A combination of lectures and wine tasting will allow students to explore wine types, investigate regional differences and understand winemaker influences when Columbia College offers “Exploring California Wines,” a wine education class, in March.

Instructor Tom Bender has taught wine- and hospitality management-related classes at

Columbia College for more 35 years. He currently manages an extensive wine department

and popular wine bar in Modesto in addition to being a home winemaker and writing about wine.

“With an emphasis on California wines and especially the foothills, the class will have fun with sensory evaluations, current wine trends, service techniques, and its relationship with various foods.” Bender said.

Classes will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays March 7, 14 and 21 in the Manzanita Building culinary classroom on the college campus on Sawmill Flat Road in Sonora.

Advance registration is $40 per person, and a materials fee of $35 will be due the first night. Participants must be 21 or older.

To register, go online to gocolumbia.edu/comed.