Pull a Cork with a SuperTaster
If you taste significantly different flavors than your friends when sampling wines and food, you could be a Super Taster!
Pour the same wine (blind) to ten professional wine tasters, Masters of Wine or Master Sommeliers, and you will usually get a lot of the same descriptors in their reviews. “Tropical fruits, medium oak, hint of mango, crisp acidity and a smooth, well-rounded and lingering finish,” for example.
But taste the same wine (also blind) with hundreds of tasters, professionals as well as just wine lovers, and around 20 percent of them will report radically different tastes from the same wine on the same night in the same location. They may be Super Tasters. (STs). This ability, generally thought to be genetic, is a matter of degree or intensity in taste. Super Tasters taste in neon while the rest of us taste in pastels. It affects all of their diet, not just wine, and actually has far-reaching health implications. more »
The Wine Drinking Habits of Men vs., Women
(P.S. It’s not what you think)
Conventional wine-wisdom says Chardonnay is the most popular wine in America, Women drink more Chardonnay than any other varietal, Men buy most of the premium wine purchased, and Women prefer a sweet (as in White Zin) wine while men prefer a tannic red.
More or less, all of the above is false.
According to recent research documented by winebusiness.com and summarized by Dr. Liz Thach, MW, many marketing stereotypes about gender and wine drinking simply aren’t true. Things have changed. Over 300 California wine drinkers (equal in gender) were surveyed about their habits and preferences. The results were compiled, both those where men and women agree and those where the research revealed strong differences. According to Nielson, wine consumers overall consist of 55% women and about 45% men. In the last decade, men have become more avid wine drinkers while drinking less beer. more »
Once you’ve made the decision to involve employees in a corporate team building exercise, your first order of business is WHAT will you do? Ziplining, paintball, camping, rock-climbing, and bungee cording sound exotic, but they are not for everyone. However, everyone eats and most everyone enjoys being in the kitchen—at home we know it as the go-to place for entertaining. Moreover, a cooking environment allows easy communication between parties, joined by a glass of wine or beer—which helps ease tension and increase conviviality and conversation.
At Atlanta Wine School & Vino Venue, we know how to take a group of people, separate them into teams, and have them challenge each other in the kitchen. These Cooking Challenges teach valuable lessons which spill-over into the workplace. Team members will increase camaraderie while learning to plan, organize, and launch their gourmet creations, all under the guided supervision of a Chef.
By bringing together your employees, with our culinary expertise, and marked by expert wine pairings, anything is possible! We have many formats for fun which will bring new definition to Corporate Team Building. Atlanta Wine School, with its $100,000 AWS Chef’s Kitchen, has a variety of event possibilities and does more private events with wine & food than anyone in the Southeast!
by Jane Garvey
Years ago, when I was writing about wine for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a reader called me to complain that I never indicated how long a wine might endure. I assured him that I would only rarely do that, and told him why in some detail. The exercise can be a study in how to “rope a dope,” in my view, and depends on so many factors over which a writer has absolutely zero control. To his credit, he listened.
For many reasons, it’s tough to guess how long a wine will last, and the best source of that information is the producing winery itself. With a library of wines, a winery might be able to give you an idea of how long its wines are likely to last. Maybe. But that’s not much use either if the enterprise is a newbie that wouldn’t have an extensive history yet. And, as you’ll see at the end of this piece, it can be off the mark. Substantially. more »
by Jane Garvey
It is with sadness that we announce this will be the final installment of Jane’s Monthly Dozen. Jane has treated us all to an amazing selection of wines, described beautifully, every month, for over 7 years. We hope you have enjoyed learning, and reading up on these reviews, and we are so fortunate here at Atlanta Wine School to have been blessed with such a treasure trove as that which Jane has created over this time. ~ AWS
Wines for Good Cheer: Holiday Sipping & Suppers
Champagne and all sorts of sparkling wines are paramount choices for holiday celebrations. So I’m going to suggest you resolve to experience them in a new way. For years, I’ve opposed serving them at 45F. That’s just too confounded cold, and the flavors are suppressed at that temperature, in my view. Try serving them at a warmer temperature, around 55F, and watch how they open up in the glass. And that’s another thing: the glass. Let’s reserve those flutes for Mimosas and Bellinis, and serve Champagne and sparkling wines in medium-sized, tulip-shaped white wine glasses.
A few weeks ago, I did a wine tasting at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel for a gala banquet capping the 2012 Georgia Literary Festival. The dishes served came from Hugh Acheson’s (Empire State South/Five & Ten/The National) award-winning book, “A New Turn in the South.” Given the Southern emphasis, I served all Georgia wines, starting with the Wolf Mountain Blanc de Syrah. And I served it in white wine glasses. It was a teachable moment, as I explained why. You experience the flavors and aromas of the wine so much more when it’s served in a white wine glass and not in a flute, which is too narrow to permit the wine to develop. When I went down to the hotel for the preliminary tasting with the chefs in August, I did the same thing for them, and were they surprised! Most people are, when they compare the same wine served in one vessel vs. the other. more »
The 2nd annual Man vs. Wine competition was held Monday, November 26th, at Vino Venue featuring an impressive panel of Top Georgia Sommeliers. Michael McNeill (Georgia’s only active Master Sommelier) was the Master of Ceremonies and Judge for the evening. The field of Somms was double in size this year, and all but one of the participants from the FIRST YEAR returned. Our esteemed list of competing Somms included: Alvetta Embry of The Buckhead Club; Eric Crane of Empire Distributors; Jacob Gragg of The Cloister at Sea Island; Joon Lim of Rathbuns; Justin Amick of The Spence; Marie Ballard of Palm Bay Importers; Phillip Cooper of Vin25; Ryan Mullins of Quality Wine & Spirits, and Rob Van Leer of Vino Venue. more »
This delicious flatbread is being served up at the NEW Vino Venue–a wine bar, wine store, and new home of the Atlanta Wine School. The new menu of wine-inspired cuisine, rolled out only 2 weeks ago, features the Wild Mushroom Flatbread–to date the most often ordered menu item. As we enjoyed the first bites, we experienced the delicious, earthy and rich flavors of caramelized onions, woodsy mushrooms and tangy parmesan cheese, piled on a thin flatbread spread with roasted mushroom tapenade.
Our task was to pair these rich flavors with a wine to create a perfect match, to take the experience to the next level. Our expert team–Vino Venue Manager Rob with kitchen assistant David, myself and Vino Venue’s designer/architect Jeffery Baker, we were up for the challenge. more »
by Jane Garvey
At holiday times, we have all kinds of wine needs. We need wines for parties where a buffet is served–thus unnecessary to be expensive or thought-provoking. We need wines for gifts, for both the boss (something really special) and for colleagues and the people who work for us during the year (more modest in price but still outside the box). And we need wines that we enjoy, that will be fine with holiday dinners with families and parties with friends.
So here are a few recommendations that will fit a variety of those scenarios. Any of them would make good gifts, with a few priced well enough to accommodate a lot of friends. Some will please a wide audience while others pamper the sophisticated palate. more »
New brands and new wines from familiar brands are constantly coming into this market. In this season, just before the holidays, distributors are busy with their trade shows, partly designed to introduce new wines into the Atlanta market.
What’s often coming into the market, though, is not just new wines or new labels but also new regions. I just bought a wine from the Republic of Macedonia, at a Lawrenceville retailer, for heaven’s sake: Bovin Vranec (that’s the grape type) 2008. Earthy aromas gave way to juicy dark plumy fruit and soft tannins. For about $17, I and some friends explored another world of wine. I’m going back for more. And the importers operate around the corner from me in Decatur!!!
Still other regions may be new to some wine consumers. Or maybe consumers just haven’t thought about them. At a well-regarded steak house in the northern ‘burbs, my waiter expressed surprise that there was Pinot Noir in New Zealand. (Oh my! Here‘s to Central Otago and Martinborough!). So I guess even people in the business sometimes overlook certain regions. more »
Amazingly simple to prepare but also decadent–truffle popcorn and Champagne!
At a recent class at the Atlanta Wine School, we served this yummy pairing. It was a French wine class to be specific, and we poured these two Champagnes accompanied by hot buttered popcorn with white truffle oil. This is not your movie theatre popcorn, think gourmet and then some. To describe in more detail, hot popcorn lightly salted, drizzled with melted butter and truffle oil. Is your mouth watering, the smell alone, made the students in class start to drool.
Truffle oil is made with top quality olive oil that has been infused with truffles, either white or black truffles. It is used as a finishing oil and should not be used in cooking; the high temperatures will alter the flavors. The oil imparts a perfumed, earthy mushroom aroma, imagine sautéed mushroom in lots of butter and rich olive oil. Use sparingly, a little goes a long way. Another tip, store in the refrigerator, as the aromas can dissipate and will keep for 3-6 months when stored properly. Also beware of synthetically made products labeled, truffle essence, or truffle aroma. Spend the money on the real thing, (18$ for 1.8oz at Whole foods), look on the label for ‘infused with truffles’. Try using it in mashed potatoes, shrimp, eggs and corn on the cobb, Yum. more »