Hurrah! I was on the wait list for the first Italian wine class at the Austin Wine Merchant and I got in! Jeremy Parzen teaches the six-class series. Jeremy has a Ph.D. in Italian from UCLA and is a published author and translator of Italian works. In addition, his articles on food, wine and food history have appeared in national cooking magazines.
He is at his best in a class like the ones at Austin Wine Merchant. This is not a wine geek class but a very approachable look at the food and wine of some of the major producing regions of Italy. When talking about the structure of the wine, he calls the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo a Friday night wine...good with pizza. The Campania Aglianico is a Saturday night wine... for steaks and hearty stew.
And....he has kept all wines in a reasonable price range. All were $13 - $25. These are beautiful wines, many from small producers.
There are five more classes: Tuscany (Oct 13, $37.50), The Other Piedmont (Oct. 20, $25), Piedmont's De Facto Cru System (Oct. 27, $37.50), the Enigmatic Wines of the Venato (Nov. 3, $37.50), and Italian Wine & Civilization (Nov. 10, $25)