February 15, 2009

Wine, Food and the Sommelier

Posted in Food, Sommelier, Wine at 10:14 pm by mknight1130

For Valentine’s day, Scott treated me to a fancy dinner at the Heathman, http://www.heathmanrestaurantandbar.com/ We had never been to the restaurant and it seemed interesting. During the course of dinner, we were searching for a reasonable wine to pair with Scott’s rabbit and my truffle risotto. The wine menu was 20 pages long with over 450 choices. Watching us ruminate about the wine choices, a young man in a dark coat with a silver pin came over to offer us some assistance. This was not the same face as our waitress. I was intrigued. I learned that the man was a Master Sommelier, a person that makes recommendations about great wines to go with food and serves the wine.

I became further intrigued about wine and the Sommelier. How does one become a Somellier? I went to the Court of Master Sommeliers to find more information, http://www.mastersommeliers.org/faq Apparently there are 4 levels of courses and several exams to pass. The higher the level of classes the more rigorous the courses. One course costs between $295 and and $895. To complete all 4 levels, plan on spending over $2000.

I decided that a career as a sommelier did not hold in my future (Besides I really like researching information resources and doing software testing). But, I also like wine and food, and would like to know more about good pairings. Where would be 2 good Internet sites to visit for more information?

One great site is the WineLoversPage.com http://www.wineloverspage.com/ This site was put together by Robin Garr, a wine expert and journalist. He designed the site to make wine accessible. His mantra is “Straight talk in plain English about fine wine.” The site delivers just that. There is information on how to taste wine, wine choices, and reasonably priced wines. There is a wine forum and wine chat for fellow wine lovers to interact and share tips. This site contains a wealth of information about wine possibilities and will sate curiosities about wine.

Another excellent Internet site about wine is created and maintained by the Professional Friends of Wine at http://www.winepros.org/index.htm The Professional Friends of Wine are comprised of grape growers, wine sellers, and restaurant business people. This group, uses the web site to “..spread wine knowledge and enthusiasm..” The site informs readers on wine basics, upcoming events, wine bottle labels, wine-food pairings, and wine recommendations. The website authors participate in wine tastings, gaining first hand knowledge of the wines they review. The content is straight forward and reliable.

Although we did not know about the WineLoversPage.com http://www.wineloverspage.com/ or the Professional Friends of Wine at http://www.winepros.org/index.htm sites, we chose a great wine, with the Sommelier’s help. We drank a light bodied Pinot Noir from the Evesham Wood Vineyard. Our dinners of rabbit and truffle risotto became even more robust from this choice. Also, I have a new appreciation of wine and much to learn about it.


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