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This is my first blog of many touching on the subject "Wine". I will share with you my journey and how you too can discover the same joy & curiosity when I popped open a bottle of Chianti Classico 2008 Reserva.
From my experience, I never thought I would love Wine as much as I do today. Ever since the start of my social drinking days; It's mainly chugging Beers, downing Shots, Mixers, and Cocktails with the odd occasion... Red Wine.
At some point, I actually hated Wine, especially when it came to the Reds. The dryness texture it left in my mouth and hangover headache the following day was enough to put anyone off. Whites never occurred to me as much since I thought it was too feminine! I was so wrong... and today, my preference are Whites and certainly isn't too feminine!
It all started 2nd Janurary 2014 when I met up Xin to celebrate the New Year with some fresh Oysters at the Bullring Market. She convinced me to go Wine Tasting and I remember walking passed this place called Loki under the Great Western Arcade, Birmingham City Centre. So that's where we headed next...
Loki had a range of 24 Wines connected to dispensers. To use these dispensers, you would have to purchase a sampling card that has to be inserted into the machine. It then deduct credits depending on your Wine selection and volume.
Purchasing £20 credit could get you up to 80 Wine samples and you don't have to use it all in one go. They change their Wines on the dispensers every two weeks, so you enjoy trying out new Wines before buying in bottles.
We spent two hours inside sampling as much as our Livers and Bladders could handle. Xin would explained how to taste each wine. She swirls the glass and look at the tears as it drips down the edges. As she lift the glass to her nose to get a good wiff, then explaining the tone of colours and before finally tasting it. She certainly looked and sound like she knew what she was talking about!
Xin had completed the WSET Level 1 course and still deciding whether to do the WSET Level 3 course as part of her Hospitality studies. These courses are specific Wine recognition courses for people who wants to have academic knowledge for applications within the Hospitality industry such as restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.
Before this little experience, I knew only Wine as Red or White and my taste buds were not developed due to ignorance. It was fascinating how much one could talk about Wine and the technicality behind the making of it, the causes and effects. I was inspired.
February 2014, I started the '8 Week World Tour of Wine' with Birmingham School of Wine (BSoW). This was where my Wine journey began.
Within the year, having signed up to 'Vintage Champagne only' class, 'Rare Mature Bordeaux', 'Wine and Cheese Pairing' with BSoW and 'Idiom Wine Tasting' with Loki Wine Merchant. My passion for Wine kept growing immensely. Every time traveling abroad, I would search for Wines at local stores and niblets to go with it!
Along the journey, I discovered how much I love Cheese with Wine and thought of furthering my knowledge by attending the 'Autumn Cheese and Wine' with Neals Yard Dairy in London.
As the year progressed, having tasted hundreds of different Wines, my senses have became more attuned. I could pick up aromas through smell and mi-nute flavours through my taste buds that I could not before.
Joining courses are a great way to start with basic understanding. You get to meet others who also starting out. You learn from the more experienced and the Teachers are helpful in guiding you along the way!
Anyone can learn to appreciate and respect the World of Wine, and within no time, you can impress your friends with how smart you are. Maybe...!
I highly recommend joining the Birmingham School of Wine (BSoW) or the same brand of schools. They offer at a very competitive price/value, classes are well structured, learning materials available and the staffs are very knowledgeable. What I like most is that they are not there to sell you wine, but teach you how to appreciate and become more knowledgeable.
I always suggest attending classes and courses alone because it forces you out of that comfort zone with friends. After the first few glasses, you'll end up chatting to the people around and near the end, the room becomes loud and merry!
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