At the request of several other members, I’m starting a thread for those interested in asking questions about wine and everything beverage related. I introduced myself in the Professional Networking thread, stating what I do for a living.
A little bit about myself:
I’m a Level 3 Advanced Sommelier in The Court of Master Sommeliers. I work for a popular restaurant group in Chicago, and Ive worked at some great restaurants including Charlie Trotter’s, Sepia, and Grace. My background is in Data Science and Statistics, having been a Quantitative Analyst in my first career. However, wine has always been a passion of mine. I used to spend weekends in the Napa Valley when I was attending graduate school in the Bay Area. I learned a ton about wine and wine making, and always wanted to do something with wine in my life.
Eventually, I got to a point where I could “retire” from that career and venture in to the wine world. I’ve been a happier man ever since! It’s a great career, but working in restaurants doesn’t lead to having the most flexible times to golf. Usually my golf times are on Sunday/Monday, and early mornings during the week before heading to the restaurant.
So, with that being said, feel free to ask any questions related to food and wine!
In the Professional Networking thread, @Breaking88 asked the following:
“Would you say you’ve always had an advanced palate / knowledge level surrounding wine? Or is that something that comes along with studying once you decided this was the route for you?”
Great question! I noticed from a younger age, that I was able to discern flavors and aromas pretty easily. My mom, from a young age, was always cooking and so I was able to distinguish the smell of roasted mushrooms, rosemary, fresh garlic, basil, etc… When I first started drinking wine, I was able to notice some of those aromas and flavors and it intrigued me quite a bit. Having an analytical brain, I decided to read more about it and see what I could find out.
Once I began reading, I was fascinated with how one grape (Cabernet Sauvignon, for example) could taste so differently being grown in California compared to the same grape being grown in France. I thought it was amazing that soil, air, climate, rain, heat, type of wood that the wine was aged in, etc… would have such an effect on the outcome of the wine. I was hooked. I think anyone who studies wine will garner a great amount of knowledge. However, tasting and drinking different wines on a regular basis is what really helps to broaden your palate, and therefore narrow down what you like and don’t like.
When you go through enough of that, you quickly can determine more of what you don’t like, versus what you do like.
Ironically enough, the knowledge comes with repetition - as it does with golf. I find myself now going to a new club/course, and hitting the restaurant afterwards to see what their wine program looks like. More often than not, its what will determine if I come back or not! Sounds strange, right?
Feel free to ask anything you want!