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Category: Articles by Tim Gaiser

Death Star Incident (Vinous Interruptus)

The lesson Tim Gaiser MS took from the “Death Star Incident” (as it came to be known) was simple: always give someone permission to drink whatever they like to drink.

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Wine Advice 101 For Those Just Getting into Wine

Here are just a few of the gems in Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser’s newest article. We think it’s one of the best “101” guides for those just getting into wine, packed with sage advice we wish we had been given a long time ago. And although it is geared toward newbies, it’s actually full of wise advice longtime wine industry pros may want to take into consideration.

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Food and Wine Pairing in Less Than 500 Words

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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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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Tim Gaiser MS SommDay Series: Glassware Stance

Sometimes, I think the process of smelling and tasting wine is a lot like playing golf. Both are very complex sequences involving the use of multiple senses while processing a good deal of information in the moment. To point, addressing the golf ball consistently before making a good shot in golf is probably the single most crucial factor for success in the game. Likewise, consistency in technique when picking up a glass to smell the wine is incredibly important—but something rarely, if ever, discussed or written about. I call the process “glassware stance.”

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