Archive for January, 2011

A Taste of Spain

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

In preparation for a trip to Spain this summer, I recently participated in a private tasting with Spanish sommelier, Jesús Sanguino Collado, from Junta de Castilla y León. We tasted nine wines from the region and conducted sensory evaluations of each varietal. We started with Verdejo, a “highly extractive, herbaceous and minerally complex” wine that is perfect with caramelized fennel bulb as an amuse bouche. After numerous other varietals, we finished with the highlight of the region, Tempranillo. Tempranillo is grown in the Ribera del Duero region and is known for its fruity character and extended bottle aging. Well balanced, Tempranillo can be matched with anything from Lamb to chocolate.

Jesús was very descriptive when discussing the wines with the group and made sure to emphasize that although wine pairing is an art and has many guidelines to make appropriate matches, it is also very subjective to each different person; something I express in my food and wine pairing classes regularly.

A New Frontier

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Recently I was hired as an instructor at the Northwest Wine Academy as a food & wine pairing instructor.  This new challenge came from out in left field, but I welcome the opportunity to teach and share my knowledge with people interested in becoming Sommeliers, increasing their skills as a server or purely for their own personal enjoyment of food & wine.

I tell my students to think of wine as the final sauce of a meal; a way to enhance the meal they are presenting in their restaurant, a dinner party at home or merely a patio picnic.  Being able to match food and wine will make any meal a delicious and distinctive dining experience.

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