Despite the partial relaxation of Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO), many of us may feel more comfortable playing it safe and remaining at home. As we collectively await the flattening of the Covid-19 curve, there’s no better way to entertain yourself (and your palate) than with an online wine-tasting class hosted by Prakash Ragavan, also known as Wine Daddy.
A personable, unpretentious oenophile with a diploma in wine from South Africa‘s Cape Wine Academy and a veritable king’s ransom of vintages in his Bukit Damansara cellar, Prakash’s online tasting sessions lead participants on an illuminating and educational journey. “There is so much depth and so many layers to understanding wine,” he says. “The Wine Journey is the first step to understanding wine and your palate – one only needs a thirst for wine, a thirst for knowledge, and a thirst for fun.”
Eschewing a dictatorial teaching style, Prakash’s classes revolve around blind tasting six 187 millimetre bottles of wine, which give no hints about their grape or provenance, apart from the colour. “The class is meant to develop participants’ abilities and boost their self-confidence so they can hold themselves up when discussing wine – curveballs are not on the menu!” he explains reassuringly. “They should approach the session with a mindset open to growth and learning. One can take away much if one is open and inquisitive. I find too many students reluctant to ask – until the third glass, that is. Then the questions just flow.”
A class typically lasts between two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours, with Prakash covering around 45 minutes of wine theory and two hours of tasting. Throughout the session, he’s happy to address topics ranging from wine-making (viticulture) to vine-growing (viniculture), or simply looking at why a wine tastes the way it does. Even a little extra wine knowledge, he assures us, goes a long way: “A deeper understanding of the world of wine which enable participants to better enjoy their future wine experiences and make better wine selection decisions.”
The wine-tasting lessons are priced at RM3,700 for a group of between one and 10 people, including six wine samples and fees for delivery and pickup.
Photographs from Unsplash