Class teaches students how to enjoy good wine

If you ever wondered what wine pairs well with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, PNW offers a class just for you.

HTM 39000 Wine Appreciation is a survey of all the major wine-producing regions in the world taught by professor Matthew Baum. 

“I start the course by introducing the students to how to appreciate wine,” he said. “I teach them a lot about the world of wine.”

The course is broken up into different sections. First, students learn how to taste wine, then they will learn about different wine-making techniques, followed by how to pair wines with different foods. 

Students also delve into the history of how major wine-producing countries make their different wines. 

“Usually, I’ll lecture about a wine region before having my students taste some wines from that specific region,” Baum said. 

Depending on the class, students may sample up to three kinds of wine. 

Baum takes wine tasting very seriously and encourages students to prepare before coming to class. 

“The day of tasting you shouldn’t drink coffee, you have to eat before you come and make sure you’re hydrated,” he said. 

The classroom is outfitted with two glass cases, each filled with different alcoholic beverages from all over the world. Next to each bottle is a corresponding glass, one that heightens the drinking experience.

“Different styles of wine are actually supposed to be used in different types of glassware,”  said Baum. “When you see those wine glasses that have a wider bowl, those are used for red wines … For white wines, the glass is a little bit smaller, to really concentrate those aromas.”  

Though the course is geared for hospitality majors, Baum realized PNW students from all departments wanted to appreciate wine. 

“This spring, a majority of the students are not HTM or College of Business majors,” he said. “Everybody has a mutual interest in wine, which I think is cool.”

And Baum is adamant that his students learn. 

“The idea here isn’t that anyone is getting buzzed or intoxicated,” he said “It’s about appreciating wine.” 

Baum encourages all students to reach out to him regarding interest in the course. You can contact Baum at mjbauman@pnw.