World of Wine …

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

Specialize your talent … WINE

Did you know that apparently women have a better sense of smell?
I didn’t know that one either.

Anyhow, cooking wasn’t really my strong suit, I liked being in the front of the house better. So I was BEYOND excited when we finally started on wine lessons in our 3rd year. In Belgium, it’s allowed to taste wine when you’re 17!

It wasn’t until our second year of wine classes that my interest in wine really took off.
I believe it was April, and after aperitifs, liquors and juices, we’d finally start to learn about wine.
My teacher at the time, Mr Mullebrouck gave us the assignment to pick one of the empty bottles in the room and review the wine.

All the way in the back of the classroom, there was a little cabinet with bottles from Chateau Margaux, Chateau Lafitte, Mouton Rothschild, Chateaux Petrus.
All the big names in Bordeaux. However, I didn’t want to walk all the way to the back, so I just reached over to the side and pulled the first bottle I landed on.

Later that evening, when I was researching my bottle, I discovered the true value of wine. Apparently I had chosen one of the most precious wines in the room.
Meursault – Perrieres 1e Cru – Coche Dury.

Meursault: a small village in Burgundy, France
Perrieres: the vineyard with the status of 1e Cru (a class system to assign quality)
Coche Dury: a major wine maker with a very specific palette
Average price: around 300,00 EUR

That’s how my interest and passion for wine started to grow.
I discovered a whole new world out there and decided to do a major in wine.

Up until today, that bottle of Meursault Perrieres is on my wishlist.
I had the opportunity to taste it several times, but if you really want to make me happy, that’s your answer.

Xo – Ann

Photo credit – Pinterest