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Category: Advanced Courses

Australian Reds: The Days of Overblown Shiraz Are Gone

The days of Australian wine being synonymous with over-extracted, unbalanced fruit juice are mercifully past us. Yet to a certain extent, and among a certain generation of consumers, the stigma has proven to be frustratingly persistent.
Sure, there are plenty of massively styled reds being produced Down Under, but that’s the case around the world, and to discuss them as if they’re in any way emblematic of an entire country’s—and in this, an entire continent’s!—wine culture is grossly inaccurate.

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The New Austrian Sparkling Wine Quality Pyramid

Austria’s famous cultural fastidiousness has been particularly acute when it comes to Sekt, the country’s sparkling wine. While Sekt has been produced since the 1840s, the market is just now seeing the results of Austria’s new sparkling wine designation, under the moniker Österreichischer Sekt mit geschützter Ursprungsbezeichnung (g.U.), which stands for “Austrian Sekt with Protected Designation of Origin” (PDO).

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Winemaker Dan Petroski Talks Climate Change in Napa Valley 

In a special Op-Ed authored for Seven Fifty Daily, Dan Petroski, winemaker for Larkmead Vineyards and Massican Winery, offered a stark view of how climate change will impact Napa Valley in the coming years. The piece inspired a lot of questions for us. We reached out to Petroski for comment on some of the matters we feel are most important for students of wine.

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How to Become a Napa Valley Wine Expert

It may not be possible to pinpoint the pivotal moment when Napa Valley became famous for wine, however, it is now possible for you to become a genuine Napa Valley Wine Expert through the Napa Valley Wine Academy’s new online course.

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Scotch Whisky 101 — Reading the Label

Go to any bar, restaurant, or take stock next time you’re in any retail shop and you’ll notice that the brown spirits section seems to be in constant expansion mode. Knowing how each brown spirit is produced, and where each one comes from is critical for students of wine and spirits looking to ace their exams. 

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Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: It’s the Little Things: 8 Service Basics For Somms

The standards for fine wine service are a vital part of any sommelier organization’s curriculum including the Court of Master Sommeliers. These standards were derived from traditional, formal European wine service used at the very top restaurants around the globe. The standards have existed in some form or another for decades. While a majority of the standards only apply to the very finest restaurants, there are a handful of common denominators that apply to wine service in any restaurant regardless of style or level of service.

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Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: The Feynman Technique

Recently, I was sharing dinner with a good friend and fellow Master Sommelier at a bistro in the nation’s heartland. We ordered a bottle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne from an excellent grower-producer. What followed, in terms of our server opening the bottle, was somewhere between comedy and tragedy. While telling us about the evening’s specials, our server blissfully destroyed the capsule on the bottle, took the cage off, and waved the bottle around as if it were a half-gallon of milk. In short, everything that could have been done wrong to open the bottle—was done wrong.

There’s really only one way to do Champagne service correctly, and safety is the most important aspect…

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Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: 9 Strategies for Wine Theory Study

Recently, I was sharing dinner with a good friend and fellow Master Sommelier at a bistro in the nation’s heartland. We ordered a bottle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne from an excellent grower-producer. What followed, in terms of our server opening the bottle, was somewhere between comedy and tragedy. While telling us about the evening’s specials, our server blissfully destroyed the capsule on the bottle, took the cage off, and waved the bottle around as if it were a half-gallon of milk. In short, everything that could have been done wrong to open the bottle—was done wrong.

There’s really only one way to do Champagne service correctly, and safety is the most important aspect…

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Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: 10 Tips for Champagne Service

Recently, I was sharing dinner with a good friend and fellow Master Sommelier at a bistro in the nation’s heartland. We ordered a bottle of Blanc de Blancs Champagne from an excellent grower-producer. What followed, in terms of our server opening the bottle, was somewhere between comedy and tragedy. While telling us about the evening’s specials, our server blissfully destroyed the capsule on the bottle, took the cage off, and waved the bottle around as if it were a half-gallon of milk. In short, everything that could have been done wrong to open the bottle—was done wrong.

There’s really only one way to do Champagne service correctly, and safety is the most important aspect…

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