Wine. Kyle Wilkinson

5 06 2009

Before taking Wine & Beverage with Chef Willison, I had a small amount of knowledge about wine.  I had been to Nice, France and tasted the wine there.  The year before coming to CHIC, I had been experimenting with wine, but needless to say, it is a hard world to break into completely on your own.  That is why I appreciated this class so much.  My knowledge changed so much for the better, and it rose exponentially.  It was a really great crash course through all the wines of the world.  What I had before was a small interest in wine— Mike Willison turned that into a full-on passion for wine.  Even though this class is over, I know that my experience and knowledge with wine will never stop growing.  So thank you, Chef, for piquing my interest in this amazing new world of oenology. 

Before coming to class, I was really into young Californian Cabernet Sauvignons.  The kind of wines that Chef says will put your dick in the dirt.  I thought this was the “manly” way to enjoy wine.  These incredibly strong, sometimes very good, brutes of strength coming from our west coast.  Since then, I’ve come to really enjoy all the wine I can get my hands on.  I think my favorite wines that we tasted in this class were the Willamette (Dammit) Pinot Noirs, the Vouvray, the Chablis (ohhhhhhh the Chablis.  I love you so.), and the German Riesling and Gewurtztraminer.  I also thought a really intriguing wine was the Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  You could really tell that it was made up of a bunch of grapes.   I also enjoyed all the stories Chef had about the wine histories, like the Hermitage story, or the story about planting the row in Oregon, or about being skunk-ass drunk in the Columbia Valley. 

I think what I learned the most from this class was the ability to taste and smell subtleties in different wines.  I learned to do more than drink it and say good or bad.  I learned to read the label– see what I can guess about the wine just from that.  Then to smell it, and really take in what I was smelling.  And finally to taste it and consider the mouthfeel, texture, and taste.  We learned that pairing wines and food could be truly amazing.  And if you’ve ever been to a restaurant with a great sommelier that paired your wine for you, you already knew that.  Now we can take our food to the next level, because we have yet another talent in our repertoire.

In Vino Veritas.  After all these years, that old Greek bastard is still right.

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