Only three classes in and I'm already thinking a lot about land, agriculture, weather, cultivation, harmony, nutrients, bodies of water, bees, etc. These things dictate what happens in food culture. When learning about the food and wine regions in France and Italy, I couldn't help but be thankful for all my travels around Southern California. When the teacher was going over fruit trees, and herbs grown in a particular region, I envisioned California's Central Coast and valleys we have visited and tasted wine. Sure enough, along with grape vineyards, I typically see rosemary, thyme and sage bushes, persimmon and pepper trees, and fruit stands selling almonds, cherries, etc. It was like when the teacher was talking about certain areas, I already knew what went together, harvest-wise, taste-wise and agriculture-wise from observing similar regions in California. It made me grateful, as well as hungry for a roadtrip! I can't afford Europe right now, but maybe I can pool together enough for doggie daycare, gas, wine-tasting fees and a motel!
Wine club idea: pick a spot in California, find out its parallel, and find the corresponding region in France or Italy (or wherever) and confine the tasting region to these places..