A bad day tasting wine still beats a good day at work

Tim's Wine Market

Day three of the trip, day two of the seminar

Today began the blind tasting, or practical, part of the seminar. At 8 am I was staring at twelve white wines, layed out in glasses around me. In the next three hours my job was to taste each wine and answer a series of questions relating to each wine or grouping. I won’t say my performance was amazing but I feel confident I can handle that portion of the program. My writing needs work, particularly in describing the wines in case my guess is wrong. One MW told me that you write the description in case you are wrong, not if you are right. Like hand grenades, close is sometimes good enough.

The afternoon was spent preparing for the written part of the exam, called the theory. I wont bore you with the details but suffice to say, this is real wine geek stuff.

The afternoon concludes with a comparitive tasting of thirteen Champagnes, led by MW Charles Curtis. I know, I feel my pain.

Dinner was held and sponsored by the Robert Mondavi Winery. Amid the rolling arches of the mission winery we dined on the following meal, one that will be in my mind for quite some time.

Reception wine, 2003 RMW To-Kalon Vineyard, I-Block Fume Blanc

Wild Striped Bass with Black Truffle Emulsion, Red Onion Marmalade and French Lentils

1974 RMW Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley– Yes, 1974 and it was very nice
2003 RMW Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Chanterelle and Artichoke Lasagna Bolognese

1976 RMW Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve — Good but not as much as the 1974
2002 RMW Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve

Roasted Veal Loin Stuffed with Swiss Chard, Leeks and Herbs
Fennel and Fontina Flan
Crispy Shallots and Mache

1994 RMW To-Kalon Fume Blanc Reserve — served from three liter
2002 RMW To-Kalon Fume Blanc Reserve

Roasted Maui Pineapple with Pineapple Sorbet and Marcona Almond Tuile

2000 RMW Sauvignon Blanc Botrytis — Not released from the winery but marvelous

Good night, more tomorrow


Tim Varan