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!

Further Decoding Decanting

Earlier this week I posted an article and an infographic called Decoding Decanting. I posted the infographic more in response to a dinner conversation I had with my friend M. while she was visiting me from NYC than as a reflection on what people should or should not do with their wine. I understood at the time that the infographic I posted wasn’t perfect but when I posted the article to my various social media channels it sparked some rather lively debate (Thanks B.) among those friends of mine who work in the retail wine sector. That being said the art of the decanters is a widely and hotly debated subject among us wine nerds: some are all for it, some support careful decision making and some prefer to leave their wine alone.

So now I’m going to take a few minutes to re-address the decanting process in a bit more detail.  Continue reading

Ain’t No Party Like a Bordeaux Party

Despite the controversy over pricing the past couple of years, the en primeur campaign is nonetheless a major annual milestone for the Bordeaux wine industry. The world sits up and pays attention as the Bordelaise release the first glimpse of the latest vintage. For the producers it marks not only the first sales but also a shifting of attention to other vintages. For the wine merchants it marks allocations and of course sales. For consumers, in theory, it allows first access to the rarest wines and a chance to special order any large format bottles. Of course the entire system is predicated on critical ratings, reasonable pricing and good wine. But despite the inherent pitfalls and the “Bordeaux bashing,” the system continues onDSC00434 Continue reading