I’m Officially A Wine Sommelier
5 years, 200+ hours in the classroom, 23 exams, countless projects and papers, and blind-test tasting approximately 600 wines… but I did it. On Sunday night I officially became a Certified Sommelier with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.
Here I am accepting the designation from the two greatest instructors a girl could ask for. Mark DeWolf, who is President of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, just taking over the National Presidency January 1st of this year, and Carman Mills, who is a Professor at Dalhousie University and one of the most knowledgeable wine people I have ever met.
It was an action packed weekend as my friend Judy and I took a master wine class from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. It was hosted by Jean-Phillipe Turgeon, representing the wines of Gérard Bertrand. We started the afternoon with 15 gorgeous wines, including white, red and rose. They also sponsored the gala dinner that night and provided the wines. It was a fabulous evening with some spectacular wines . I would like to share some of my favorites from that day and night.
This was my favorite white wine of the day, and they served it with the appetizer course at dinner. Most of the people at the gala dinner had a scallop appetizer, but because of allergies, I had the salad. Not only was the salad delicious, this was a delightful pairing. Picpoul, also known as Folle Blanche, is a white grape variety that originated around the Cognac and Armagnac region of France. Picpoul is sometimes blended in with red wines but this standalone was fantastic and a great wine for an appetizer.
What a treat… we got to enjoy the 1969 Rivesaltes Legend by Gerard Bertrand… at $199 a bottle, let’s just say it was the treat of the night. It’s a very full bodied wine with Granache as the grape variety. Fortification haltsthe activity of the yeast before it can convert all the sugar into alcohol, giving it a tinge of sweetness. This wine is then aged in wooden casks for as much as 50 years. Beautiful cherry brandy flavours along with some tobacco makes for a great wine.
This is the Gerard Bertrand Corbieres (pronounced without the ‘s’ on the end, like Corbiere. This is a great wine at a great value. This wine is $19.99 a bottle here in Nova Scotia, and again is made with the Grenache grape. Did you know Grenache is the grape variety used to make Chateauneuf du Pape! Licorice and spice accompany the fruit flavors and is a great wine for the upcoming barbeque season .
And now for my one of the week….
I know what you’re thinking, she didn’t pick the $199 bottle of wine as her wine of the week. This is still a treat winebut I enjoy this one much more. Again from Gerard Bertrand, the L’Hospitalitas is made from a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre. This vineyard is along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the grapes benefit from that beautiful Mediterranean climate. This particular plot is at the bottom of a 90 foot cliff protecting it from wind. Probably makes for a challenging harvest, can you imagine picking those grapes? It is $67 a bottle here where I live, and in my opinion it’s worth every penny.
Well, that’s it for this week. Thank you to all my readers and supporters who sent me messages of support! I really appreciate it.
Till next week, Cheers