Back to Blog

Umbra Steps into the Wine World

 Hemingway said, “Wine is the most civilized thing in the world.”

Thursday evening, a group of Umbra Institute students conquered the author’s marker of civilization at a wine tasting at Énonè, a favorite local enoteca.

With the guidance of longtime sommelier Silvia Bartolini, the students learned how to analyze wine based on visual, olfactory, and taste cues. Employing the initial swirl, sniff, and sip test, students paired a red, white, and dessert wine with a corresponding appetizer.

After noting the important descriptors on the wine bottle label determining vintage, alcohol content, and quality, Bartolini showed students the appropriate glass for each drink, from wine to water to whiskey.

“I came to Italy hoping to learn more about wine,” said Umbra student Miranda Woods as she surveyed the notes she took during the tasting. “This definitely helped. It’s fun and something I’d never tried.”

On the other side of the spectrum, Woods’ roommate, Devin Pence, grew up near her father’s vineyard in California.

“I loved learning things about wine that I didn’t know before,” Pence said. “Tonight gave me a different global perspective on the wine-making process.”

After the official wine tasting was over, students chatted with Bartolini, scribbling her recommendations for favorite nearby Umbra vineyards (see your student handbook for the same recommendations!).

At the end of the evening, the group climbed back up the winding steps of San’Ercolano, dinner-party ready.

Follow Us on Instagram to Stay In the Know!