Teaching wine classes is always fun. It is a rare person in attendance that doesn’t already have a sense of the wonder of wine. Occasionally someone will bring a spouse, friend or significant other in hopes of lighting their wine fire and in those cases my job is to fan the flames. All in all teaching wine classes is a blast because most everyone has an interest in the topic….and they’re drinking wine.
This week however, I had a different audience that added a new challenge to the excitement of wine education. I spent two days with a group of junior and senior Restaurant and Hotel Management majors from Texas Tech University. These millennials were more the connoisseur of “dollar PBR” nights than wine and food pairings. To make matters more interesting, my daughter was part of the class. Not only was I there to enlighten the unenlightened but I needed to do it in a way that made my daughter proud or at least not embarrass her.
The ten students were part of a May-mester program. Instead of a traditional semester class on campus in Lubbock, Texas, the group was based at a satellite campus in the tiny Hill Country town of Junction, Texas where they completed two intensive weeks of all-day class and field trips. From Junction they made excursions to San Antonio, Austin and popular tourist destinations around the Hill Country. The campus is rustic to say the least, offering a summer camp appearance complete with bunkhouses and swimming pool, rather than a collegiate environment.