This week in Branson I took a Wine 101 class at Mount Pleasant Winery and couldn’t have had a better experience.
Mount Pleasant Winery was founded in 1859 and is located in Augusta, Missouri. The 155-year-old winery has earned a collection of awards and high ratings for its fine wine, produced from 12 grape varieties over 78 acres of land.
The Branson location opened in April 2008 and features 9,200 square feet of award-winning wines that guests can sample and even have bottled themselves straight from a beautiful 600-gallon French oak barrel.
Mount Pleasant is especially inviting for anyone interested in learning more about wine because the staff is extremely welcoming and helpful. I’m not much of a drinker in general, but I do love tasting wine, learning about the production processes and experimenting with food pairing but run-ins with “wine snobs” have been discouraging in the past. At Mount Pleasant Winery in Branson, the staff will meet you where you are, gladly make suggestions and give you the chance to taste things before you fork out the money to buy a whole bottle.
In the same sense, the winery is the perfect opportunity for regular wine drinkers to expand their palate, mingle with other wine lovers and purchase their favorite selections directly from the source instead of at the grocery store.
The Wine 101 class I attended is designed to accommodate a group of visitors all at once who are interested in tasting a variety of wines and learning how to pair them with foods. It was taught by one of the pleasant staff members, Bonnie, who was absolutely wonderful. She was extremely laid back and made me feel welcome and comfortable enough to ask as many questions as I wanted.
She walked the class through the Five S’s of wine tasting as we sampled nine different wines ranging from a selection of semi sweets, sweets, dry whites, dry reds and dessert wines.
Alongside the Five S’s (See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Savor), Bonnie shared a wealth of knowledge about a variety of wines, their proper food pairings and how to get the most from your wine tasting experience. For example, I had no idea there was a correct way to hold your wine glass, but apparently there is. (And sadly, I’ve been holding mine the wrong way all this time!) Holding the glass by the stem instead of the bowl keeps it cooler for longer because the heat from your hand isn’t warming it.
The Wine 101 class was such an enjoyable time and I would do it again in a heartbeat. The coolest thing about the whole experience is that the class began as a group of quiet, complete strangers standing around a circular bar with empty glasses, but it was quickly transformed into a group of rowdy friends, mingling and laughing over wine, cheese and chocolates.
An additional perk: when you take the class you’ll leave with a coupon for 15%, a complimentary wine glass and a Wine 101 packet, complete with wine tasting notes, a food pairing chart, wine tasting terms and important information about wine. But most importantly, you’ll leave with a new appreciation for wine and a new group of friends.
Located right in the center of all the action, just a quarter mile from the intersection of Highway 76 and Highway 165, it’s convenient and fun to stop by for a quick tasting, a wine tasting class or just to pick up your favorite Mount Pleasant wine.
For more information or to purchase your admission to Mount Pleasant’s Wine 101 class, click here.
Questions? Comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them!