Above the Norm Wine Tasting Series

Welcome to the "Above the Norm" Wine Tasting Series, brought to you by The Norman P. and Evelyn Kiken Wine Studies Endowment. Here you can explore and expand your wine knowledge, and learn more about the wine program.
November 28th, 2011

Professor Grant’s Picks: Cabernet Sauvignon

High-quality wines at reasonable prices… Professor Grant’s Picks for affordable bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon from reliable producers (region is in parentheses).  Choices were announced at “Taste the Weather: Cabernet Sauvignon”, the advanced wine tasting on Tuesday, October 18.


Viña Santa Rita Casa Real (Valle del Maipo, Central Valley)

Casa Lapostolle Cuvée Alexandre (Valle del Colchagua, Central Valley)

Miguel Torres (Central Valley)


Château Poujeaux (Moulis en Médoc)

Château Tayac  (Côtes de Bourg)


L’Ecole No. 41 (Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley)

Château Ste. Michelle, Canoe Ridge Estate (Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley)

Columbia Crest Walter Clore Private Reserve (Columbia Valley)


Arrowood Réserve Spéciale (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County)

Reverie (Diamond Mountain)


Il Colombaio de Cencio Il Futuro (Toscano IGT)

Tenuta di Nozzole Il Parento (Toscano IGT)

November 28th, 2011

Hello Again

The official Above the Norm wine blog of the is up and running once again. We will cover the Wine Tasting Series, Professor Grant’s top picks for choice wines and bargain deals, and other wine-related topics such as the wine industry, climate concerns, varietals and years. Enjoy!

April 30th, 2011

Critics Blind Sided At Tasting

It is typically the case that only during blind tastings are major revelations made. At this particular tasting there was also a major announcement that left the audience and critics dumb founded, but this was no blind tasting…


April 13th, 2011

What an “A.S. Kiken” Wine Tasting!

To start with I want to give a huge thank you to Norm Kiken for an amazing wine tasting last week. We all had an amazing time, learned a lot, and were lucky enough to taste some incredible wines. (more…)

April 3rd, 2011

Tinto Fino From Ribera del Duero

Two weeks ago now we had a wine tasting that was all about Spanish wines. I had been looking forward to this tasting for weeks and when it finally came, it did not disappoint. (more…)
March 11th, 2011

Thoughts on Back to the Basics

Thank you to everyone who came to the Back to the Basics Wine tasting!  (more…)

February 23rd, 2011

The Red Ribbon Cutting Post

Welcome to the Above the Norm Wine Tasting Series blog!

This is the first of what I hope to be many posts on this site! I’m currently a senior at Bucknell and I volunteered to help with the wine series program and I love every second of it! I first started to get into wine over the summer of 2010. I picked up every book I could find, searched the web, conducted wine tastings with my family, and now studying wine has become the thing I love most.

It is true that when I first started, I thought learning the world of wine would be an impossible task. I remember sitting in restaurants, looking at the wine list wondering how on earth I was supposed to pick a good bottle of wine. I finally decided that I would no longer be that person who is scared of a restaurant’s wine list. Therefore, I took it one step at a time, learning bit by bit about wine. I realize now that I had no reason to be afraid to study wine. I have tons more to learn but I am excited to read, study, and taste!

Tomorrow is the first tasting of the semester at Bucknell, and it is the Back to the Basics Tasting. Everyone who attends learns the basic wine vocabulary, how to read a label, and the basics in how to taste wine. I hope that all of you who have signed up for this tasting become inspired just like I did and realize that wine is not something you have to be afraid of!

After coming to this tasting, I know that all of you will feel way more comfortable around wine (if you aren’t already) and won’t be afraid to a look a waiter in the eye and confidently order a bottle off the wine list.