Fox School of Wine classes back in session after a summer and fall vacation
Weekend tastings start Dec. 19
The Fox School of Wine’s “educational happy hour” is ready for a relaunch after taking a summer and fall break due to the coronavirus.
The Weekend Wine Series will once again start its weekly courses at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19, at Deer Valley’s Silver Baron Lodge, said Kirsten Fox, an executive sommelier and the wine school’s headmistress.
“When all of Park City got shut down in mid-March, we went to an online format, and had fun until early June,” Fox said. “After that, I decided we weren’t going to open for live classes, because the (social distancing) rules kept changing every two weeks.”
After monitoring the situation over the summer and fall and keeping tabs on guidelines set by the Summit County Health Department, Fox felt she could begin hosting classes again at the Silver Baron Lodge.
“They are opening up their 200-person meeting space, so we will be in a space that is huge with high ceilings,” she said. “We are so grateful to them for doing this, and I feel comfortable that the students and staff will be as safe as possible during this continuing pandemic.”
All classes, which will begin with one titled “Faves of the Headmistress,” sells out at 22 people, so there will be ample space to socially distance, Fox said.
“In addition to the 22 students, we’ll include the professor, my assistant and me,” she said. “Everyone will be seated in different areas at a minimum of 6 feet apart, and we’ll all wear masks when we’re not seated or tasting the wines. It’s the safe way we can gather, have fun, taste some wine and learn a little bit on a Saturday night.”
The class curriculum will remain the same, according to Fox.
Each class will run from 6-7 p.m., and students will showcase five wines based on a weekly theme.
“At the end of the classes we will host a blind tasting,” she said. “We do this so the higher-level students, who are trying to test their palates and learn more about the nuances of flavors and aromas, can hone their skills and see if they can guess the wine.”
The winter classes, which will run through the end of March, are open to anyone aged 21 and older, and registration is open at foxschoolofwine.com.
“All the classes are on our homepage calendar, so people can click on the ones that interest them to buy tickets,” Fox said.
In addition to the in-person Weekend Wine Series classes, Fox School of Wine also offers 30-minute pre-recorded classes, and live-and-private virtual parties.
“We only have one on-demand prerecorded class, and we’re working on more,” Fox said.
The one available is titled “Inexpensive, but Impressive Wine Gifts” that comes complete with a shopping list, she said.
“I cover 12 wines that cost $25 or less, and I separate them in four categories: sparkling, white, reds and dessert wines,” Fox said. “They all have interesting stories, and I explain how I would be proud to walk into a party as an executive sommelier with one of these wines.”
The live virtual wine tasting parties are ideal for private groups such as birthdays, business gatherings, book clubs and more, and people from all around the country can participate in these online events, Fox said.
“I will send an email to the host, who chooses the theme, and they can forward it to anyone they want to invite on the call,” she said.
The partygoers, in turn, buy their own bottles of wine that adhere to the theme, so they can open them at the right moment.
The chat is monitored by one of Fox’s assistants, and at the end of the party, Fox hands over the hosting responsibilities to one of the party members, so they can continue to socialize after Fox signs off.
“Being a part of a group of human beings connecting with each other in positive settings makes me feel like we’re part of the movement to lift up the world,” Fox said. “Our school mission is to, first, have fun, then taste wines and finally learn something. It fills my soul to know that we have figured out how we can fulfill our school’s mission safely at this time.”
When: 6-7 p.m. Saturdays, starting Dec. 19
Where: Deer Valley’s Silver Baron Lodge
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