Wine Tasting Video Series
Andrea Morgan, CSW, FWS
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When purchasing your wine from the Burgandy region of France this week, rest assured, that if it's red, it's a Pinot Noir. There is only one exception to this; avoid purchasing a wine from the Beaujolais district of Burgandy because this will be made from the Gamay grape. There is a wide range or price when it comes to Pinot Noir from Burgandy. The wine label itself reveals a quality classification system ranking wines from the highest quality level of Grand Cru, and working it's way down through the Premier/1er Cru, Commune (Village) Appellations, and Regional Appellations. There are good wines at every quality level, so start anywhere you please!
When you shop for your wine this week, make sure you purchase something from the Champagne region of France. Champagne is a protected place name famous for it's chalky soils. No other sparkling wine producer, even in other areas of France, can put Champagne on their label. Somewhere on your Champagne label you should see Methode Champenoise.
Anyone who has signed up for the Certified Sommelier exam, with Court of Master Sommeliers, knows how daunting and formidable the task at hand can feel. My own choice to pursue the Certified exam emerged from a desire to improve my service and tasting skills. My experience in the industry ranged from working in a wine retail and academy setting, to restaurant beverage consultation & menu development. I had previously completed my French Wine Scholar, and Certified Specialist of Wine exams, and felt fairly confident from a theory perspective.
Once I registered for the exam, I used GuildSomm to e-mail other members in SLC, Utah, USA, to see if there was anyone else in my area taking the Intro or Certified exams. I was unsuccessful in my attempts to connect with a support/tasting group. I engaged my regular wine tasting group to assist me. My colleagues were generous with their support, and were relieved it was me, not them, under pressure! We had been tasting together for three years through our previous two exams. In addition to regular group tastings, I made it a point to taste daily on my own. I used the Proimb Pump Preserver with Vacuum Bottle Stoppers, but in hindsite, could have benefited from a Coravin.
Unfortunately, my Introductory/Level 1 examination (required) had given me a false sense of security when it came to theory. I scored 100 % on the Intro exam and felt it was super easy; consequently, I studied very little for the theory portion prior to my Certified exam. There is so much to cover that you simply have to order your priorities! The one step I did take was to sign up for a GuildSomm Deductive Tasting workshop. This proved to be highly beneficial.
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Andrea Morgan is a wine enthusiast and Certified Sommelier. You can refer to her Wine Consultation page to view her other credentials and services.