An article written by Brian Freedman, originally published in the Mainline Times. “There’s no pressure here,” instructor Michael Alleruzzo said. “We’re just going to sit back and have fun. We’re going to enjoy some great wines…So I’ll be right back with the sparkling wine and we’ll get ready from there.” Less than five minutes later we were sipping from our glasses of Prosecco, comparing our tasting notes, and feeling utterly at ease. I cannot think of a happier way to begin a wine class: An enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable instructor,...read more
Wine School Diploma Candidate and Sommelier Tom Sobieski was on a recent Beats and Eats podcast (is that still the right phrase, it’s so 2006) which you can check out in all it’s glory right here. Tom is known to his drinking buddies (the author included) as the Wine Buddhist. And it’s not just because he likes his belly rubbed, either. Check out the audio for the details. Tom writes about the interview, as well: Each time I open a bottle, I am on a journey. I am on a path that allows me to visit a different country...read more
“Philadelphia is to beer what Sonoma is to wine,” says Keith Wallace to anyone who’ll listen. Considering the source, the proclamation, perhaps incendiary outside Pennsylvania, might sound outright puzzling within city limits. That’s because in 2001, Wallace, a winemaker, wine columnist, and author of two upcoming wine books, founded and still runs Philly’s best-known vinology school. So why is he extolling his territory’s beer lust at the expense of its pursuit of viticultural knowledge?
Because, acknowledging a craft revolution, he’s invited beer to take a permanent seat at The Wine School‘s table.
Wallace’s partner, a burly bald man named Dean Browne, asserts the alliance as he introduces himself to a group assembled in one of The Wine School’s classrooms on an early March night.read more
This article is one of the few articles written about Keith’s life before founding the Wine School. It prominently features Rosie, his dog of many years. Sadly, Rosie passed away in March, 2013. The story was originally published by the Chestnut Hill Local in 2008. The article is reprinted solely for educational purposes. It is intended to offer insight into the history of Wine Education in Philadelphia, and our place within that history. Links to the original article and author are given below. Miracle dog helped owner...read more
The festivities began with a sponsors’ reception, and featured speaker Keith Wallace, owner of The Wine School of Philadelphia. “We do charity events all of the time because they are fun,” said Wallace. “The people in Phoenixville are open-minded, and it was an honor to be here.”
Wallace said that people are becoming more and more curious about wine. “I like that so I can give them more information about wine,” he said. “They are enthusiastic and have a lot of good questions.”
Wallace had 125 bottles of wine in tow, and said he usually brings 25 percent more just in case. “We opened almost all of them,” he said. “We try to bring a half a bottle per person, which equals three glasses total. It’s about keeping everyone happy so they can drive home.”read more
Vince McMahon doesn’t want anyone thinking his wrestling superstars are a bunch of wine-tasting wimps.
McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. has told the American Wine Foundation, owner of the Wine School of Philadelphia with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, that it is infringing on its copyright by calling one of its wine classes “Sommelier Smackdown.” As any WWE fan knows, “Smackdown” is the name of one of its most popular franchises.
In a letter to the Wine School of Philadelphia, the WWE told the wine sippers that its use of the word “smackdown” is “likely to create consumer confusion as to WWE’s affiliation, sponsorship and/or approval” of the class. Yes, because we all know how similar wine snobs are to wrestling fanatics.
My friends in Great Britain insist no holiday can be merry without mulled wine. But why should the Brits have all the fun?
The European tradition of mulling wine started in ancient Greece where heat and spices were used to salvage old wine once the summer’s harvest went bad. In the Middle Ages, mulled wine was credited with medicinal and aphrodisiac powers (what serf wouldn’t love to snuggle up with a hot toddy), and in Victorian England a spot of tea was added to a glass of mulled wine and dubbed “Christmas tea.”
In the United States, nearly everyone cites eggnog as our most typical holiday libation. Historically this creamy holiday tradition has beat out mulled wine due to the availability of milk and eggs from our plentiful farms, as well as the rum that’s been an affordable U.S. import from the Caribbean.read more