Mark October 17th, 2011 in your calendars! This was the day that I drank the Kool-aid. That date marks the first day of the final unit of my Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma, aptly named “Still Wines of the World”…also known to my wife as the “widow maker”. For the next eight months I will be immersed (nay…drowning) is a sea of wine and wine knowledge. If you have ever wanted to know all about how Ratafia is made (picture grapes from Champagne and Sherry having dirty sex and making a baby) or who the best producers from Romania are (beats the hell out of me!), then strap in baby…this is going to be a ride.
All this “edu-ma-cation” culminates in June will a winner-take-all tasting and written exam that constitutes 100% of my mark. Sounds like fun…doesn’t it! I have been warned from those who have gone before me that I won’t be able to look at wine for six months after I’m done.
So why do this? It’s simple. To help me develop the skills to find great wines without buying into the hype that blankets the wine world like a thick layer of bullshit. As they say, a little education goes a long way. It was a little education that brought me to this week’s wine.
The 2007 Château Ferran Blanc is an elegant white wine from Bordeaux’s Pessac-Léognan region. While Bordeaux is most well known for its reds, there are some devastatingly good whites being produced at incredible values. This wine, made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape, has well balanced flavours of lemon, lime, white peach, grapefruit pith and a hint of herbaceousness. This wine has definitely seen some oak giving it well-integrated notes of spice, butter and a hint of smoke. I would recommend pairing it with fresh fish in a rich sauce, lobster or lemon chicken. As for cheese, you can try it with brie or any other semi-soft cheese.
At $21.00, the 2007 Château Ferran Blanc is a great deal from a very competent producer. Best of all, it is ready to drink now. I recommend you educate yourself by giving it a try today…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think by commenting below.
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