Sunday, November 17, 2013

Secondary Education: San Francisco Wine School

For the past 10 weeks, I've been attending weekly classes at The San Francisco Wine School. The courses ranged from topics such as Chemistry, Flaws and Tasting to a deep dive into Northern France.

In each class, I had the opportunity to try about 8 wines, listen to guest lecturers from SF's best restaurants and network with industry professionals.

Some of the wines were old friends like Radikon's Tokai which I had the pleasure of tasting during my internship at Vino Roma.

Other wines were new to me and from highly exclusive producers in very small villages in Bordeaux. 

So, why did I take this class?

I like drinking. Specifically, I like drinking wine.

Beyond that - after interning for the premier tasting studio in Rome, my internship in the wine industry only skyrocketed. With support from my mentor, she encouraged me to continue pursuing my wine education even though I've started my professional career in technology.

Through this class, I received in-depth education on nearly every major wine making territory in the world. I learned the difference between viniculture and viticulture and had amazing exposure to some of the leading wine experts in Northern California.

The culmination of this class ends with a rigourous test called The CSW aka The Certified Specialist of Wine test.

I entered the class thinking that this test would be a breeze and I could collect this certification in no time. WRONG.

The test is on Monday and I think I've studied more for this test than I did for the SAT/ACTs.

Here is a sampling of the types of questions they could ask:

1. Which of the following terms means "late harvest" in German?
A. Auslese
B. Spatlese
C. Berrenauslese
D. Kabinett

2. Which of the following wines is produced in Sicily?
A. Taurasi
B. Frascati
C. Conero
D. Marsala

3. Which of the following AVA's is located in Oregon?
A. Rogue Valley
B. Green Valley
C. Horse Heaven Hills
D. McDowell Valley

4. What is "Les Clos"?
A. A Premier Cru vineyard in Alsace
B. A Grand Cru vineyard in Chablis
C. A Grand Cru vineyard in Champagne.
D. A Premier Cru vineyard in Burgundy

Did you get any correct? (Check the answers below)

I need a 75% to pass -- wish me luck!

Answers (1. B 2. D 3. A 4. B)

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Next Adventure...

BIG NEWS: In exactly one week, I'll be on a plane headed to Dublin, Ireland.

Exploring the Wicklow Mountains

The reason for my trip is twofold:

1. My best friend has been working her buns off this past semester at Trinity College and gallivanting around Europe on the weekends. I am her official Thanksgiving buddy.
2. My fantastic amazing company, bases their European HQ in the charming city of Dublin and is allowing me to work remotely for a few days during my trip. I'll be spending the days shadowing different teams, having 1:1's with senior leaders and learning all about the European market.

Frolicking around Trinity College

For those who followed my adventures whilst abroad, you know that I am already a big fan of Dublin (and Trinity College above). I had the great fortune of spending a few days in Ireland last fall with my pals from Rome.

Dublin has an especially warm place in my heart, despite the freezing weather because it is a place of reunion. During our trip, I reunited with another best friend (same group of friends as Rachel) who was based in Spain for the year! It was a teery and warm reunion.

The week will be filled with adventures in the Irish countryside, lots of Guinness, freezing our pants off (see below from last year) and laughter gallore.

But that's not all folks...

Rachel and I are being graced by the beautiful presence of our friend, the amazing and talented - Katie Turley. You may have seen her a few years ago, competing on NBC's "The Sing Off." Beyond having the voice of an angel, she is a total hoot! Katie's been abroad in London this fall and is spending the weekend with us. Katie and I are dying to see The Cliffs of Moher.

That's not all either...

For our Thanksgiving meal, Rachel and I will be munching down on haggis and black pudding (maybe)... because we will be in EDINBURGH.

We are risking our lives and taking a RyanAir flight to Scotland.

Cheers to a week and a half of adventures with my pals, international work experience and freezing cold weather.

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