Ian Blackburn founded the organization LearnAboutWine in 1995 for the purpose of providing "unique, fun and enjoyable ways to educate people about wine." They do this through a series of tastings, events, tours and classes. LearnAboutWine can also design special events at your place of business or social settings. Just contact them and they'd be happy to oblige.
Their series of Friday night "wine tastings under the stars" provides the perfect setting for wine lovers and wine novices alike to rub elbows with each other while enjoying cheese, crackers, and eggplant-and-soy-on-a-toothpick appetizers. And in case, like me, you're not completely versed in wine-tasting ways, this is not a taste-and-spit affair. No, this is designed as a sip and savor evening. Keep it in your mouth, which means, choose carefully, because you can't have it all if you want to make it home in one piece.
Each Friday night is devoted to different regions, this particular night spotlighting the wines of Malibu. Semler Malibu Estate Wine & Saddlerock Vineyards shared the patio with Rosenthal, The Malibu Estate. Guests could either taste their wine of choice, or, as I chose, sample each and every bottle, with an educational accompaniment provided by the representatives from each vineyard.
George Rosenthal, owner of movie studios and hotels, first planted vineyards at his 250 acre estate in 1987. Now, 25 acres of hillside vines allows for individual lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc to be vinified and barrel-aged before blending. You can find out more at www.rosenthalestatewines.com.
Friday night wine tastings are $30. The first two events have averaged around 100 to 125 attendees, coming and going between 6pm - 8:30pm. The rest of the summer schedule is as follows: July 23, California Rhones; July 30, Sonoma; August 6, Bubbles; August 13, Pinot Noir; August 20, California Stars; August 27, Australia.