September 2010


Challenge 3 of the wine blog challenge – Ceci the Sipper’s blog who created the challenge…

Awhile back, I had a wine and cheese pairing party, and it was a great hit.  It was surprisingly easy to do.  There are so many cheeses, and several specialty markets here in Dallas, TX (Market Street, Whole Foods Market, and Central Market, plus I’m sure many more.)  They carry all types of cheeses including artisanal cheeses.

Here were my pairings going from light bodied wines to heavy bodied wines:

Swiss/Gewuztraminer, Monterry Jack/Riesling, Chevre/Colby with Champagne (actually I pair Champagne with ANY cheese, even blue cheese which should be paired with a Port), Brie/Beaujolais (how can you NOT have Brie at a cheese party), Havarti/Rioja, and Strong Cheddar/Cabernet.  See, nothing too hard to find!  And I did it with 3 whites and 3 reds, so everyone could enjoy, regardless their taste preferences.  You preferably want to pair a lighter tasting cheese with a lighter bodied wine.

Well, that’s it for now – enjoy!

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I am proud to announce that I am now an official student of the International Sommelier Guild.  You can go through a 3 track series of classes to become a certified sommelier, but I am taking the series to craft my wine education.  I’m not sure what to expect, but get this…the class is every Sunday (sorry Dallas Cowboys) from 12-7pm!  The class starts this Sunday, Oct 3rd, 2010 and runs through Jan of 2011.  Quite a long haul, and that’s only track 1.

Being a huge NFL fan, it looks like I will have to turn into a college football fan (because college football is on Saturdays), which is quite alright.  I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, so I will be cheering on the Texas Longhorns (Hook ‘Em!) and saying hi to “BEVO”, our proud mascot.

Quoted from the ISG web site:

“The course offers a basic understanding of the major grapes used for making wine and their discerning characteristics as well as an introduction to fortified and sparkling wines. You will taste wines from around the world and be introduced to fortified and sparkling wine as well. Upon completion of this course you will have learned some basic wine terminology, understand label information, introduction to appellation concepts, rudimentary service techniques as well as some of the food and wine pairing theories. The goal is for you to gain an appreciation for all types of wines and feel comfortable and confident when selecting and buying wine.”

For more details, visit the ISG (International Sommelier Guild) website.

The challenge for week 2 is to talk about a wine region that I am least familiar with.  I am happy to do that because I will be travelling to Paris, France next year.  Part of my plan is to visit vineyards and winemakers of the Champagne region and the Loire Valley region (which I am least familiar with).

I happenned to attend a wine tasting event at Vino100 in Dallas, Texas this past week.  I was speaking with the marketing representative from a South African winery, and he offered me a Chenin Blanc.  I hesitated for a moment when a friend of mine asked if I had ever tasted a Vouvray, which I have.  She said that Vouvray is made from the Chenin Blanc grape which is a huge export of the Loire Valley….who knew?  Vouvray can be dry, medium dry, sweet and sparkling.  Sparkling – my favorite!  Well, I actually haven’t tried it yet, but any type of grape that comes in a bubbly texture has got to be good, am I right?

Another varietal of the Loire Valley is the Cabernet Franc.  Have I tried this before?  Perhaps in a blend?  Hey, I was correct!  I was visiting the site http://www.loirevalleywine.com/ which mentions that varietal is mainly for blending.  This site is quite informative for my challenge.  It also mentions that the Loire Valley is France’s most diverse wine region, producing excellent and affordable wines in every style.  The more I read about the wine region and what it produces, the more set in stone my plans will be to visit there.

An 80 page magazine/book about the Loire Valley wines is available and can be sent to the US only.

Vouvray Wine Cork

Ceci Sipper, http://www.vinouslyspeaking.com/, has presented a Project Wine Blog Challenge, based on a Project Food Blog Challenge created by FoodBuzz.

I am participating because obviously by my blog, I am a wine enthusiast.  I am also a student at the International Sommelier Guild.  So this is right up my alley.

Continue to come back as the challenges are on a weekly basis.