I totally admire Sommeliers. I mean like for real. To be able to select wine for different palates, to pair with different foods, at different price points, from different regions, AND they can speak to each one at any given time?? Yeah, that’s kinda dope. So to hear about a Somm Showdown for the International Wine & Food Festival, I had to be in attendance!
The event started with of course, a wine tasting. My first stop was Tres Sabores. I actually toured this winery last year with the Napa Valley Wine Educators Academy. Julie Johnson gave us the tour of the property, which included a farm, and we ate roasted pig and drank wine. But I digress… I tasted the Sauvignon Blanc, crisp acidity with hints of lime zest and herbs. Very refreshing. Then I had the Charbono from Calder Wine Company. The acidity, and tannins on this one…whoa! But on the second sip I was able to get the berry fruit and cinnamon. Not sure if I’ve had Charbono before, but this one was very nice so I’d definitely try it again. I also tasted the Stag’s Leap Chardonnay, Etude Chardonnay, Early Mountain Petit Manseng, and some Glemorangie Scotch.
Then it was time for the showdown!! The were 7 sommeliers competing from around the DC area.
The lowdown on the competition was this: blind tasting of 9 red wines, name the grape and the region, first to finish correctly wins. GEESH!! First let me tell you, blind tasting red wines is HARD!!! When tasting them all together, the flavors are so similar. But then to have to do this under pressure as all hundred plus guests were taking pics, talking, wearing perfume, eating food… I’m just glad it wasn’t me up there on display. There wasn’t much to see while they were competing so I went back for more wine and food.
Crabcakes, oysters, mussels, lobster mac ‘n cheese, duck risotto, oh yeah…WINE!!
Once the tasting was over, glasses were pushed aside, Leah Cheston of Ris
emerged as winner of the Somm Showdown. We were able to taste the showdown wines after it was over, I may have gotten a grape correct here or there, LOL. It was a very exciting event that highlighted wine and the people who taste them daily. I was also invited to a wine dinner later in the week as part of the Wine and Food Festival. Guess I’ll drink water tomorrow!
It’s been a tradition for the past several years that in order for me to remember home, my Mother buys me a new Chicago calendar for Christmas. So, as I’m looking at January 25th on the calendar, it says Burns Night (SCT). I have no idea what that is…so to google I go!
Burns Night is a celebration in honor of the life of Robert Burns a famous poet from Scotland. Born in 1759 in Scotland he wrote about love, universal brotherhood and the human condition. Fans felt that he always wrote from the heart and his works are considered timeless. As a tribute to his memory, in 1796 a few years after his death, a few of his close friends got together and created a supper ritual which includes haggis, bagpipes, a reading of Burns’ poetry, singing Auld Lang Syne and scotch.
Scotch you say?? I’m celebrating too!! Minus the bagpipes though…
“To A Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady’s Bonnet at Church”
a 1786 Scots language poem by Robert Burns
And would some Power the small gift give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
And even devotion!
As for the scotch…get a single malt and sip it neat or pour in a little club soda over ice. Either way, enjoy! Slainte!!
My 3-day weekend by the glass. Why 4 pics you say?? I started Friday ;-)
Top Left to right: Ommegang Scythe & Sickle; 6 different single malt scotches
Bottom: Red wine at Taste of DC in a Bud Light cup…sigh; Blood & Sand cocktail
This was a short week, having Monday off for Labor Day and all, but that makes me no less excited to see another weekend!! I look at, sniff, sip, and sample quite a bit during the week. This week’s fav drink was the Smoked Peach created by Kindred Cocktails. I’m a sucker for anything smokey-flavored and I’m a fan of Scotch. So, go out, get these ingredients and mix one up for yourself this weekend!!
I like manly men. I like broad shoulders, strong backs, biceps… Sorry, this is a drinking blog and I was distracted. But anyway! I like for a man to be a man. This includes what’s in his glass. And yes there is a double standard here, because I (a girl) can drink whatever I want. But a man at the bar sipping any colorful beverage through a straw with any type of fruit floating on the top, he won’t get my real name. Of course there are exceptions. Like if he is actually on a beach with his feet in some sand, he sure can sip that colorful daiquiri or mai tai. But that guy that ordered the Strawberry Daiquiri at Red Lobster AND dipped the strawberries in the drink to eat them - one and done.
The guy that orders The Macallan 15yr neat and sips slowly while watching the game…I like him. The dude that let’s me pour him Armagnac or Dewar’s and soda, I’m a huge fan. A French Connection, that’s cool too. I think it’s sexy when a man drinks like a man.
Bell Wine & Spirits monthly grand tasting!! Held the last Wednesday of the month, these tastings cover wine, spirits, and beer. This one, bourbon and scotch. Clearly I had to be in attendance! As I develop my palate (fancy speak for I drink a lot and am trying everything) I’m kinda getting into bourbon and scotch. Having attending tasting for Johnnie Walker, The Macallan, and Glenfiddich recently, this tasting was an excellent way to taste a lot of different styles while not spending the money that it would cost to buy each one. (And some of the money would’ve been wasted as there were a few that just were not for me.) So for $10, I tried everything. And by everything, I mean 27 different scotches, whiskeys, bourbons, scotch whiskeys, rye bourbons… A Gentleman in attendance said that he was very proud and impressed as to how I handled myself throughout the entire tasting. I asked intelligent questions, sipped not guzzled, and I was still standing. Compliment much appreciated sir!
Some of the standouts of the tasting were:
Sometimes a girl needs scotch. This cocktail, introduced in 1922, was named after Rudolph Valentino’s classic silent-movie romance film. It’s both classic and delicious. Give it a try.
1 oz Scotch
1 oz Fresh juice from a blood orange
.75 oz Sweet vermouth
.75 oz Cherry Heering
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy after a long day :)
The 1st liquor legally imported into the US after the repeal of the 18th Amendment. Cheers to Repeal Day!!!