Oui! Learn French, drink wine at Casa Rondeña - Albuquerque Journal

Oui! Learn French, drink wine at Casa Rondeña

An outside view of the 1629 Club building at Casa Rondeña where the French group will be held. (Courtesy of Casa Rondeña Winery)
An outside view of the 1629 Club building at Casa Rondeña where the French group will be held. (Courtesy of Casa Rondeña Winery)

Learn the language of love while sipping on some lovely wines at Casa Rondeña Winery.

Casa Rondeña has begin its first French language lessons in a casual and fun environment with instructor Maryse Lapierre, who has been doing one-on-one tutoring on French for 15 years. She also works in the winery’s tasting room as a server.

“My general idea was have people together in an informal, fun way but have a little bit of a lesson and a plan and structure,” Lapierre said. “So for example, I’m thinking I’ll have a very simple fun printout that anyone can keep and write notes on. For example, I’ll have a song because I’m a musician and singer. I think that will be a fun, easy song and some people will connect with that more than others. But, it’s just to pick a few things that can be written in French and English and have a base to start and then we’ll see.”

The cost of the class includes a full glass of wine and cheeses. There also will be a cash bar available to purchase additional wine.

“It’s like a French happy hour because it’s from 5:30 to 7 (p.m.),” Lapierre said. “Instead of going somewhere else and having your glass of wine, come here and have your wine. It’s beautiful. Our members and the public tend to be interesting, it’s fun, so meet other cool people who enjoy similar things. I think people can get many different things (out of the class). (It’s) just fun and social and they can finally pronounce (a) few (French) words right.”

Lapierre knows what it means to learn a second language as an adult. She said it is not easy, but it is possible. Lapierre, who is originally from Canada, grew up speaking only French. She did not learn English until she moved to New Mexico at age 25.

There are plans to hold the French group once a month including from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 21 and March 22.

“I think the most wonderful thing about this event is it makes language more approachable,” marketing and wine events manager Amy Jones said. “Learning a new language or starting something creative for the first time is really intimidating to a lot of people so this class is done in a way where it’s really just going to be fun.”

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