Now Officially (even more of) a Wine Nerd

Last year, I successfully completed the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Certification. So of course this year I decided to proceed with Level 3 “Exploring the World of Wine and Spirits.” In the typical fashion of my life, the timing couldn’t have been worse; the exam was two days before my thesis was due and the weekend before my parents unexpectedly arrived in Europe for a quick visit. But, I just received word that ….. I passed! So I am officially


Of course being me, this won’t be the last of my formal wine education. I’m looking forward to taking a few courses with the Court of Master Sommeliers and continuing with the WSET. I’ve also been toying with the idea of taking a few professional courses at the University of California Davis campus to get a better understanding of the technical side of winemaking. But that is all in the future and my focus now is on finding a job. Wish me luck!

And then… there was Magic

As I mentioned in last night’s post Back to the Futures Again the Bordeaux en Primeur campaign featuring the 2014 vintage is underway. And today I was fortunate enough to enjoy not only the tastings hosted by the Union des Grands Crus but also to enjoy a couple of private visits at some of Bordeaux’ best estates.

IMG_1795My day actually began with a trip out to my office and a little bit of studying at work. Ah the joys of coordinating navigation when you don’t have a car. Oh. well. But the adventure really started with an amazing lunch at Chateau Léoville Poyferré. Continue reading

Back to the Futures Again

It’s that time of year again in Bordeaux. No not harvest. The official release of the 2014 Vintage and the start of the en Primeur campaign. A source of rather considerable controversy, en Primeur, or futures, is a busy time in Bordeaux. The wine world descends on the city as the chateaux throw open their doors and invite critics, negociants (wine merchants) and professionals to taste their latest vintage. It is also when the critics provide their first round of scores and when the estates then use those scores to help set the pricing. And so we come to the real heart of the controversy … money. But that’s a story for another day.

Tonight was the annual Graves tasting held at the Place de la Bourse in the heart of the Bordeaux city center. Continue reading