Wine tasting 101: A crash course in wine appreciation

Mon, Jan 14, 2013

Other News, Young Alumni

Wine tasting 101: A crash course in wine appreciation

In December 2012, the McGill Young Alumni organized a wine tasting event at Martlet House to introduce recent McGill grads to the world of wine appreciation.

For many young grads, a trip to the SAQ is daunting, and we could all use a few pointers to help us navigate the aisles. The event was led by wine aficionado and McGill alumnus Alexandre Jipa, BEng’88, who offered insights on a variety of wine-related topics, from vintage to service and tasting techniques.

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We tasted five excellent wines, which also happen to be affordable and available at your neighbourhood SAQ. Eachwine 1 portrait wine was paired with a delicious cheese to match its strength, flavour, and acidity. The highlight for many of us was the 2010 Château St-Jean Chardonnay from the Sonoma region of California. This was one I rushed out to buy at the next opportune moment. I should have also purchased its perfect pairing – a melt-in-your-mouth Brillat-Savarin cheese. Alex gave the attendees homework, which spurred even the most well-versed young alumni in the group to take notes: try a Red Zinfandel and a Gewürztraminer the next chance you get.

wine 3 portraitThe tasting also included a crash course in standard grape types and pairing wines with food. It was helpful to learn how to describe the smell, colour and taste of wine, and to understand why a wine appeals or does not appeal to our taste buds. One of the interesting (read: entertaining) points was Alex’s lesson on the art of aspirating. We learned that  to fully appreciate a wine’s aromas, you must simply slurp – yes, slurp – air into your mouth after taking a gulp.

Overall, the event was a success. We enjoyed the helpful tips, lessons and laughs.

MYA is looking forward to hosting many more equally entertaining events in 2013!

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