The Breakers Almost Broke Me

I guess everyone is wondering if my blog has died or if I have run out of tales to tell.  Fortunately, the tales keep on coming, but unfortunately, my study time and anxiety has led to less blogging.

In preparation for my exam next week, I traveled to the Breakers in West Palm Beach to blind taste with three Master Sommeliers, Virginia Philip (my mentor), Andrew McNamara and Juan Gomez.  All three Masters have been incredibly generous with their time to me as well as many other aspiring masters.

Upon arrival, I met with Virginia who is an expert taster, and passed her Master Sommelier exam in two easy attempts.  She had three white wines and three red wines on a white background and set the time for 25 minutes.  This is exactly the way the tasting is conducted for the exam, and once you put a hand on a glass, your time begins.

The first white I was pretty sure was Torrontes from Salta in northern Argentina, and I called it as such.  While I named the wine correctly, my structure was off, meaning I called the acid moderate plus instead of high and the color was straw as opposed to pale straw with green flecks, indicating youth, as the wine was a 2009.

The second wine smelled funky, and I called it California Sauvignon Blanc because I mistook the funk for oak.  It was Sauvignon Blanc from the new world, Marlborough, New Zealand, to be exact, and the funk wasn’t oak, it was sulphur blowing off of the wine.  Strike two.

Number 3 seemed like Chardonnay, and while there was a good amount of oak, the wine still seemed moderate plus in acidity.  I guessed Macon Villages, but it was Rosemount Chardonnay from South Australia.

While the grapes were right in all three wines, it just wasn’t enough, and the reds only got worse for me.

The first red was a Malbec that I guessed as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. 

Next came the Ridge Zinfandel that I said was Amarone.

And lastly, a Napa Valley Cabernet that I mistook for Australian Grenache.  Ouch. 

If you’re in for more of my torture, you may read my next blog.  However, if this couldn’t be anymore boring to you, check back next week when my exam is over.

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