The 15th Annual International Education Month kicked off at Bainbridge State College on Thursday with a lecture given by Dr. William Cloonan, formerly of Florida State University, about the importance of French wine.
Cloonan began his lecture by informing the students that there is nothing pretentious about wine.
“It has nothing to do with impressing people or being sophisticated,” said Cloonan. “If you drink wine, it’s because you like it. Drink for pleasure and not to impress anyone.”
There have been debates about what food should be eaten with specific wines. For example, red wine has been said to go well with steak.
During a dinner party in France, Cloonan was told there was not a specific rule for what foods went best with wines.
He said, “Drink wine with the food you like. That’s the advice that was given to me by a French wine expert during a party in France.”
Cloonan explained to the students about knowing the bottle shapes of different wines. For example, he pointed out that a Bordeaux wine bottle will be straight and tall with high shoulders. Burgundy wines have bottles with sloping shoulders and a wider body than the rest.
The speaker also taught students how to read a wine bottle label to understand more about the wine.
“It’s important to always start at the bottom of the bottle and go up,” he said.
The label will tell important things about the wine such as the country of origin, name of the chateau or producer, the vintage or year, name of the wine and region of origin.
For many people, they believe the older the wine the better. However, Cloonan explained that this is not always true. There are good and bad years.
He said, “The age of wine is an interesting concept. Older isn’t necessarily better. Like with anything, you will need to look up the year to see if it was a good year.”
He also explained the experience of drinking a glass of wine. According to French tradition, a person must use all five of his or her senses when drinking.
“Before you begin drinking the wine, it is important to let it breathe,” explained Cloonan. “Pull the cork out and let it set for a while. With a good wine, you won’t taste the alcohol.”
Refreshments and sparkling grape juice were available to attendants during the lecture.
International Education Month will continue with the Tallahassee Ballet performing “An Evening of Dance and Music” on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kirbo Regional Center. This event is sponsored in part by BSC’s Carter Arts and Lecture Series and the Student Government Association. The performance is free and open to the public.