Sunday, September 30, 2007

Drowning in a Sea of Wine

by The Foodist

For the last three weeks I've been neck deep in wine. Normally I wouldn't make it sound like a chore, but in this case I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that wine class is the hardest, most academically challenging, study-intense class at the CIA. But its not to say it wasn't worth it.

I am a little frustrated though with the short amount of time allowed for the class. The information given in the class is overwhelming for someone like me. I'm far more of an kinesthetic learner, hence being in culinary school and wanting to be a chef, so to be sat in front of a book and required to memorize powerpoints for three weeks doesn't do it for me.

Regardless of my struggle in the class I have to say I'm only more interested in wine. Instructors Michael Weiss and Stephen Kolpan do an excellent job of stating the basics in a straight-forward manner. Their passion and wealth of information is prevalent in every class. Given the fact that I studied till my brain felt as though it was melting out of my ears and I just barely squeezed by in the class, I give these gentlemen plenty of Kudos'.

We tasted close to 60 wines in the total three weeks of class and I've reinforced the fact that I love Champagne and Sparkling wines, and found a new love in the world of wine and her name is Sherry.

We ate lunch at St. Andrews Cafe for a food and wine pairing project. During the desert course we were served a Pedro Ximenez, "San Emilio," Lustau, Jerez, Spain NV. The wonderful warmth and hints of sweetness in the sherry were the stuff dreams are made of. I have always steered clear of Ports and Sherries because of the heavy alcoholic aroma, but after that lunch I've been trying sherries at every chance.

If I had my choice I'd go back go back and study harder for wines (Though I'm not exactly sure my brain could handle that) and walk away feeling as though I learned allot more then I have, but given the fact that I have found a new love in Sherry it really didn't end up that bad.

Now if I could just get past the tannic taste of red wines.


Tags said...

Leave a teabag in the water for an hour then drink it. After that, red wine won't seem so tannic anymore ;-).

Jennie/Tikka said...

Have you done any blind tastings yet? Those were the hardest wine tests.

The Foodist said...


Funny thing is I LOVE black coffee and teas. I think the alcohol in conjunction with the tannins is whats getting me. Im not a huge drinker to begin with (if your a Kids in the Hall fan, think of me as Girl Drink Drunk) so anything heavy in alcohol without sweetness to cut it for me takes some getting used to.


I can imagine... I havent done any yet and I dont think my palate is that developed when it comes to wines yet....yet

Jennie/Tikka said...

The wine instructor for the first half on my wine instruction was Bacchus incarnate. Besides all the technical information, he really wanted us to get the romance of wine. Every last one of us left that wine class with a very sentimental attachment to wine!

Jennie/Tikka said...

Oh and biggest and most favoritist discovery when I went through wine??? SPARKLING REDS!!

No tannins to worry about there. They come in both low alcohol first-pressing versions at 5%, and, full blown fermented to 13% versions as well. They aren't always easy to find but I serve those to people who dislike tannic reds and usually wind up very happy converts.