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    Blog

    Discover our newest study & certification program

    After nearly two years of hard work, we are thrilled to present the Wine Scholar Guild’s latest certification course…

    The Spanish Wine Scholar™ (SWS) Program!

    The program officially launches in October of 2019, but it is already garnering significant attention around the globe.

    Read more...

    A Short History of Spain in 9 Glasses of Wine with Paul Wagner

    Most wine presentations focus on viticulture and enology, but wine is a product of local and regional culture far more than it is of geology and climate.

    Exploring the world of Spanish wine through the lenses of the country’s history and culture, Paul Wagner traces the roots of the wines that we drink today to the key historical elements that make Spain one of the most fascinating cultures in Europe. 

    In the end, you will understand far more about Spanish wine that you can glean from a discussion of rocks and rainfall, and you will have a new vision of how to talk, and teach, about wine.

    Presenter: Paul Wagner

    Paul Wagner studied sociology and education at U. C. Santa Cruz and classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Seville, Spain. 

    He has been an instructor for Napa Valley College's Viticulture and Enology department for the past twenty-five years.  He is also a guest lecturer at many universities, including the Wine Tourism MBA program through the universities of Bordeaux, Porto, and Rovira Virgili, and has spoken at more than eighty conferences throughout the world on wine, wine tourism, wine education, public affairs, and wine marketing.

    With Liz Thach and Janeen Olsen, he authored a book:  Wine Marketing & Sales, Strategies for a Saturated Market by The Wine Appreciation Guild, which won the Gourmand International Award in 2008 for the best wine book of the year for professionals. A second edition of that work was published in 2011, and a third edition will appear this year.  His second book:  Artisan Public Relations, is due to be published in 2019, and a third book, Wine Sales and Distribution, with John Crotts and Byron Marlowe, will be published in 2019 by Rowman and Littlefield.  He was a columnist for Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine for ten years, and served on the board of directors of the Society of Wine Educators for many years.  With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, he hosts “Bottle Talk” at http://www.rickandpaulwine.com/ a weekly conversation about wine. 

    Paul Wagner has judged more than 100 international wine competitions, is a founding member of the Academy of Wine Communications, a consultant for the International Wine and Food Society in London, a member of the nominations committee of the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintner’s Hall of Fame, and a member of the Wine Marketing and Tourism Conference Advisory Board. He was inducted into the Spadarini della Castellania di Soave in 2005.  In 2009 he was honored with a “Life Dedicated to Wine” award at the Feria Nacional del Vino (FENAVIN) in Spain, and in 2018 was given the American Wine Society’s annual Award of Merit, joining such luminaries as Robert Mondavi and Gina Gallo, as well as named the winner of the McPherson Distinguished Teacher Award at Napa Valley College.

    Mr. Wagner founded Balzac Communications & Marketing on April 1, 1991.  His clients there included the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Caymus Vineyards, Seagram Chateau and Estate Wines, Consorzio di Chianti Classico, Furmint USA, La Rioja Alta A.S., Constellation Wines, Sogevinus of Portugal, Bodegas Salentein, Villa Trasqua, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Regione Siclia, and a host of other wine, food, and regional tourism clients.  He is now retired from active duty at the agency, and enjoys the title of President Emeritus there.

    Read more...

    The Ten Best Spanish Red Wines: A Beginner’s Guide

    Spanish red wines get a lot of press for being good values, but shopping in the Spanish wine aisle can be as daunting if you aren’t sure what grows where within the world of Spanish wines.

    Many of Spain’s best red wines are labeled with the name of the wine appellation, rarely by grape variety. At its most simplistic, Spain can be divided into three “bands” for red grape varieties and wines. The Tempranillo grape variety excels in wines from central and northern Spain, Garnacha in wines from northeastern Spain and Monastrell in southeastern Spanish wines.

    If you’ve ever felt completely overwhelmed while browsing an Spanish wine section, knowing just a few key wine names will help keep your shopping trip focused and ensure that you have the perfect wine to drink at a moment’s notice.

    Read more...

    Hola Spain’s Great Match NYC!

    Rick Fisher, our Spanish Wine Scholar Program™ Developer, recently returned from New York City where he was attending the 24th annual Spain’s Great Match, the nation's leading Spanish wine event organized by the Trade Commission of Spain in conjunction with Wines From Spain.

    Read more...

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