So here I am, ready to learn all this cool stuff about wine.
Digging into it deeper, more detailed.
1 year also equals 1 wine cycle.
Where you start with the harvest, fermenting the juice, aging it in bottles or barrels until you put the finished product on the shelves in the wine store or in the restaurant.
But if you go to the Southern hemisphere, you can do the same things, within the same year! So you can practice what you’ve learned so far!
That year was really hands on. We went picking grapes in Belgian vineyards.
We took a wine trip to Bordeaux where we visited several wine houses and learned about the quality systems in ‘the old wine world’.
We tasted all grape varieties and discovered their specific palettes during practical classes and made food and wine pairings in the didactical restaurant.
But the highlight of the year was definitely our trip to Stellenbosch, South Africa!
We visited 2 wine estates per day, tasted the differences between the old and new wine world, saw the little penguins on the beach and stood on the most Southern Point of Africa, Cape of Good Hope.
My hunger for more knowledge about wine made me participate in 2 wine contests that year. On the International Wine Fair in Anger, France, I finished 2nd place in the international participants group.
During the national junior sommelier contest in Belgium, my friend and school companion Jan excelled, while I took another silver medal home.
The wine world is a never ending learning curve, every year is specific, regions are dependent on climate change, wine producers are developing their own style and signature.
Whenever I’m in the mood for a glass of wine, I reach back to my knowledge.
Rainy days ask for a Nero d’Avola from Sicily, summer nights a Verdejo from Rueda, Spain. Every memory has it’s own palette, grape and region.
It’s part of the experience!
Xo – Ann