Further Your Education and Credentials

If you are successful in this course consider taking one of the industries certifications.

Court of Master Sommelier: The Court of Master Sommeliers elevates the quality of beverage service throughout the hospitality industry with our peerless credentials. We expand the rich heritage of our organization through mentorship, rigorous preparation and examination. We chart the course for current and future Master Sommeliers worldwide.

Wine and Spirit Education Trust: WSET provides best-in-class education and qualifications to inspire and empower the world’s wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts. We offer a comprehensive suite of qualifications covering wines, spirits and sake.

WSET qualifications are globally recognised as the international standard in wine and spirit knowledge. They are designed for those who are just starting out in their careers, as well as established professionals, and the many enthusiasts who have a passion for wines and spirits.

Society or Wine Educators: The Society of Wine Educators (SWE), founded in 1977, is a membership-based nonprofit organization (501c3) focused on providing wine and spirits education along with the conferral of several certifications. The Society is internationally recognized and its programs are highly regarded for both their quality and relevance to the industry.

Baden Baden Winery Tour

I am ready for my visit to the Baden-Baden region of Germany. My boots are for vineyard tours and my flashcards are for my classroom lessons. During this visit I am one of two educators from the United States to participate along with educators from around the world. I will do my best to represent you well and to bring back my learning to share with you.  Please follow me on Instagram @profgoodvino, I will be blogging during the week.

On April 10 you have the the privilege of learning from Prof. Chris Struck who is a sommelier at Union Square Cafe and teaches the Service Marketing class, HMGT 4702. He is a powerhouse, I am sure your will be impressed. You can follow him on Instagram as well, @chris_struck .

I will have limited access to email and the internet from April 10-16. Please contact me before that if you have any questions.

Paso Robles

Names: Noha Mahdi, Chris Raghubir, Amanda Ashwood


USA/California/Paso Robles

Grape variety

Zinfandel: Zinfandel was the first commercially viable grape to be planted in Paso Robles, back in 1914. It is known for its sweet-fruited jammy raspberries, wild bramble berry, raisins, prunes, licorice and black tea spices and plush tannins.

Cabernet Sauvignon: The Paso style strives to Big and Bold, making more richly textured, opulent, ready-drinking Cabs and Bordeaux blends with flavors of anise, cola, peppercorns, finishing with textured minerality and bright acidity.

Rhône Varieties: The term “Rhone-Zone” was given to Paso because it hosts the largest acreage of Syrah, Viognier, and Roussanne in California. The Rhone is actually a region in France that lies along the mighty Rhone river. Red Rhone wines are traditionally blends dominated by Grenache, then Syrah, Mourvedre amongst 10 others. These wines have flavors of both red and black fruits (strawberry and blackberry), licorice, herbs, a full body and soft plush tannins. White Rhone wines can be 100% varietal-based from Viognier and literally taste like you bit into a dried apricot, or blends that include Marsanne and Roussanne along with 8 others, making wines that are richly textured viscous wines.

Cal-Italians: Vine cuttings from Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Montepulciano grape varieties were brought with Italian immigrants from as far back as 1861 to the USA. However, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that these grapes found their home in Paso. Although Italian grapes lack the plushness of texture of other styles, their uniqueness lies in their ability to retain high levels of acidity, despite the heat. This allows them to be some of the most food-friendly wines in the world.

Innovative Blends: Adding to the sheer diversity of grapes and styles explored above, we are now seeing producers add Spanish grapes like the white Albariño, or Verdelho, red Tempranillo and the Portugese Touriga Nacional (the main grape of Port wines) to their repertoire. These grapes are being made into single varietal styles that showcase their unique attributes but are also found alongside Italian and French varieties in innovative blends as well.



The temperature varies from day and night, Diurnal and Maritime Climate becoming more continental to the east with growing de-gree-day.



These are primarily bedrock (the hard layer of rock beneath looser rocks and soil) derived soils from weathered granite, older marine sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks, and younger marine sedimentary rocks of the Miocene-age Monterey Formation featuring calcareous shales, sandstone, or mudstone. Soil diversity is the norm and a vineyard block may commonly contain several different soil types.



Chateau Margene – Creston: A producer of highly sought after luxury Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc under the Chateau Margene label, luxury Pinot Noirs under their Mooney Family label and port style wines under their Roxo Port Cellars label. Chateau Margene is a small family-owned winery located in the Creston District AVA. The initial year of production was 1997. Farming practices are organic and sustainable and the focus is small lots of ultra-premium grapes that are hand picked, hand sorted and then gently moved through our gravity flow grape processing system.

Austin Hope & Treana Tasting Cellar: At the Austin Hope & Treana Tasting Cellar, we offer a unique blend of eclectic dĂ©cor, cozy lounge style seating and a fun, casual approach to world class wines. We are proud to be family owned and operated with four unique brands: Austin Hope, Treana, Troublemaker and Liberty School. The Tasting Cellar features our small production wines from the Treana and Austin Hope brands, which represent Austin’s passion for artisan winemaking.



Once the grapes arrive at the Paso Robles winery they are again inspected for quality. For our white wine program, a whole cluster press is used to extract the juice. After a gentle pressing, the juice is immediately transferred to stainless steel fermenters for a 24-hour cold settling. The white juice will ferment for approximately 30 days at 55F until dry, yielding no residual sugar. Post primary fermentation the whites are fined and filtered before being botted the following spring to preserve the aromatic qualities in each variety.

Red grapes are de-stemmed and pumped directly into the fermentation tanks. We utilize both static and open top fermenters in our program. During fermentation the must is allowed to reach temperatures up to 85F to extract the intense color and flavors the Donati wines are known for. The red varietals will ferment for 7-10 days, then the wine is racked to another tank and the remaining skins, seeds, and pulp is gently pressed.

The aging process for our red wines begins in a combination of both French and American oak barrels from a select group of coopers. The red wines are barrel aged for 12-18 months. During this time, a continuous sensory assessment of each lot gives us the ability to designate the premium lots for our higher-end wines. When those lots are selected the wine is racked and blended and stored in barrels until bottling. The red wines are bottled un-fined and unfiltered to preserve natural flavors and aromas the grape varietals have to offer.

Overall, the winemaking team brings hands-on experience, analytic knowledge and a strong dedication to the industry. We are here to make the best wines possible to share with you. Please visit our online store detailing the varietals and blends that we have to offer or you can visit our tasting room in Paso Robles.

Add additional notes about the regions/appellations/labels during.

How to Read a Wine Label

Vintner Rob Murray created Stasis, Tooth & Nail, Force of Nature and Amor Fati to showcase his vineyards in Paso Robles and Santa Barbara. The Possessor ($26.99), is a big, spicy cabernet sauvignon blend. The label is a mid-1800s John James Audubon print, featuring a red-tailed hawk swooping down on its prey. “There’s a little death and destruction in all our labels,” Murray says.


Interesting fact

Today, Paso Robles is still considered by many as thewine industry’s wild west, characterized by that same rule breaking diversity and innovative spirit in which the town was founded. “Paso Robles is the wild west of California wine.” Factoid: Paso Robles is California’s fastest growing AVA.



Hunters Point Wines & Spirits

Hunters Point Wines & Spirits opened on Vernon Boulevard in 2006. One of the owners Marko Babsek who gave me the permission to take the pictures and also answer any question about the wine.

This wine store is located at 47-07 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, Queens. A week before I made an appointment with Marko Babsek one of the owners. Marko was very cordial and made me feel welcome all the time.

Hunters Point Wines & Spirits in Long Island City

The house has a very beautiful European type colonial appearance. When I entered, I saw that it was relatively narrow, almost like a passage connecting another.

Be ready for a lesson in wine. If you ask the owner, Marko, for advice or information he is able to tell you anything you’d like to know. The best wine store in LIC.

Marko started telling me that his main costumers are neighbors who live around for many years. In fact, his familiarity is so great with everyone who knows about the tastes in wines of most neighbors.

They organize wine by regions for example these wines come from South Africa and its surroundings.

I asked him about which wine is the most expensive and it was this one which is of French origin and slopes for $ 2000 I think that is good for people who like expensive wine.

One of its priorities is to maintain its clientele by maintaining low prices and, of course, providing discounts from its suppliers.



Most of the wines of this establishment have notes about its composition and its quality that makes the client learn the differences between a European and an American wine.

Grand Itata Red wine from Chile Rogue Vine

Cholilla ranch from patagonia Argentina Malbec It contains red fruits and has great acidity. Good to combine red meats

Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Taft Street Russian River Valley Sonoma country. California Its color is pearl yellow Nose are aromas of green apple, grapefruit and white peach palate Crisp with lively acidity Pair with chicken, turkey, pork, chops and also fishes

France, Italy, Spain, the United States, New Zealand and some South American wines are the main wines they have. He told us that his guests ask for more wine from Italy and, in summer, Rose is more popular. The most expensive wine he has is Cabernet Sauvignon since 1997 and costs $ 450.

I realize that Marko is very knowledgeable about wine because he told me about the variety of grapes in the United States, like smelling a wine so that we know which one to prefer. In fact, tasting classes are held here. With what to combine each wine in short was a very pleasant experience and I realize that Marko loves his work. I will recommend my family and friends to visit this place.














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Retail Wine Shop Analysis

Grand Wine & Liquor

This is a photo of the outside store view of Grand Wine and Liquor.

This is a photo of the outside store view of Grand Wine and Liquor.

I didn’t really like the outside view of the shop because it doesn’t look like a wine shop. In my honest opinion, It looked like a boring looking grocery store, until you look up to the writing and see the “Grand Wine and Liquor” and the little wine bottles drawing.

But as I entered the store, I can see that the shop was huge, has a lot of space and friendly employees. All the employees greeted me and smiled, which I loved because not a lot of shops actually have employees that nice nowadays. I first took a look around the shop, then I was approached by an employee asking me if I needed any help, I told him I wanted to speak to the owner or someone in charge, he said sure and walked to the back room. A few seconds later a man in a suit stepped out and greeted me and I told him about my analysis and if I could ask him a few questions, he said yes of course. And I went on by asking him, how did this shop happen/open? He said his great grandfather, Jake Battipaglia, opened this shop 75 years ago, and it is still up and running. His great grandfather was an immigrant from Greece, who came to America for a better job and life for him and his family. I also asked him how long did he study wine and why did he, he said he’s been studying wine for all of his life because he grew up with it being the family business and that he has a wine doctorate. Another question I had for him was “if a wine was not selling as you wanted it too, what would you do?”. He said that they would discontinue the wine or mark it down or put it on sale to get all the remaining wines out of the store and then he would never order that wine again.

After he answered my questions, I asked him to just show me around the shop and to show me the wines I had to take pictures of. The shop’s wines were organized by country and within each country, the red and white wines were separated.


This picture is what you see once you enter the shop. Also shows you some of the countries and their wines.

This is one of the shop’s sections for Greece and its wines.

Wine # 1 – Shelf Talker

These wines with rectangle paper, that has the red and blue writing on it are "Shelf Takers.

These wines with rectangle paper, that have the red and blue writing on it are “Shelf Takers”. They are because customers can easily see what’s inside of the wine and how the wine tastes.

Wine # 2 – Red Wine from Spain

This wine is called Goru Verde and it is a red wine from Spain

This wine is called Goru Verde and it is a red wine from Spain.

Wine # 3 – Sparkling Wine not from France

This is a sparkling wine not from France but from Italy called Cannonau di Sardegna.

Wine # 4 – Red wine from a region I did not know made wine. 

This is a red wine called 19 Crimes from Australia, which I did not know made wine.