“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it…
…after all, the time will pass you by anyway.”
Cliche as it may be, as I set out to write the first post of the week this Friday evening, I can’t help but pay homage to the old adage, time sure flies when you’re having fun! Yes, it sure does, and even more so when good wine is involved. This week, I was very fortunate to experience such a delight–sprinkled amongst several opportunities to meet some fascinating people, two of the three Canadian Master Sommeliers to name just a couple. Aah, but if every week were so enticing and inspiring (strangely, in the world of wine, I’m realizing that it’s more often than not)! I am very pleased to say, I am looking forward to an array of wine events in the upcoming week, month, and years….
My week started out on a promising note as I had the chance to sip among the who’s-who of the Ontario and Canadian wine world, meeting many producers, winemakers, sommeliers and enthusiasts alike, at a fundraising event hosted by CAPS. This evening, which place at Canoe restaurant, was held to generate financial support to send two of Canada’s top sommeliers to the International World Sommelier competition being held in Tokyo, at the end of March. Attendees had the chance to win an assortment of fantastic prizes as well as bid on items during the live auction all whilst mingling with Ontario winemakers, sampling a broad spectrum of delightful local and international wines and spirits, and enjoying the chef’s artistically presented hors d’oeuvres. That evening I discovered two new favourite wines, on which I will elaborate in a separate posting.
Tuesday presented the second highlight to my week as I took part in a (my first) small blind tasting session, led by Master Sommelier Bruce Wallner and one of Canada’s top sommeliers, William Predhomme. In just under one month, Predhomme, currently the sommelier at Canoe, will be competing with his Canadian colleague, Veronique Rivest, against the top sommeliers from 55 different nations in the 14th A.S.I World’s Best Sommelier Competition. The session was my first true glimpse at the intensity and mastery that is required by top sommeliers. One must rely on astutely trained senses in order to seamlessly analyze a given wine, based on sight, smell, and taste. Then, with razor-sharp accuracy, profile the wine. It is a meticulous art–that which takes hours and years to achieve–fascinating to witness perplexing to attempt, especially for a novice. There was a nervous excitement that I experienced, rigorously analyzing the three mystery white and red wines placed before me that day, and once again, I knew, it was exactly where I was supposed to be.
The quest to achieve the title of Master Sommelier, an even more arduous and gruelling process–one that a mere 10% of those who attempt, ever manage to achieve. Speak to anyone who has ever set-out to accomplish such a feat, and they will all tell you the duress such a quest presents. Some may even caution against it, and try to talk sense into those who hunger for such a challenge. Such is the advice and response that I have received from anyone to whom I have shared this desire. Strangely enough, the more I am told no, the stronger my passion becomes. I no longer question my ability or the stubborn determination that I have to fulfil this dream. I know, without a shred of a doubt, that it is a certainty, a need, a requirement. And I am loving every minute.
Fast-forward through the rest of the week, which was a conglomeration of various wine-related activities. From learning how to really smell (ha, and you thought you knew!) to making my own flashcards to assist my learning, to reading absolutely every wine related news article that I could guide my eager eyes through, the next few days seemed to simply vanish before mine eyes. Suddenly it was Friday and I had not even met with my computer for the purpose of writing, sadly, even once! But, better late than never.
This afternoon, I took a pause in all things wine–studywise–and ventured out to a tasting that was happening at Epic Lounge. Head-sommelier of Tawse Vineyards, Daniel Lafleur, presented a trio of most delicious wines to guests, which paired nicely with the live jazz that nourished our musical souls. Daniel was most hospitable, as he entertained my many wine-related queries and gave me an in-depth perspective on each of the three wines, as well as enticing details of the 2011 vintage which has yet to be released. This tasting left me with a definitive top choice, from those I sampled this evening, and an excuse to pay a visit to this Niagara vineyard, in the near future. Thank you, Daniel! I look forward to more epic releases to come…
Tomorrow, I will post reviews of the scrumptious two whites and a red that I enjoyed earlier. Here is a sneak peak:
Have a wine-derful Friday evening, and a restful, rejuvenating weekend to come.