Thomas Jefferson was a serious oenophile, so it’s only fitting that his namesake hotel* in Washington D.C. launch a series of Saturday wine classes. The Jefferson’s award-winning sommelier, Michael Scaffidi, was formerly at The French Laundry, and knows a thing or two about wine. In fact, he’s created one of the finest wine collections of any D.C. establishment at Plume, the hotel’s fine dining resto. Starting April 23, the six-week series will explore regional distinctions, vintages, decanting, tasting and more in the The Jefferson’s wine-themed Private Cellar. Each Saturday class is limited to 20 people and is priced at $75 per person, including small bites paired with a variety of wines. Overnight guests can partake in the classes with the “Sommeliers’ Secrets” weekend package, which also includes complimentary breakfast with Friday or Saturday night accommodations. Descriptions of each class are as follows:
Detectives and Poets (April 23): Sample four wines and learn the secret black magic of the sommelier.
The Vintage Wine Experience (May 7): Travel back in time to learn why vintage is critical to a wine’s quality and taste.
The Amazing Guest (May 14): Learn the proper way to decant and taste a wine and how to select a wine to fit your flavor profile.
New World vs. Old World (May 21): Discover the distinctions between U.S. and European wines.
USA, California, Oregon (June 4): An introduction to the textbook qualities one should look for in great wines from the U.S.
Spain (June 11): Bullfighting, inviting accents and enchanting Iberian wines.
*After a dramatic, two-year transformation, The Jefferson Hotel made a splash on the D.C. hotel scene when it reopened on August 31, 2009. The former presidential pad had lost its luster, but the full-scale makeover by architectural and design firm ForrestPerkins put the 99-room hotel back on top. Rooms are decked out with antiques and period artifacts-- with all kinds of Jeffersonian touches. (Try an artisanal cocktail at Quill and you'll find yourself admiring the same parquet flooring pattern that Jefferson designed for Monticello's main salon.)