you with a methodology for navigating the dogmatic world of natural wine. Oh, and of course we’ll be drinking a lot of it.
Island Scotches (August, 25, 2018)
We’ve always loved Scotch for it’s incredible breadth of styles—for us, it is the whisky in which we can most clearly see “terroir”. In this class, we’ll explore scotches outside of the mainland and focus on the islands of Orkney, Skye, Jura, Mull, Islay, and the Campbeltown peninsula. Although these represent the smokier, more savory side of scotch, we will include some older bottles and interesting finishes.
Aged Wine (July 21, 2018)
MOST wine in the world should be drunk immediately—and it’s a common misconception that older wine is superior to young wine. That all being said, wine that IS meant to age is glorious stuff to behold and we’ve pulled a selection of our favorites from California, Australia, Spain, and France. The snacks will be fresh.
Japanese Whiskey (June 23, 2018)
You’ve heard that it’s good, and you’ve heard that it’s cool. You’re not wrong. This class is an introduction into the unique perspective of Japanese Whiskey. We’ll focus on Suntory and Nikka, both their blends and single malt whiskies up to 18 years of age. Also featured are snacks and rambling metaphors from Justin.
Champagne: Deep Cuts (May 19, 2018)
This is not a comprehensive study of Champagne, instead, this is a tasting of some of our rarest, coolest champagnes that we’ve been hoarding for years. We’ll be focusing on richer, oak-influenced styles and producers that incorporate natural winemaking with Vouette & Sorbee, Ulysse Collin, Emmanuel Brochet, Marguet, and Georges Laval.
Absinthe 101 (April 21, 2018)
Unfortunately, this class will not cause you to hallucinate, but it will deepen your understanding of this confusing spirit that deserves a place in your cabinet. We’ll discuss the history of absinthe, including why it became illegal, and who was responsible for its decriminalization in America. We’ll taste examples from France, Switzerland, and the United States along with snacks to pair with the licorice-y goodness of absinthe.
Brandy (November 11, 2017)
This class will explore the category of Brandy from a bird’s eye view as we explore classic expressions from Europe, and finish with modern, new-world examples.
Pét Nat (September 16, 2017)
This class takes a deep dive into the rapidly growing category of Petillant-Naturel Sparkling wines. These wines are funkier and rowdier than their methode Champenois cousins. We’ll taste examples from France, Italy, and the USA.
American Whiskey 101 (June 24, 2017)
This class is geared towards folks looking to learn more about American whiskey, with a focus on Bourbon and Rye. We will reach deep into the cellar to include Rip Van Winkle 12 year Bourbon and Thomas Handy Sazerac cask strength Rye in our tasting line-up of six whiskies.
Madeira 101 (June 3, 2017)
Not content to sit on a throne made entirely of sherry, we’ve been quietly amassing a huge collection of Madeira for the past year. The wine is ancient, with a fascinating story to tell- and we intend to do just that. At least 7 different types of Madeira will be served, featuring 6 different varietals. Snacks that taste great with Madeira will accompany a scintillating lecture and general conviviality. Class will wrap up by 3PM so you can fill your water bottle with Madeira and head over to Free Press Summer Fest.
Sherry 101: A Crash Course (August 27, 2016)
Sherry: it’s more than just a flavoring agent for whisky. It is, in fact, a totally delicious stand-alone beverage that has existed for at least as long as Scotch has (over 600 years). In this class, we go over the basics of sherry by tasting various sherries and sherry brandy. Snacks that coincidentally taste amazing with sherry will also be provided.
Beyond Kentucky & Scotland: International Whiskies (July 30, 2016)
Bourbon and Scotch Whisky have collectively driven the category of whisky for centuries, but regions you would never expect are pushing boundaries in exciting, boozy ways. This class is meant to give you a snapshot of the whiskies from less traditional regions. We’ll be pouring whiskies from Taiwan, Japan, India, and of course, Texas.
Natural Wines: Modern art masterpiece or hipster koolaid? (June 11, 2016)
Explore the funky, slightly carbonated, purposefully esoteric world of natural wines. In this class, we answer the question of what exactly defines natural winemaking, and go through an international series of examples of this controversial category of wine. The class will span the entire spectrum of wines from sparkling, white, rose, red, and fortified. Snacks befitting the savory, funky qualities of these wines will be served.
Finish Them: Cask Finished Whiskies and Their Wines (October 17, 2015)
Finishing the last few years of a distillate’s life in a used wine barrel has become commonplace in the world of whisky. Although the union is rarely perfect, it’s always interesting, like an 80’s buddy cop movie. As a wine and whisky bar we can’t help but collect these boozy tributes to our two favorite beverages. In this class we pair 4 different spirits with a glass of the wines from barrels they were aged in. Fans of sweet wines should not miss out on this.
Jester King Tasting (September 29, 2015)
Join brewer Averie Swanson as she leads a tasting through some of Jester King’s rare recent offerings. Snacks will be provided, and Public Services will serve two wines to go alongside the wine sours. Beers: Biere de Syrah (Barrel-Aged Beer Refermented with Syrah Grapes), Biere de Blanc du Bois (Barrel-Aged Beer Refermented with Blanc du Bois Grapes), Vulgar Affectation (Farmhouse Ale Brewed with Lemon Beebalm and Horehound), Amicis Mortis (Farmhouse Ale Brewed with Sweet Potatoes, Coconut, and Chili Peppers), Equipose (Farmhouse Ale brewed with ginger salt, tarragon, and refermented with Cantaloupe), Petite Price (Farmhouse table beer). Wines: Haak Blanc du Bois Madeira (TX), Herve Souhaut Syrah (France)
Anything But Champagne (August 29, 2015)
Champagne is the most quintessential and beloved sparkling wine style, and we feel like it’s still stealing the spotlight from other sparkling wines that deserve your attention. In this class, we go over our favorite sparkling wines that don’t come from Champagne, France. Traditional styles and trend-setting newcomers will be served, with lots of potato chips, caviar, and salty snacks.