Learning locally: Our experiences trying some of Austin’s best classes

Follow along as we take advantage of all the educational fun the Capital City has to offer.

In the foreground to the right, a hand holds a mostly empty glass of white wine. In the background, other glasses of wine sit on a table next to a piece of paper with a chart mapping the profile of that wine's elements.

We built “profiles” for the wines we tasted based on how we rated them in six structural elements.

Photo by ATXtoday

Table of Contents

You, our dear readers, asked us to provide you with more content on local classes, and our pen is at your disposal.

That’s why we’re launching a series on what and where to learn in Austin, in which we attend some of ATX’s best classes and report back. Read about what we’ve tried so far:

Playground ATX’s ZiNG! Wine Workshop

What to expect
The ZiNG! class, led by Playground ATX founder Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky, is all about how to use the chemistry and structure of wine to best pair it with food.

The widely taught program begins with a tasting, rating wines on six elements: acidity, viscosity, fruitiness, sugar, alcohol levels, and tannins.

Then, attendees are led through the eight elements of food (salt, oxalates, acidity, umami, fat, sugar, spice, and protein) and presented with a plate of bites. Under Sue’s guidance, we tried out different wine and food combos, noting in a personal booklet which pairings worked best and why.

At the end, the Playground ATX team brought out even more wine and food from their current headliner, East Meets Wings, for us to experiment with more complex pairings.

What we learned
City Editor London here. In this class, I learned not only how to taste wine but also how to taste food. I also learned:

  • Tannins cause your mouth to feel drier because they cling to proteins in your saliva, which is why many red wines pair well with high-protein foods.
  • Acidic wines and acidic foods go together like Longhorns and football.
  • Tomatoes are considered umami — no, really.

Now, it’s your turn.
Playground ATX’s ZiNG! class costs $50 per person, and typically runs about 90 minutes.

The next class is slated for Monday, Feb. 19 — get tickets, or keep an eye on the restaurant’s events calendar for more upcoming dates.

Cover 3’s Cocktail Class

What to expect
Each class is themed at Cover 3, and we were lucky enough to catch the Taylor Swift edition — aptly called “Cocktail Class (Taylor’s Version)” — in February.

Not only were the attendees decked out in their best Taylor-inspired outfits, but the tables were decorated with custom menus, glitter, and unique friendship bracelets for each person to take home. Each guest also had their own mini charcuterie board for mid-class snacking.

Throughout the course of the night, we made four themed cocktails, including a “Champagne Problems” and a “Drop on My Guitar.” In between each guided cocktail creation, event leaders hosted Taylor Swift trivia rounds and doled out prizes for the winners.

What we learned

City Editor London here. Not only did I practically quadruple my Taylor Swift knowledge (did you know she was named after James Taylor?) but I also brought home four cocktail recipes I can’t wait to try out at home. Here’s my favorite:

Lavender Haze

  • 1 oz. lavender honey syrup
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 2.5 oz Empress gin
  • Lavender sprig, for garnish

Now, it’s your turn.
Cover 3’s next cocktail class is slated for Thursday, May 16. Just in time to kick off summer, the event will be hosted outside and focus on “Poolside and Patio Sippers.”

Tickets will cost $40 per person and go on sale in late April, so keep an eye on the event page for updates.

More from ATXtoday