Wine Sessions


Learn more about wine at Jessica’s at Swift House Inn.

This series of wine education events will be held on alternating Wednesdays throughout the spring from March 23, 2022 to June 1, 2022. Sessions will run from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will cost $59 per session. Sessions will include wine tastings and light accompanying “nibbles.” Restaurant dinner service will not be available.

If you have any questions or would like to make reservations over the phone for any or all of these sessions, please call the Swift House Front desk at (802) 388-9925. We encourage groups of friends to join together! We hope to keep the size of the sessions such that everyone will have plenty of time to ask any and all of their questions. Remember, if you sign up for all six classes, you'll save $54 and absorb a lifetime of wine tasting knowledge.

*We reserve the right to cancel or reschedule.



March 23 – Wine Basics

Wine should be easy and fun. And yet, there is a great deal of ritual involved with ordering, accepting, and opening a bottle that can honestly be somewhat intimidating. So many questions!

  • Am I picking the “correct” wine for my meal?
  • Will I look like a newbie?
  • Will the wine server take advantage of me?
  • What am I supposed to do with the cork?
  • What am I supposed to do when the server pours me a sample?
  • If I don’t like it, do I still have to accept the bottle?
  • Why do people always swirl the glass around?

In this session we’ll cover all of the basics you need to know to ensure a pleasant experience, whether at a restaurant, a private function, or your home. You’ll also have time (and are encouraged!) to ask any of those wine questions you’ve long held but didn’t know where to get a straight answer. Further, we’ll cover some the basics with respect to the types and varieties of wines commonly encountered in the average restaurant, and, we’ll taste examples of these wines to begin training your palate!

April 6 – The Noble Reds

Certain grape varieties have spread across the globe and their names are known to even the most neophyte of wine lovers: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc. What makes these grapes “noble” and why have they become so popular? We’ll look at the principal noble red varietals used in the world today and begin to learn to distinguish them in the glass. We’ll also look at how these grapes express themselves in differing ways as they have migrated around the globe.

April 20 – The Noble Whites

Just as there are very commonly known red grape varietals that have encircled the globe, a handful of white varietals have similarly gained acceptance world-wide: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling. In this session we’ll learn how these grapes have been used as they have migrated from their point of origin to dominate the global wine market.

May 4 – The Wines of France

France. Long held to be the center of the wine world, France holds an undeniably important position for anyone wanting to learn more about wine. In this session, we’ll look at the history of wine in France from the Etruscans to the present day. We’ll learn about the noble grapes of France and take a closer look at the primary wine producing regions within the nation (the A.O.C. system – Appellation d'Origine Controlée)

May 18 – The Wines of Spain

Spanish wines are frequently among the finest in the world and yet they remain a terrific value. Tradition has long been a very important aspect of the Spanish wine industry, yet recent decades have seen significant innovations and the introduction of very modern methods of production. Both new and old exist side by side, often in the same winery, each advising and improving the end product.

In this session we’ll look at the history of wine in Spain, the noble grapes of Spain and the primary regions within the Iberian Peninsula. Aging designations are of considerable importance in Spanish wines and we’ll learn the basics to understand these aging designations.

June 1 – Bubbles & Dessert Wines

Who doesn’t love bubbles? While Champagne is the best known of them all, sparkling wines are produced in many different ways all around the world. In this session we’ll celebrate the arrival of summer by learning something of the principal methods used to produce sparkling wine and taste examples of these wines from around the globe. We’ll also take a look at some classic dessert wines and how they differ from grocery store sweet wines.