New Class Removes the Mystique from Food and Wine Pairing

Christine DePasquale“Wine tasting intimidates most people,” says Christine DePasquale. “It can be overwhelming, especially considering all the regions, varietals, vintages, and so on.” To make matters worse, trying to match a bottle of wine with a dish you’re cooking or ordering at a restaurant can leave many diners perplexed.

Sure, we all know the rule about red wine with meat and white wine with fish. Beyond that basic rule, food and wine pairing is a complete mystery for many of us.

It doesn’t have to be. Ms. DePasquale teaches a class that’s designed to take the mystique out of the process and make food and wine pairing fun again.

And she insists the class is not just for novices. In fact, she says it’s appropriate for anyone in the industry, including tasting room personnel, winegrape growers – anyone who sells wine in one form or another. “The class is a great way to educate staff,” she says.

Since the class focuses on pairing food with wines from Mendocino and Lake County, it also provides insight in what makes this area so special and why it’s considered one of the serious wine-growing regions in California, if not the world.

One goal of the class is to help students understand the language of wine tasting both for developing an appreciation of wine and for helping explain that appreciation to others. Even seasoned tasting room managers can learn valuable pointers and become better at communicating the joy of food and wine to their customers.

Ultimately, says Ms. DePasquale, food and wine are personal choices. “It comes down to what you like, and knowing why you like it,” she says. So the class is partly about being able to identify the flavors and qualities that appeal to you and then speak with confidence about them.

The class, titled “CAM-71 Food and Wine Pairing,” is open to everyone. It’s part of the Mendocino College curriculum and is taught at all three campuses:

  • Mondays 6:00 – 7:50pm, Lakeport
  • Tuesdays 6:00 – 7:50pm, Ukiah
  • Thursdays 5:30 – 7:20pm, Fort Bragg

Classes begin the last week of January 2017 and run through mid-May. To register, visit The cost for this one-unit class is $46.

For more information, contact Ms. DePasquale directly:


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