Category: Blog

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

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: 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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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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Some Experience Required: Getting a foot in the door in the wine business

Listen to enough interviews with wine professionals and you’ll hear a familiar refrain as they tell their origin stories:

“Well, someone took a chance on me…”
“I was in the right place at the right time…”
“I was grossly underqualified, but for some reason…”

To outsiders, the wine industry can seem full of fortunate people. And that’s partly true…

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5 Reasons to Know the Wines of Spain’s Montsant DO

One of Spain’s most popular regions today is Priorat. But in recent years, Priorat’s rise in fame is coupled with rising production costs and skyrocketing prices. A few miles away in the mountainous Montsant DO, which surrounds Priorat like a horseshoe, winemakers are busy turning out elegant, beautifully perfumed wines that retail for far less than their popular neighbor. This is a region that warrants the attention of every wine student, and we break down 5 reasons to get to know this up-and-coming DO.

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Why the WSET “SAT” is Essential for Every Wine Writer, Blogger, and Industry Professional

Have you ever had to write a wine tasting note? If you’re enrolled in WSET you know that your life depends on crafting one modeled after the Systematic Approach to Tasting (SAT). In our latest blog post, Food & Wine contributor Jonathan Cristaldi breaks down why the SAT is an essential tool for any industry professional.

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Napa – Then and Now

Summer 1976 and the Paris Tasting. The repeal of prohibition was just 43 years before. Dry table wines had only been outselling fortified sweet jug wines in the U.S. since 1968. For most Americans, fine wine—and fine dining for that matter–was about as remote as the Dog Star. The very thought that California wines could ever share the stage with top French bottlings seemed to be fantasy. The tasting changed everything, with California wines judged superior to Grand Cru Burgundy and classified growth Bordeaux by a panel of French judges. The results sent shock waves through the industry–and far beyond.

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