Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why Study Wine?

The obvious answer to this question might be "It's Fun!"  But what drives some to near madness and obsession as depicted in the documentary SommA fascinating film (available for streaming on Netflix) that's even the wine-uninitiated will enjoy, that is, if "enjoy" is accurate.  A group of young men striving for the exalted Master Sommelier qualification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.  A sort of PhD for oenophiles, as is the Master of Wine post-nominal from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. based in the UK. You will feel the anxiety and heartache right along with them.  It's nuts!

But in fact wine is fun!  It's a living thing.  It's romance in a glass.  It's one of the few beverages that changes its personality from year to year, hour to hour.
 A recent visit with Languedoc winemaker Christophe Beau of Domaine Beauthorey enlightened his audience in this way: "There are three beverages only for me.  Three important beverages.  There is water.  There is the best dead beverage in the world, Coca Cola. And there is the best living beverage in the world, wine."

Winemaker Christophe Beau

If you think you want to learn about wine, fear not.  There are many levels of study.  They aren't all life-consuming.  Start with a website such as Local Wine Events and see what's happening in your area. 
One more reason to study wine - Camaraderie.  Through this type of study lifelong friendships grow.  In wine there is always more to learn.  You and your study buddies will never, never run out of things to talk about.

French Wine Scholar Certification Program at Southbound

Thursday, June 26, 2014

When a Noun Becomes a Verb

We now regularly use the company name Uber as a verb - as in "we're Ubering over there so we can drink more wine!"  Well the wine industry nerds, present company included, are now "Coravining" our hearts out.  This gadget allows you to dip into bottles of wine you were saving for the special occasion that never seems to be special enough.  Or if you work in wine sales you can now sample out the good stuff without worrying about the juice staying fresh until the end of your week.  On the other hand that puts paid to the perk of drinking your leftovers at the end of the day!

There have been reports about bottles exploding from being over pressurized.  To this we might say - read the directions - do not use on an etched or cracked bottle!  Coravin has issued neoprene sleeves to slip over the bottle for those who don't care to take chances. And be advised! This gadget takes practice to master.  The argon capsules that keep oxygen from your precious elixir run about $10 each.  The company suggests you should get approximately 15 pours per capsule.  However in the last few days' test runs we achieved more like 30!  Practice makes perfect. 
One colleague lamented the rising popularity of this gadget.  She says we are all just too focused on instant gratification.  We should have to wait for it.  And wait for it.  And wait for it...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

When Good Behavior Should Be Rewarded

This is the story of the Restaurant That Could.  A couple of years ago some fellows decided they would open a restaurant in the City of Chamblee.  They chose a neglected 19th Century building across from the railroad tracks and they created an idea.  Against all odds, with government red tape and snafus from the start, with sweat equity that defies logic, they created Southbound.  This culmination of dreams and late-night wine reveries is about to open for dinner tomorrow night.(6-18-2014)  Anyone who follows the local dining buzz should stand at attention and attend.  From the Down-South but oh-so-cool menu to the most esoteric wine list in Metropolitan Atlanta and beyond, this is a place beyond the Pale.