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.
We tasted five excellent wines, which also happen to be affordable and available at your neighbourhood SAQ. Each 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.
The 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!