Put a cork in it – a wine tasting extravaganza!
Treading the fine line between amateur and pro…
– Richard Neal, Operations Director
I recently hosted a wine tasting extravaganza – the house was full, the revelry flowed, and the food kept coming. New and exciting wines challenged everyone’s sense – including some that were challenging for other reasons – but the rewards were plentiful!
I was taken aback by the thanks, and useful pointers, I received. But the event’s successes were puzzling – how did this wonderful event, organised in large part by me, emerge? Usually, my introversion dogs me to the point of obsession. Social events are by no means my strong suit – I am left asking, is this really me? The symptoms I fear, point to one diagnosis: turning professional…
Now, “professional” is a strong word, I’ll admit! I say “professional” because my finances are now tied to wine-making, because I have a wine-making qualification from a wine college and no longer work alone but in a multi-disciplinary team. I mean professional because I aim for an appealing product it for public consumption, working at scale and to budget. They say that fermenting man’s passion is their business and theirs alone – but now, my passion for fermenting is quite literally my business! It must be playing the professional which has brought this out from me.
As an amateur, I was good at what I did, focused on getting each stage of the fermentation right – using brief experience and reading as my guide. But, I now know how to prioritise: structured study has shown me where to focus energies and, importantly, where not to focus them. But I thought it was all about long hard hours in cold, smelly wineries – and while still true – I was
delighted to find out that becoming a pro meant a better social life, calling friends together to explore new wines matched with fine foods!
But aside from finding myself, we found some delightful feedback for our development elderflower sparkling wines. One attender reported “a delicate fresh, mineral nose… a taste of vanilla and honey… an excellent lingering after”, while another chimed of “sweet honey and vanilla nose, a complex taste of vanilla, citrus almost cheesy, the finish was sweet, balanced and cherry – excellent”.
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