To quote Valencia’s Las Provincias newspaper, “Of the private wine courses, the most interesting and prestigious is without doubt the one that Joan C. Martí (it should of course, be Joan C. Martín) provides in his Aula Vinícola TastaVins.”
The course comprises winetastings of over 100 wines from around the world, field work in vineyards, and coursework relating to the theory and practice of wine.
Earlier this week, Aula Vinícola awarded diplomas to the Tastavins class of 2010, the 7th year to graduate. These were presented by Javier Gandía of Bodegas Vicente Gandia, in turn the recipients of the inaugural Prize for Good Communication established in 2010 buy Aula Vinícola.
But, as the course is all about wine, above and beyond diplomas, accompanying the event was a lavishing winetasting of Port and Madeira. The wines of Madeira are coming back into fashion (see Trevor Elliott’s website and new book, though they remain less well-known than they might be in Spain. Port is highly regarded, but, in my experience, rarely seen in Spain. I imagine it’s a neighbour thing.
I might have attended my own university graduation ceremony all those years ago if there had been 6 wine glasses of different sizes laid out for me. No doubt as punishment for my cavalier attitude back then, non-wine commitments obliged me to leave this grand event, in the restaurant of El Corte Inglés on Av. Francia, just as the first wines were being served. The excitement and focused attention of those about to enjoy the tasting spoke volumes for the capacity of Aula Tastavins to channel and refine the enthusiasm of those wine lovers who take the course. And the choice of Port and Madeira reflects the broad horizons that Aula Vinícola opens out to its alumni.