Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wine Geeking Out - My Journey Continues

Back in 2007 to amp up my wine knowledge, I spent my Sunday's over the course of 6 months learning lots of great wine geek information, and tasting lots and lots of wines.  The classes, offered by the International Sommelier Guild, were 6 hours long and consisted of a couple hours of lecture, tasting  5 or 6 wines in the late morning, then more lecture, and then 5 or 6 more wines later in the afternoon.  Not a bad way to spend a day!

Given the need to actually concentrate and retain the information, it was a process of taste and spit (what a waste!) - and wine is supposedly a sophisticated pursuit! At the end, there was a test of 150 or so multiple choice questions, 4 essay questions (yuck!) and blind tasting of four wines. 

For the wine portion of the test, you had 4 glasses of wine, two red, two white - and you needed to provide tasting notes and identify the variety of grape and the wine region where the wine was made.  Luckily, a passing grade was possible with good tasting notes and getting at least one of the wines correct. I was able to identify the two white wines (Riesling from Mosel, Germany and Chardonnay from Napa, California), but missed on the reds (Syrah from the Rhone in France, Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa). I was able to pass all parts of the test, and now proudly display by "International Sommelier Guild Wine Fundamentals Level 2" certification.  I really enjoyed the class, and realized that I was truly a potential wine geek, and wanted to learn more. Unfortunately, ISG's next level class for Sommelier certification was scheduled but never actually held in Phoenix. 

I have given up on ISG and decided to pursue my geeking out with two other organizations. The first is the International Wine Guild.  My wife and I were both scheduled for their Level I class back in November, but a stomach bug forced me to cancel - damn!!!  We have been rescheduled for a class in March - and I am very much looking forward to it.  It will be a bit of a review from by ISG class, but since that class was six years ago, my old brain needs a refresher. It will also give my wife a chance to see if she also likes all the wine geek backstory to the wine or if she would rather just be an avid consumer.  If we pass the class, we will be certified Cellar Managers.

Also, yesterday kicked off my self study to get certified with the Society of Wine Educators Certified Specialist of Wine.  I will be pouring over the 250 page study guide getting prepped for the examination (this one is all multiple choice questions).

I will be sharing any fascinating new information (light on the wine geek speak as I pledged!) on my blog.  Already from my study yesterday I learned that if you see ruby and orange color highlights in a red wine it is likely higher in acid, while black and blue highlights mean a lower acid red. I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!

Anyone looking for a way to get educated on wine, even if just as a enthusiast, I recommend looking into any of these courses.  If you have any questions - just let me know!!!

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