Hi, I am a wine aficionado with two young kids and a wife , living in the suburbs of Chicago. I have recently started a Sommelier program at a community college, and am in pursuit of making the art of wine less mystic, and more enjoyable. I hope to learn how to taste what the experts taste, how to understand and explain the difference between a good wine and a bad wine. Does the wine have a sense of Terroir (Place where it is grown), does it represent its varietal well (If you taste 10 other Cabernet wines, does this one taste like a Cabernet?), and finally, can you find some great wines at all budgets?
I am very excited to kick off the learning process, and share some of my learnings with anyone who is interested. In the first semester, we will be studying wines of the OLD world. Funny term, as though parts of the world have different ages... Hmm. It actually makes sense in the wine world to start with the French I suppose, although I am sure the Italians and Spanish would have LOTS to say about that, but that is where we have begun.
Class 1. Alsace
Class 2. Loire
Class 3. Bordeaux
Class 4. Burgundy
Class 5. Champagne
Class 6. Rhone
Class 7 Languedoc Roussillon
OUT OF FRANCE
Class 8. Northern Italy
Class 9. Southern Italy
Class 10. Spain
Class 11 Sherry (The wine I swear, I am married)
Class 12 Portugal, Madeira and Port
Class 13. Germany, Switzerland, and Austria,
Class 14. Service
Class 15. Greece
Class 16. Eastern Europe
At this point I will be half way through the program and on to a certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers (http://www.mastersommeliers.org/). I am incredibly excited to learn and to share, and to see where my new found education about wine takes me. Who knows, while I have no intent on making a career out of it, stranger things have happened. At the very least, I hope it provides me with a lifetime of learning, and awakens my taste buds in a way that makes the wine experience a bit more enjoyable and thoughtful. At the end of the day, that is what this whole thing is about.
The next Semester I will take wines of the NEW WORLD, one of which I am currently living in. I hope to gain a better understanding of great wines in the US outside of California. I am also excited to continue my education beyond the small niche of fine wines that I have enjoyed from the Yarra Valley in Australia. I think it will be a fun ride.
If you ever wondered what it takes to be a wine Guy/Girl, feel free to come along with me on this fun and exciting journey. I will try to make it interesting, and will also try to increase your knowlege along the way. Not in a snobby, "oh, I taste Olives and peppers, and you should too" sort of way, but in a "wow, i get why acid helps wine pair with food, and therefore I know what i am serving at my next dinner party" sort of way. After all, this should be enjoyable, and not stressful at the end of the day, it is just WINE!