Archived Story

Riverfront, Lake Michigan College to pair up for ‘spirited’ classes

Published 12:28am Saturday, March 6, 2010

Niles Daily Star

For some, the perfect dinner out can be hampered by a sudden wave of panic when the wine list comes.

Those looking for a little more education on the basics of wine, beer and liquor can take comfort.

Lake Michigan College at the Bertrand Crossing Campus has teamed up with Niles’ own Riverfront Cafe for a group of community education classes to tempt any palette.

Wine 101, Beer 101 and Spirits 101 are scheduled at the campus for later this month.
Don Schmeichel, manager at Riverfront Cafe, said the classes should be especially helpful to those with no education on the subjects.

“They’re basic 101 classes,” Schmeichel said. “They’re going to learn the basics about wine,” beer and various liquors.

“We’re not going to overwhelm them, you know,” he said.

The Wine 101 course is described as a “brief overview of reds, whites and roses, including table, sparkling and fortified wines.” Those taking part in the course will also have the chance to get answers to basic wine questions.

Similarly, Beer 101, as described, “includes a brief overview of hops, yeast and grains and the beverage they produce. Beers will be broken down into styles. The class will cover how-tos, such as how to select, store, pour and serve beer, along with exciting developments such as micro-brewing, home-brewing and the local beer movement.”

The final class, Spirits 101 will focus on basic bartending tools, the different types of glasses and various gins, vodkas, bourbons, whiskies and rum.

There will be flights available, Schmeichel said, and overall the hope is that those participating in the courses will leave with an improved comfort level the next time they step out.

“It’s going to set them in a comfort zone where they go into a restaurant or a liquor store and they won’t feel uncomfortable, won’t feel inundated,” he said. “We just thought it was a great idea for people to come out and feel comfortable in a comfortable setting and learn something.”

Calling the course offerings just a “stepping stone,” Schmeichel said the restaurant hopes to offer more in the future and have already seen a good reaction to the current courses with several people already signed up.

The courses are non-credit community workshops and pre-registration is required. Those interested in registering can contact Kam Chancellor at (800) 252-1562 ext. 2991. For more information, visit

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