Okay, so it’s around 2:42am this Thursday morning. I came back home this afternoon a little buzzed after my Intro to Wines class. Yes, here at Cornell we have a class that allows us to hone our skills in “evaluating” wines. And yes, this is what I’m paying Ivy-League tuition for. I’m having a lot of fun with it thus far, but today we tasted 6 fortified wines and wow… afterwards I was just a little bit woozy. You know, I had a little bit of the Asian blush going on… =P If you don’t already know, fortified wines are wines that have alcohol added to their natural state to go up to levels around 20-25%. Regular table wines range from around 6.5%-14.5% in total alcohol content. Fortified wines are just a little bit over that. Although I enjoyed today’s class I have to say that I’m not a fan of Sherry. I’m more of a fan of Port, but that’s probably because it was a lot sweeter than the Sherry was (it really had a pungent smell and tasted too astringent for me). All in all, it was a good class…
But why am I spewing out all of these wine facts at you? Actually later today (around 9pm) I’m going to be having a test. 125 questions in 75 minutes. I’ve been studying like crazy, since it’s going over quite a few wine regions across the US and Europe. Some of the regions we’ve gone over in class are California, Washington, New York and Oregon (in the US), as well as France (the Loire and Alsace) and Italy (Tuscany, Piedmont, and Tre Venezie). I’m pretty confident about this test (or “prelim” as we like to call them here at Cornell), but tomorrow I’m going to go over everything and make sure that I know it like the back of my hand. I just came back from a major study session with some of my friends and I feel like I know the material well as of now.
I really want to make sure I know the material for this test so I won’t worry about it for the weekend. Why is that important to me? Because I’m going to be at the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue at Drexel in Philadelphia! I’m really excited for the event and I’m even moderating one of the breakout sessions with my friend Kim (a fellow National Director). I’m really looking forward to everything, so I want to make sure I complete everything I have to do. If you’re going to be in the Philadelphia area, let me know and let’s see if we can meet up!
I have class in 7 hours so I’ll get to bed, but as a last minute review I’m going to list some random wine facts that come to my mind before I pass out. So here we go!
1. The top 8 wines in sales in restaurants in 2006 are the following (from top selling to least selling): Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel.
2. 2 regions that are famous for wine in France are the Loire and Alsace. Some prominent wines from the Loire are the Muscadet, Chennin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. Alsace is known for its Reisling, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Muscat, Pinot Grigio and Sylvaner.
3. Varietals put on the wines’ labels from Oregon means that 90% of the grapes from the varietal must be present in the wine (unless we’re talking about Sauvignon Blanc, which only has to have 75% present from that particular varietal).
4. California is the #1 producer of wine in the US, followed by Washington, New York and Oregon.
5. If any wineries from Washington state join the Washington Wine Quality Alliance (WWQA), 100% of the grapes must be from that particular place or American Viticultural Area (AVA).
6. There are 4 regions in New York that have a total of 8 AVAs. The 4 areas are the Finger Lakes (Finger Lakes, Cayuga Lake, and Seneca Lake), Hudson River Valley (Hudson River Valley), Lake Eerie (Lake Eerie), and Long Island (North Fork, the Hamptons, and Long Island).
7. The first recorded vineyard in the US was created by Father Junipero Serra of the San Juan Capistrano Mission. He cultivated a “Mission Grape” called Criolla in 1779.
8. There are 4 Wine Tasting Stages. They are (in order): Attack (Introduction), Evolution, Finish, and Aftertaste.
9. The wines of Italy are classified into 4 categories. They are the following (from top-ranked to bottom-ranked): Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), Indicazione Geografiche Tipiche (IGT), and Vino da Travola (VDT).
10. Some varietal characteristics of a Viognier wine are lime, kiwi, guava, apricot, acacia, and anise.
I hope you all don’t think I’m crazy! Alright, it’s time to go to bed… catch you all soon!