Culinary Bootcamp, Week 6 Sidenote: Getting Friendly With Grapes!

For the past little bit we have been learning about wine production/varieties in school and occasionally sample glasses with meals. I didn’t know  very much about the subject beforehand, so one of my classmates introduced me to Wine Library TV. She said that there are videos with a guy who tastes and describes wines in terms such as “Hit a deer on the road, let it fall down, throw a bunch of cherries on it, take out your knife that you always have on you, cut the deer, bite it, that’s the flavour profile!” Sold!

That guy is Gary Vaynerchuk, who hosts a video blog that aims to demystify vino, because from an outsider’s perspective, the world of wine does seem vague, stuffy and overwhelming. The dedicated cult following of Vayniacs proves that there is definitely a need for some chutzpah and whizbang entertainment mixed with genuine expertise in the field. The learning process occurs best when you’re having fun, which is something I definitely like about attending Northwest!

Episode #148: How to get Your Wine Palate Trained is a great starter. Whether or not you’re already familiar with noses or top-notes, Vaynerchuk’s approach is definitely interesting: Working backwards! Or with blind-tasting. Or cereal matching. It’s good to be creative!

Normally I don’t drink alcohol at all, and for some reason, that’s a big deal to people. Why? I’m not a fan of plain mayonnaise and they don’t ask what the deal is, or if I used to have some type of problem. By the way, there likely is such a thing as a mayo addict.

Anyway, even 2 fingers of wine in a glass is enough to turn me red-faced. I’m told it’s because of my Asian background, but whether or not that is the actual cause, I started tasting different wines to sort of dip a toe in the water and get acclimatized: I’m a giggly goofball, but don’t want the instructors to think it’s because of the bottle they just uncorked. I am already boisterous and outspoken without the help of grape pressings or fermented grains, thank you, but I do look forward to watching some Wine Library to at least learn a few things here and there!

So grab a glass, and get swirling! If you’re into it. If you aren’t as much, do what I do and cook with it so you get the flavour and evaporate most of the alcohol. Unless you make Knockout Gravy.

Cheers!

Kari

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