True wine connoisseurs teach themselves to distinguish varietals, identify flawed bottles, and cry pure chardonnay. Become one with the grape with today's Groupon: for $10, you get a wine class at Rocket Market (up to a $20 value).
Rocket Market’s grape guru, Matt Dolan, and cheese artiste, Shanda Shepherd, pool their resources to lead a series of epicurean wine-and-cheese classes held every Friday at 7 p.m. At each session, groups no larger than 25 converge on a selection of artisan cheeses, La Brea Bakery bread, eight wines, and an assortment of upscale false mustaches. December 9 sees an international cadre of sparkling wines such as champagne, cava, and prosecco, and the December 16 meeting focuses on exclusive selections culled from small Italian vineyards. Though the cost of some sessions exceeds $20, such as the 90 Point + Reds class on December 30 ($29), Groupon customers may attend by paying the difference. A handout with a detailed description of each wine accompanies the tastings, allowing students to keep the information at hand in case they’re confronted by a roving gang of sommeliers.
Since Jeff and Julie Postlewait first opened Rocket Bakery in 1991, their chain of Rocket stores have expanded into six more coffee shops and one natural and local food store, Rocket Market, with the additional help of Alan and Shanda Shepherd. At Rocket Market, chef Shilo Pierce, the former head chef of Luna, crafts a rotating menu of paninis, fresh salads, and gourmet mac ‘n’ cheeses, all assembled from his "pantry" of local, organic produce and freshly baked artisan breads, pastries, and roasted coffee beans from Rocket Bakery. Rocket Market also features an extensive collection of hand-selected malbecs, cabernets, and sparkling proseccos, which customers may sample at weekly wine tastings alongside flavorful cheeses and breads from La Brea Bakery. During the summer months, the market hosts outdoor concerts, where guests can sip craft brews or challenge the sun to a dance-off.