Dining

The ‘Wine School’ at The French Gourmet returns on February 21st

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Photo from Fast Forward Event Productions via Flickr.

Photo from Fast Forward Event Productions via Flickr.

For those of you looking for a fun and truly unique experience, the extremely popular ‘Wine School’ at The French Gourmet is back in session with the installment titled “The World of Wine” on Sunday, February 21st.

Wine lovers of all levels will enjoy a fun and educational wine experience when one of the top sommeliers in Southern California, Gino Campbell, will present an overview of the world’s wine regions, wine theories, taste and textures, viticulture and viniculture in the creation of great wine, food and wine pairing, blind tasting techniques and more in the latest installment of “The School.”

For so many of us, whether it be at a restaurant or a grocery store, wine selecting can be a bit perplexing. Wine can be a mysterious science we wish we knew more about, as we try to enjoy such an esoteric treasure that is often difficult to truly understand.

Gino Campbell, the current Manager and Master Sommelier at the French Gourmet Restaurant in Pacific Beach, has created The Wine School at the French Gourmet.

Luckily for us Campbell, who is a sommelier and graduate of the University of Bordeaux (the Harvard of wine schools), is generously sharing his expertise so that wine enthusiasts may be a little more knowledgeable with the next wine list they encounter.

Often, people are incorrectly referred to as sommeliers, as it is actually an academic and experiential distinction. Gino has some of the most impressive credentials in all of Southern California. Campbell’s extensive educational experience started with a degree in Management from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. He then received top-notch training at Bertolini’s and Lombardi’s, the premier restaurants of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas at that time.

He is most respected for his education at the esteemed University of Bordeaux in France. He graduated with honors as a Master Sommelier, passing one of the most difficult exams in the world. He also received the title of Advanced Sommelier from the Court of Masters Sommeliers, Culinary Institute of America, in Napa California. In addition to his advanced degrees and designations, a unique qualification that sets Campbell apart from other wine experts is his official affiliation with three guilds; most accredited sommeliers are only affiliated with one guild.

Photo from Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr.

Photo from Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr.

How did Gino Campbell get to where he is today? It can possibly be attributed to his lineage. His grandfather was a farmer and amateur wine maker in Italy. Growing up, wine was an important part of his family’s culture.

He worked in family owned restaurants until he was old enough to go to college and decided to continue his education doing what he knew best. After attending college in Las Vegas and gaining invaluable work experience learning from the best and most talented in the food and wine industry, he began to make a name for himself by opening restaurants in the hottest hotels of the time.

Over the course of 15 years, Campbell created an outstanding track record of opening restaurants with award-winning success. Some of his noteworthy work experience in noted California restaurants include Donovan’s Steak House in La Jolla, the well-known Pamplemousse Grille, and the illustrious Marine Room. He is recognized for his success as a manager, creating teams that deliver impeccable service and designing the “team service” for which Donovan’s Steak House has become famous for.

But the coolest thing about Campbell is that he doesn’t look for recognition or boast of his many accomplishments. He is one of those rare, humble, under-the-radar kind of guys who truly loves his craft, and most importantly, has the knowledge and experience to do so. His teachings illustrate the beauty and subtleties of wine in a non-intimidating way, allowing them to be embraced and appreciated. His style is the exact opposite of the hype and haughtiness of other wine ‘experts,’ as he generously imparts his vast knowledge of wine onto all who wish to hear it.

When asked what his ultimate goal for the “Wine School” was, he gently replied, “To take the mystery out of wine.” That says it all…

Prior attendance is NOT necessary to attend the class.

Sunday, February 21, 5:00pm-7:00pm
$25 – Limited Seating

For more information or to RSVP for the Wine School, please contact Gino Campbell at (858) 488-1725 x326.

2 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Torrey

    February 19, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you for that amazing article on Gene Campbell! I am a fan of his classes!

  2. Jennifer Russell

    February 23, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Great article, Gene is amazing! When in Italy check out the sommelier classes from the Epicurean Institute. It’s more like a vacation and sommelier training program all in one, but it’s wonderful!

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