As some of you know, I had my first WSET class this evening. WSET stands for Wine & Spirit Education Trust and for the next 8 weeks I'll be working towards my Intermediate Certificate in wine and spirits. It doesn't really certify me to do anything but be a bigger wine snob. Obviously I've been looking forward to this class since I signed up weeks ago.
Boy do I have a long way to go! We started off the class by doing a tasting exercise where our instructor had doctored the wines so that we could pick out the key characteristic highlighted (Acid, Tannin or Alcohol). The wine tasted awful, but it was a great exercise - even if I guessed every wine wrong.
Without going through the entire two hour class, here are my key learnings:
1) My palette is a bit behind and it might require summer school or at the very least, lots of extra credit work (which I'm totally o.k. about).
2) Sweating mouth = Acidity
3) If you think a wine is sweet, pinch your nose while you're tasting it and if you still think it's sweet, it likely is a sweet wine.
4) Wedding cake usually doesn't taste good when eaten with champagne and champagne usually doesn't taste good when served with wedding cake. The reason is that most champagnes served are Bruts which means they're quite dry so when consumed with the cake, the champagne will be puckering and the cake will taste too sweet. So save the champagne for the toast and the appetizers.
5) There are over 1,000 grape varietals in Italy but I'm not going to have to learn all of them.
I'm not sure I can wait a week for class 2, but I'm sure I'll be "studying up" between now and then. I never thought I'd be so excited for homework.
Until the next sniff, sip or quaff,