I had a great day at a wine course ran by Bibendum in the lovely Primrose hill.
As a chef I know about food; the origin, seasonal availability, best cooking method, flavour combinations, but as a truly great chef I believe you need to understand the whole eating experience. You need to have a holistic view of the circumstance under which your food is consumed, and a key accompaniment to any fine dining meal, more often than not, comes in the form of the liquid grape. And so I started by formal leaning process and spent a day tasting wine from around the world.
A one day course with the wine company Bibendum felt sufficient for beginners such as me. It covers the basics of analysing a wine’s appearance, smell and taste to learning the types of grapes from each French region. For example, if you buy a bottle of wine from the Burgundy region, red wine will be Pinot Noir and white will definitely be Chardonnay.
The course also covered the matching of wine to food, although without much detail at this level.
The wine which stood out above all is Glenguin Botrytis Semillon 2006 dessert wine from Australia, it was pleasant with a golden appearance and honey sweet flavour. As soon as I tasted it my mouth started screaming “give me something creamy, cheesy and of course sweet” and so a vanilla cheesecake dish would be the perfect match.
Overall the course was very interesting and I highly recommend it if you’re in the food business or just a wine fan. The teacher knew her stuff and answered 99% of the questions (the 1% being from me when I asked about the percentage of yeast needed to add to the grape juice in order to get the right result at the first stage of making the wine…answers on a postcard please!)
Overall the course was great and I plan to complete the intermediate level as soon as possible…and in the more distant future I plan to set myself the challenge of producing a great dessert wine.