On Friday, April 8, the French club took students on a ride through Europe with the aromas and tastes of alcohol-free wine. Before this event, many students didn’t even know wine existed without alcohol. Students were serenaded with beautiful, European-style music that added to the feeling of sitting in a cafe, overlooking the streets of Paris instead of sitting in a classroom in Business Hall.
As the evening progressed, the music faded out and the presenter and president of the French club, Maksim Berlenbach, welcomed guests. The presentation shared different times of history and the development of wine in France including the infamous champagne. Berlenbach then talked about the drinking age differences in France compared to the United States.
According to Berlenbach’s presentation, Americans are more likely to become intoxicated than the people in France. However, French people consume more alcohol than people in America.
“The reason people in France consume more alcohol is because they started drinking at a younger age. However, people in France don’t consume alcohol to get drunk. They immerse themselves with the taste of it, they appreciate the smell and the process it takes.” Berlenbach said.
Finally, the presentation concluded with how different wine vineyards, such as Fre and Ariel, accomplish the tedious task of removing the alcohol from the wine through the process of vinification and de-alcoholization.
Students that attended were given two selections of wine to try. Fre and Ariel and topped off with some amazing appetizers including soft bread, white cheddar cheese and juicy grapes to complement the experience of the wine tasting.
After the wine tasting concluded students participated in a quiz about the presentation and anyone that answered the questions correctly was able to indulge in the final tasting of the night of bubbly champagne.
“I felt like the speaker knew what he was talking about, he seemed well educated on everything. I really liked the quiz at the end when he and the girl at the end asked the questions, it felt like a very amicable setting,” attendee Ashley Briggs said.
Students left the event feeling more educated after admiring the sweet, fermented grapes we know as wine.
“It was really educational, but I appreciated that it wasn’t overdone. The presentation was just enough to keep me entertained and engaged in the conversation,” attendee Sydney Hatton said.
The French club is planning to make this event happen once each semester to spread and share the culture of France. In addition to the wine event, the French club hopes to do a similar event with coffee, croissants and a crepe station in the future. Students who want to join the French club can reach out to the French Club President, Maksim Berlenbach, via email or through Proflink.
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