Keith Bader had been hosting wine classes at the Washington Inn in Cape May for a few years before the program stopped.
This year, the inn asked for him to come back for an encore.
On Saturday, Bader will host “Cape May Wine School” at the Washington Inn.
Bader will talk specifics about wine and how different types of wine are made. He also will discuss how to pair your wine with food and what type of palate is best with each wine. Students in the class will be able to sample some wine while learning. The cost is $40 per person.
“It’s a chance to try different types of wine in a casual setting,” said Bader, 64, of Cherry Hill.
Bader’s love of wine began when he met his wife in 1973 at Michigan State University. Bader, who had always enjoyed the more generic wine, would be questioned by his wife if he knew of different tastings and types.
Bader fell in love with wine so much that he switched his major from general business to hotels and restaurants.
What he’s learned to love most about wine is the diversity.
“It’s the styles and grapes and countries,” he said. “It’s always striving to learn as much as you can.”
Bader works for the wine distributor Lauber Selections, a subsidiary of Fedway Associates Beverage Media Group. He manages a sales team of nine people. Besides managing his staff, Bader goes around the region making wine lists and seminars and educational tastings.
Besides the class at the Washington Inn, Bader will host a wine dinner at the Mad Batter in Cape May on Dec. 9.
Often, Bader and another wine aficionado will each bring five wines to the venue and the audience will decide which one they like best.
“We take shots at one another and have a good time,” he said.
He’s been doing dinners and classes like these for nine years, and he’s learned the louder the crowd, the better he’s doing.
“If I can’t calm the crowd down three-quarters of the way through the dinner then I know I’ve done a good job,” Bader said.
Bader treats the classes and dinners just like he would if an audience member was coming to visit his own home — the price of the wine doesn’t matter. To him, it’s more about trying something you haven’t tasted before.
“I don’t have a go-to wine. If you enjoy wine, there’s nothing I won’t open for you. If you’re coming over to drink expensive wines, I’ll do something different. If you want to explore, to me the most enjoyment is just sharing with people,” he said.