Last week I attended a seminar at the International Wine Center that focused on the wine of southern France.
Make that the South of France, the new marketing push from Sopexa, the biggest food/wine marketer in France. The seminar was more than a commercial and contained information valuable to anyone studying wine, as well as a tasting with some impressive sommeliers. There was André Compeyre, who worked for Alain Ducasse and is now a consultant for the Les Halles restaurant group (where I had a realy good steak frites on Monday, but that’s another story) and the ubitiqutous Jean-Luc le Dû, former sommelier for Daniel and now the owner of his own shop in Manhattan.
First the info: the trade groups for the wine of the Langeudoc, Vin de Pays d’Oc and the wine from Roussillon joined forces in June 2006 to create one umbrella brand South of France in order to promote their wines. Continue reading
The International Wine Center has been posting profiles of its recent diploma grads for two weeks on their website. And now it’s my turn. The lovely Stephanie McDade, communications specialist for IWC, sent me an e-mail to direct me to the site, which also has the group picture from the dinner. In the center is Mary Ewing-Mulligan, president of IWC and Ian Harris, chief executive of the WSET.
I had a great time at the annual Diploma dinner given by the International Wine Center on Monday night. All those who have earned diplomas are invited as well as the new graduates, of which I was one.
There was great food and we started off with Piper-Heidsick Champagne. Some congratulatory words from Ian Harris, executive director of Wine and Spirit Education Trust, and then were given etched paperweights and had our pictures taken. Then … everyone broke out the wines they brought and it turned into a great informal tasting of rare, off-the-beaten-path, and just good wine.
A short list of what was open:
1990 Reichgraf von Kessllstaff Riesling; 1999 Prager Smaragd; 2005 Adjenda Reserve Shiraz; 1988 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape; a magnum of 2007 Cigar Volant; 1989 Weinhert Cabernet from Mendoza;
And that’s just part of what made it to my table. Continue reading
Big excitement here today. As with all the other letters from the International Wine Center, this, the final one, arrived on a Saturday. A thick envelope, which I agreed to let be a good omen. And inside was the results for my final two papers to earn the Diploma in Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
Which I passed!
Thus ended my two-year effort for the qualification, and it puts me in good company. I’m the second on the East End to get the diploma. The first was Chris Tracy, winemaker at Channing Daughters in Bridgehampton. Chris is going on for the MW, and I hope to, too.
Update: Tracy Ellen Kamens, who was in my diploma class also got some good news in Saturday’s mail. She and her husband own Mattituck-based Grand Cru Classes.
Update #2: On writing the above I completely forgot about Lisa Donneson of Bouké, who earned her diploma in 2006, which makes her the second on the East End. (She’s a part-time resident of Sagaponack). Tracy and I tie for third.
The papers comprise the work for Unit 1 of the diploma, which the WSET calls course work assignments, or CWA. Four CWAs are required and the topics concern the business of wine. The two I wrote were “Supply and Demand in the Champagne region” and “The co-operative movement in wine production.” Continue reading