KCuvée is aiming to elevate the wine tasting experience in Central Florida.
KCuvée is a wine education and consulting company established by Katie Bean and Carolina Marin (their first initials are the K and the C of KCuvée). Their tasting classes differ from others in that they’re not social gatherings disguised as wine tastings – the two are serious about providing an educational experience.
Which is not to say they don’t have fun doing it. The two young women are amiable and take a good-humored approach to the topic at hand. But they’re determined that even well-seasoned wine lovers leave one of their classes with some new knowledge.
I recently attended KCuvée’s Bubbles from Around the World class featuring sparkling wines from Italy, Spain and France. The class was held at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House – tables well distanced; doors fully open to allow air flow – and featured an optional dinner following the tasting prepared by chef Kevin Fonzo.
No food is served during the tasting, not even cheese. Marin told the class that food can too easily change the way the wine tastes. The exclusion of food during the tasting certainly isn’t to save money – the event is a slick experience that includes a multimedia presentation, a high quality printed guide and even tiny jars filled with such things as roses, bread and yeast to use as aroma prompts.
And the wines were high quality, too.
We started with the 2018 Redentore Grand Cuvée prosecco from Italy then moved to Spain for a Raventos Blanc de Blanc cava. They were followed by a lovely rosé from Ruinart and a bold Bollinger Special Cuvée. We finished with Veuve Cliquot’s 2008 La Grand Dame, a truly exceptional Champagne that retails for approximately $190 a bottle. I’ve been a fan of Veuve’s yellow label for a while, but tasting the Grand Dame was a treat.
Marin and Bean explained to the class not just what we should be tasting but even where on the tongue we should be tasting it.
Marin, above left, takes the lead at the tastings. She graduated as valedictorian from the Venezuelan Academy of Sommeliers in 2012 and studied (in French) at l’Ecole des Vins et Spiritueux in Paris. Bean, a native of England, uses her tour operator knowlege to keep the class structured and running smoothly. This is not a quick taste-and-get-out experience – classes can run two-plus hours.
The dinner that followed the Bubbles tasting had a truffles theme, with Fonzo serving a non-tomato bruschetta with whipped ricotta, wild mushrooms and black truffles (delicious); potato and celery root purée topped with poached egg and white truffle; pici pasta with a sauce of braised pork, beef and pancetta with black truffles; and a panna cotta dessert with truffle-infused honey.
KCuvée’s upcoming classes include an Introductory Wine Course; Wine Regions of the World at a Glance; Big Bold Reds; and France Discovered. On December 17, KCuvée will offer its first virtual course. For details and booking information, visit KCuvée’s web page.