Wine School Newsletter

Suggested Classes

A few upcoming classes at the school that you should consider attending.

east coast wines

First Growths of the East Coast

Thursday, November 15th at 7:30 pm

There are hundreds of wineries scattered from Virginia to Maine. Over the last few years, a quiet revolution has begun in their vineyards. Visionary winemakers are making exceptional wines and doing so without much fanfare.

whiskey class

The Whiskey Class

Friday, November 23 from 7:30

The Thanksgiving edition of our whiskey class. Trust us, you are going to need this. Keith will be pulling a few of his favorite bottles and a few new cocktails to unleash on the world.


Spanish Wine

The Spanish Wine Class

Saturday, November 24 at 4:00 pm

Spain: It’s hands down the most exciting wine region in the world today. In this class, we serve up a full panoply of dazzling reds and whites from premier regions like Rioja, to the less-familiar — but no less stellar — such as Priorat and Rias Baixas.


food and wine pairing

Food & Wine Scholar™

Mondays, March 11th to May 9th from 7:30 to 9:30 pm

This wine course qualifies for the NWS Advanced Sommelier Certification Program. Demystify the challenge of food and beverage pairings. This wine course presents a practical, user-friendly approach grounded in understanding the direct relationships and reactions between food and wine components, flavors, and textures.


Philly Who?

Philly Who?

Our fearless leader is featured on the Philly Who, a podcast telling the stories of the doers, thinkers, and performers of Philadelphia.

The interview focusses on how Keith Wallace started the Wine School. As you’d expect, it’s a funny, obscene, and uplifting story. But be warned: there are some heart-breaking moments, too. This is the story that Keith has never told before.

Court of Master Sommeliers Fiasco

As you may have heard, 25 Master Sommeliers have been stripped of their titles due to alleged cheating during their blind tasting exam. This is a black eye on wine education in general, but especially for the Court of Master Sommeliers, the company that owns the “Master Sommelier” trademark.

We’ve always had concerns with how the Master Sommelier exams were conducted, especially the cloak of secrecy around how the CMS deploys and grades exams. It’s a time or reckoning for CMS, and we think this incident may be the tip of the iceberg.

Food & Wine Magazine

Congrats to WSoP Alumnus Jack Cunicelli for making into the pages of Food & Wine! His wine shop and grocery has been named one of “The 15 Most Important Natural Wine Bars in America.”   Jack attended classes at the Wine School from 2009 to 2017. Cheers, Jack!  He’s been on our “Best Wine Shops In Philly” for the past two years.

Wine Reviews

All wines are available at the PA Wine & Spirits Stores. To find bottles near you, we suggest using our Wine Finder App:

Soléna Estate 2015 “Grande Cuvee” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Soléna Estate 2015 “Grande Cuvee” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

At under $20, this is a must-have bottle of Pinot Noir. On the nose, classic bramble and wild strawberry with just a hint of jasmine. The palate offers up a ripe texture with a clean CO2 freshness that keeps the perception of acidity high and mighty. Flavors of smoked cloves, Kola nut, and raspberries are lovely. Flavors progress into a finish of herbal tea, strawberries, and burnt roses.

Price: $17.99  | Wine Rating: 91 Points | Availability: Wine & Spirits Stores in PA



Yves Cheron 2015 “Les Dentelles” Cotes du Rhone

Yves Cheron 2015 “Les Dentelles” Cotes du Rhone

Mostly Grenache, with a small amount of Syrah, the Les Dentelles is an impressive wine, especially considering it’s price point. It’s largely declassified Gigondas fruit, and that quality shows. The balance of opposing textures is the key to the balance here. A rich lushness that veers towards blueberry confiture and fresh figs is kept in check with a stark minerality that cuts through the richness. Aromas of lavender and violets make way to notes of Asian 5-spice. Fermented in cement tanks with no oak.

Price: $14.99  | Wine Rating: 93 Points | Availability: Wine & Spirits Stores in PA





Castello di Gabbiano 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva

A nose reminiscent of smoking a cigar in a new car. The sauvage aromas cut nicely into barrel spices and sweet vanilla notes. Finish tightens into fresh strawberries, mineral and balsamic with high tones and gritty tannins. A finely tuned medium-bodied Sangiovese with dense oak notes. The finish drizzles chocolate over lush black fruit.

Price: $13.99  | Wine Rating: 90 Points | Availability: Wine & Spirits Stores in PA


Michele Chiarlo 2015 "Le Orme" Barbera d'Asti

There isn’t enough Barbera in the world. There used to be a bit too much, but that was back in the bad old days of 1985.  Thirty years on, the wine has lost its fans to other parts of Italy. For Piedmont fans, they usually opt for the Nebbiolos of Barolo and Barbaresco. Those looking for inexpensive bottles tend to grab a bottle of Dolcetto.

Personally, I think it’s high time to rediscover this long-forgotten grape, and this bottle is a great introduction.  On the nose, cigar and vetiver mingle with fresh cranberry and plum. A smoked plum and earthy vanilla lie of a core of crunchy tannins that are softened under the lush body of this wine. Finishes with fresh fruit and sage.

Price: $14.99  | Wine Rating: 91 Points | Availability: Wine & Spirits Stores in PA



L’Ecole No 41 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley

L’Ecole No 41 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley

Walla Walla is one of the great unheralded wine regions in America. I’ve always been of the opinion that’s largely due to the name. Walla Walla, Washington doesn’t have the elegant flow of Napa, California.

This bottling is a blend of five vineyards, mostly from their own estate: Ferguson, Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills, Loess, & Summit View. Exotic spice with damson plums. A nose of cardamon and vanilla with a note of burnt sage. Dense fruit gives way to layers of tannic complexity with a deep rounded texture under the muscular composition. A finish of figs and vanilla.

Price: $24.99  | Wine Rating: 94 Points | Availability: Wine & Spirits Stores in PA


Contino 2014 Rioja Reserva

Contino 2014 Rioja Reserva

Aged two years in oak, the Contino is Tempranillo with about 10% Graciano, and a tiny addition of Mazuelo and Garnacha. As typical for many Rioja producers, American oak use is prominent, about 50% of the barrel program,  the other half French.

Structured into layers of flinty tannins, flavors of violets, damson plum, and crushed vanilla emerge on the palate. Burnt sandalwood on the finish and aroma frames red fruit flavors beautifully. There is a distinct and fresh purity here.

Price: $29.99  | Wine Rating:94 Points | Availability: Wine & Spirits Stores in PA


Wine School of Philadelphia
109 S. 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103