Draft Magazine: Getting schooled at the Philly Beer School

“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.

Goose Ridge 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

The big four –Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, International Wine Cellar, and the Wine Advocate– all liked this wine. None of them loved it, but they all gave the wine a solid rating in the high eighties. Since they NEVER  agree on a wine, I had to pick up...

Nieto Senetiner 2012 Reserva Torrontes

Nieto Senetiner is an ancient winery by New World standards: it was founded over a century ago in the La Rioja region of Argentina. While their early work is lost to history, the past decade has shown consistent skills in winemaking. Their wines are a solid bet for...

Terranoble 2009 Carmenere Gran Reserva

Most folks who came to my table at a recent wine tasting event hadn’t heard of Carmenere, and the majority of them opted for something more familiar. One guy, on the other hand, confidently asked for a glass. “Have you had this before?” I probed,...