Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Done and Done !... maybe

It's all over. Elvis has left the building, completed, finito, done,   ..... or is it ?

The last several weeks have been intense to say the least, blind tastings, creating a wine list for an Ottawa restaurant and a service exam which involved pairing menu selections with a suitable wine, opening a bottle of  wine in front customers and pouring the wine without dribbling it all over the table like a dog marking his territory. To say that I was nervous would be an understatement but I did manage to complete the wine obstacle course without too much collateral damage and my dignity relatively intact.

 I have officially completed the Sommelier program and received my Sommelier pin which means that

A - I  have no real reason to sample a half dozen wines on a Tuesday night
B - "Studying for a wine exam" is no longer an excuse when you're hungover

 Now that I have completed the Sommelier program, the one question people have been asking me repeatedly is " So what are you going to do now that you're a Sommelier?" Well that's a really good question and .... I really don't have an answer yet. What I do know is that I've only scratched the surface of oenology and now the responsibility of making sure that my wine knowledge is current belongs to me so I will have to be diligent in my learning which means ... Yes, you guessed it!!.... more wine.
 So where does my wine research go from here you ask? This blog will certainly continue on with some changes, enhancements and additions. I plan to do more research on wines and add detailed information when a wine is reviewed. Also, I'll be providing some of the wineries notes about how the wine was made and their tasting notes if available plus there will be some winery travel information as well. Wine and food pairings will also be major part of this blog as I will endeavour to suggest some good wine pairings across a variety of dishes. I'll attempt to blend all of this information together with some humour and wit without being pretentious or boring or sounding like an idiot.

Here's my picks for this week.

Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon - 2009 - Lodi / Clarksburg California

Really impressed with this Cabernet Sauvignon. It had predominant flavours of cherry, black pepper and cassis with some nice (not harsh) tannins which gives it that full bodied Cabernet feeling. The wine is aged for 14 months in American oak which brings out that pepper flavour on the finish.
Unfortunately this wine is only available in the US
This Cabernet Sauvignon can be served with everything from a nice plate of aged cheeses to pepper steak. It's fully bodied, rich with flavours and at an affordable price (in the US). My only regret is that I didn't try their Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.

The Original Smoking Loon Chardonnay  - 2010 - California

Like the Donovan song lyrics, "They call me mellow yellow". A bright straw coloured Chardonnay with aromas of peach, pear and creme brulee. It's smooth and oaky with flavours of vanilla, citrus and tangerine. The wine is aged sur lie on the yeast to extract more flavours and stored in french oak to bring out the vanilla and creme brulee components. The vintner blended 79% Chardonnay grapes with 15% Chenin Blanc and 5% Viognier to give this wine a mellow component you wouldn't get in a 100% Chardonnay wine. Nicely done.
Unfortunately this wine is only available in the US
I tried this wine with BBQ shrimp and Maryland crab cakes which have a little zing to them and it proved to be an excellent choice. A nice contrast.