Tag Archives: become a sommelier

Masters and Merlot

18 Mar

Oh hey now I’m a certified somm! I went and took the Court of Master Sommeliers’ certified test this last Wednesday. I only told my friend who was helping me practice I was doing the test, as I wasn’t sure I’d pass. You have to blind taste four wines, take a theory test and do a service portion in which you serve a Master Somm–I was assigned to serve Tim Gaiser, one of my wine heroes! Seriously his blog posts on blind-tasting saw me through my practice. During service they have you do all sorts of wine things like opening and serving bubbly (nerve-wracking) while quizzing you about wine, food pairing, liquor and more (only nerve-wracking for a fact-memorizing nerd like me because I was scared of spilling things and breaking things). I really was unsure if I could pass–you have to pass each part so it does not matter if I aced theory if I didn’t pass another part. Only about 12 of around 40 people passed. Crazy. As I looked around at my fellow candidates, all of us attempting not to guzzle the I’m so relieved.

I’ve been doing nothing but tasting wines on the list of the Court’s testable varieties for a couple of weeks. Sadly the only Merlot they test is that of California or right bank Bordeaux and I’ve had these Washington wines staring at me begging me to drink them. And now I can without worrying I’m wasting precious taste-bud power. I can’t wait to drink weird wines for a while now. Not to mention cocktails. Until I apply for Advanced. D’oh. Although the testing list of wines for that level is more extensive.

I’ve been a fan of Columbia Winery for some time. They do solid work. I got an assortment of their wine from the ever-so-good-to-me Gallo publicist! It’s a chilly LA evening and nothing says cozy vibes like their 2015 Merlot.

This one is all I could hope for in terms of new world Merlot. It reeks of ultra ripe blackberry, boysenberry, strawberry, and red plum. Almost jammy. A hint of spice likely born of oak. I jumped in. It is a blackberry pie that is not too sweet. Not complex per say but it doesn’t need to be. It is a bed with purple cashmere blankets I cannot wait to rest my head on. Which is to say I am finishing the bottle. Go team me! Go team Merlot.

Total knockouts, both of us.

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My Next Wine Adventure

24 Aug


Oooh oooh passed “With Distinction”.

Brag moment: I got a 96 percent on the test so I only missed two questions. I wish I knew huhwhut (that’s the snobby way of pronouncing what) I had missed. I’m pretty sure one of them had to do with the body of Albariño though. Huh.

I start level three soon and am studying already. It goes much more intensely into viticulture and vinification. It’s longer and tougher. The course is 11 weeks. The test involves blind-tasting and essays. Apparently I’ll be happy just to pass.

But in the meantime I am happy to toast to 96 percent. And because I am an overachiever am gonna attempt to see if I was class valedictorian. Doesn’t mean much in level two by I choose to live in the now. Cheers.