My favorite adage is: ‘You never stop learning.’

And my greatest satisfaction comes when I see former wine students or wine  tour alumni distinguish themselves in the world of wine.

People like Len Gulino who joined our wine club Wine Lovers of Connecticut years ago and went on to become a fellow wine educator. Or William Miller who once took a wine appreciation class I taught for the University of New Haven Hotel/Restaurant Department and has since become the owner of a major wine shop in Connecticut.

Or Judge Bill Riccitelli who has been on numerous Wine Lovers Tours and faithfully presents a wine class for his wine club, Rhode Island Academy of Wines, duplicating wines from wineries we visited. Last evening Bill invited me to his presentation of wines from our Lombardy tour which he gave at the University Club in Providence. Each of the 30 people present was given a carefully prepared packet with maps and details about each of the 10 wines tasted. The club has its own set of

Bill Riccitelli at the University Club

Bill Riccitelli at the University Club

Riedel glasses and each setting had 10 glasses. And Bill selected some gems, from the Ricci Cubastro Franciacorta Extra Brut to the Nino Negri 5 Stelle Sfursat.

Bill encouraged discussions after each wine and at the conclusion, divided the wines into 3 categories and asked for a vote on the most popular wines from each category. The 3 winners were all the lowest priced wines in their categories: white wine: Ca Lojera Lugana del Lupo 2013 $17; red wine: Nino Negri Valtellina Quadrio 2010 $21; and Sfursat: Nino Negri 5 Stelle 2010 $68.

And if I ever need advice, where do I go?  Len, William and the Judge are always willing and able to help in a situation where the students have learned more than the teacher. And I’m happy and proud of that.

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