Derek Kessler

24 07 2009

I started drinking wine with dinner since before i can remember. My mother is a huge wino and has traveled all over the country to different vineyards bringing back all sorts of different wines. Growing up i was always a big fan of Spanish Riojas and Australian Shiraz. Old world wines never really appealed to me that much. As the years went on and my palate advanced i began taking interest in the more pungent and what used to be foul tasting wines. Around this time i also became a lot more interested in matching cheese with wine. While living in Wisconsin for a summer I visited a cheese factory and bought a block of 20yr old aged sharp cheddar. I spent the next 2 months eating that cheese and figuring out what wine tasted best with it. This is where my preference for Riojas and Cabernets started. By the time i started culinary school i knew i was ready to further explore my interest in wine. So, i joined the wset wine class. Everything was very interesting to me but a little overwhelming. I never knew there were so many wine producing regions in the world and prior to the class i had very limited experience with the old world. It was nice to learn what i could but i thought it would be a waste of time to take the test and barley pass. I dont want to be the guy who just made it and is now feeding my customer a load of bs about wine i dont fully understand. The class im in now definitely filled in some of the gray areas i had after finishing the wset course. i still dont understand as much as i would like but i also haven’t gone on my Europe tour yet. I learn best when being able to see where the wine is coming from. Just hearing or being told that the weather conditions or the terrain is what it is isn’t enough for me to store it in my memory. I very interested to see.
Your class broke down the information i had to learn in a very logical and easy to understand way. you kept things interesting and very alive. it wasnt just another know it all wine snob smelling his own farts kinda class. i enjoyed it. some of the wines that i found most interesting were the bordeaux blanc and most of the other stoney white wines. A couple weeks before my 21st i found out i had bleeding stomach ulcer. so light crisp white wines with lower acidity seem to do the least damage. If i down a glass of old world barbaresco or chianti ill be fucked and probably back in the hospital. On occasion after dinner ill sip on a glass of New Zealand Savignon Blanc. Well thats all i got for ya. thanks for teaching me. see ya around or in the next class we have together. peace trout

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