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Blind: Pinot Noir

image courtesy Claude-Olivier Marti
Dbc24d47 seeable

Taught by Andrew Torrens

Andrew graduated Hampshire College in 2009 with a degree in microbiology. Since graduation he has brought his scientific expertise to the cheesemaking community having interned as an affineur at Murray’s Cheese shop, worked as a cheesemonger in Western Massachusetts, made cheese for Cato Corner Farms in Connecticut, returned to his alma-matter to help co-teach a class entitled The Microbiology and Biochemistry of Cheesemaking and ventured down to southern Indiana to make goat cheese at Capriole Farms. Currently he can be found turning milk into curds and whey at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in the Flatiron District. Feel free to contact me about all your cheese questions and needs andrewctorrens@gmail.com.

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Blind is a series of food lectures and tastings exploring the nuances of flavor, texture and aroma in a blind tasting format. In each class, the lecture portion analyzes the history, science, and culinary uses of the food, while the blind tasting portion explores the sensual perception of the foods without consideration to history, place, price, or proximity to artisanal production.

The series seeks to address questions such as, "why is Parmigiano Reggiano so much more expensive and well-regarded than Kraft Parmesan," and "what's the real difference between Hershey's chocolate and those $10 bars at my local gourmet market," debunking myths about differences in quality and taste, and instead allowing the taster to determine once and for all which product is worth their hard earned cash. Whether that be the pricier, historically significant, artisanal product or it's modern industrial counterpart...the taster decides!

The next installment focuses on the alluring and complicated wines made from the Pinot Noir grape, addressing how to understand French wine labels, differences between Old World and New World wines, why the Napoleonic Code makes understanding Burgundy so complicated and the influence of Sideways on Pinot Noir economics. Oh and we will of course be drinking some expensive ($30+) and not so expensive (<$10) bottles of Pinot Noir in a blind tasting to attempt to answer the eternal questions of how much price matters in wine.

(class size: 16, lecture + discussion, 21+)

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