Let the cork fly

By Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer

The Birch Grill Conference Room was packed to the hill on Thursday March 23, 2017 as students gathered for a special Uncorked SAIL event. The session spotlighted Champagne and sparkling wines as students came dressed in their best.

Five dollars in general student admission gave people an entry to a night of sparkling wine tastings and catered food to pair.

Director of Student Activities Involvement and Leadership Christopher Laib is proud of the series that was established eight years ago. The main mission of the Uncorked series is to provide students ages 21 and up with alcohol education from a different approach, teaching students what foods to pair with a particular drink. Furthermore, it resembles drinking “quality versus quantity.” This allows students to be aware of what they are drinking and its value.

The Uncorked event broke up the week and gave people a different spin to their average Thursday evening. It brought in couples for dates, friends and girls-night-outs for a little atmosphere and laughs.

Senior English major Devon Clements commented on his experience. “Overall I really enjoyed the event, it was very informing and helped me get a better understanding of the different flavors of wine. I think it is totally worth it for UMass students to attend this event.”

Whether it was fine cheeses, baguette slices or fresh fruit, students piled their plates high and sat down ready to learn about the different variations of Champagne, rosé, moscato, prosecco and cava to name a few.

In previous events, the Uncorked series has always had the same speaker. However, they’ve recently started featuring new speakers. This event featured award winner Kristian Vasilev who came well equipped with all the qualifications.

The event gave students a safe way to have a drink and without having to leave campus. It also gave students the opportunity to mingle with the people who sat around them. The chitter chatter during the tasting filled the room. “I attended the event with a friend of mine from class,” said Clements. “This is a good event for a date night, lady’s night and hanging out with a few friends.”

The Uncorked event is also great in teaching students for when they cook at home or attend an outing. “It teaches them the value and benefits them when going to a dinner or social event, it gives them knowledge on what they are asking for or ordering.,” said Laib. “It shows them what to serve or what to look for when walking into a package store, it gives them some sort of authority.”

Laib feels that the Uncorked event is important to have as an option for UMass Dartmouth students. “It gives students 21 and up the opportunity to try alcohol that they would not try on their own.”

Each seat was set with pens and paper featuring everything you need to know in order to partake in a wine tasting. As students sipped and munched , they scribbled on their papers the different aromas, tastes and more to remember which ones were their favorites.

Clements feel that the Uncorked events are a great way to learn about different wines. “I learned how to differentiate the different flavors commonly used in the wine making process.”

In previous sessions this year, Uncorked has offered tastings of American craft beers, red and white wines and spirits such as rum.

Vasilev educated each student on each wine along with how to set a table and different side notes that kept the night entertaining for all.

Laib hopes to continue expanding the Uncorked series. “I am looking for different opportunities. We used to hold a class a week and then it grew to two classes a week, with 40 people in each. However, with budget we scaled back to one class a week for 40 in advanced. I would love to bring it back.”

Clements looks forward to seeing more Uncorked events. “I would absolutely attend one of these events again.”

You can check out the SAIL office on Facebook and at their website for a full listing of their upcoming events.


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