Day 39: A Trip to Wine Country.
Breaking Chef news: Chef Dominique shaved OFF his mustache! He no longer has the Captain Hook facial hair going on. I hope it grows back soon because it was quite entertaining to look at! We had wine tasting today all day! We tried all sorts of wines from all over the world and even paired some of them with food. Chef Dominique needed a few helpers to come in early to help, so I decided to assist because he was struggling to get volunteers. We set up the food pairing trays which included some type of jelly, butter, salt, lemon, prosciutto chunks, smoked almonds, chocolate, and Sriracha hot sauce. We first had a lecture about how different kinds of wines are made and learned what the 6 major wines are with the plus one being Syrah.
We had to sign a paper that stated we were NOT allowed to swallow the wines and were mandated to spit them out after we swirled the wine around in our mouth. Talk about a tease! But, I’m glad because I wasn’t trying to get wasted at Culinary School drinking 12 glasses of different types of wines. However, the spit cup was repulsive and not very enjoyable. So, with every wine we had to smell it, see it, swirl it, sip it, taste it, and spit it out. The chef had us describe what each wine smelled like. To me they all just smelled like alcohol! Rebecca was getting every smell on the money- it smells like grass, it smells like meat, it smells like mold. Chef even went so far as to say one smelled like cat litter. Now come on Chef and now you expect me to taste it! Really? Once someone points something out to you, you begin to notice it. Well, as I was drinking, I was smelling the cat litter- ew. When we drank the wines by themselves they tasted differently then when we paired selected ones with food. Based on the acidity or sweetness, chef gave us pairing recommendations!
Lesson of the day:
1) Dry wines- means they have no sugar added
2) You can make white wine from both green and red grapes, but you can only make red wine out of red grapes because you keep the skin on during the process. For white wines, you remove the skin and only use the juice.
3) Also, even though everyone thinks that red wine and chocolate have an affinity for each other- they don’t really.
4) Before you drink your wine, make sure to swirl it because it enhances the flavor
Also, after the white wine tasting, I pretty much ate all my chocolate, lemon, prosciutto chunks, and almonds and was left with nothing for the red wine tasting! Thank the lord I had Sagot next to me and although he rolled his eyes at me for being me, he shared whatever he had left with me! The day would have been much more interesting had we been able to consume the wine, but I’m not complaining because I feel like I became a sommelier in just one day!