What's New with the Dean of Drinking: February 2019
Updated: Feb 22, 2019
Well, it seems like the wheel of time decided to speed right through January, didn’t it? I’m excited to welcome February, which is chock full of fun things happening here at Palate Partners: the next stage of the Tour de France will see us exploring Bordeaux on the 7th, we’ll be kicking off our first-ever celebration of black winemakers on the 20th, and we’ll even tackle how to blind taste wine on the 27th! We’re celebrating the classics and breaking new ground throughout the month at the school, and I look forward to seeing yinz here in the classroom as we continue our wine education journey together.
Preparations for the Wines of South Africa Sommelier Cup are keeping me plenty busy when not in the throes of events and classes, too. I’m re-reading books and articles, watching interviews, tasting wines, keeping my eyes glued to maps…it’s its own full-time job, really! It’s amazing to think that resources published as recently as 2014 already feel a little outdated, so rapid is the expansion of the industry in South Africa. Relatedly, that reminds me that the first quarterly South African Wine Safari class is happening next month on March 21st during which we’ll tackle the wine-producing district known as the Swartland. If you enjoy world-class wine at prices that are actually affordable (and I know you do!), I can’t recommend this series highly enough. Like the Tour de France, there are multi-class packs available for this 4-part quarterly series, so 2019 is a great time to learn more about a true rising star in the world of wine. The series continues May 30th with the Cape South Coast where Pinot and Chardonnay give Burgundy a run for its money, then it’s off to Cape Town August 21 and Stellenbosch November 7 to round it all out.
What's Adam Drinking?
It’s a little hokey to do a February-Valentine’s Day-Love connection when it comes to wines for the month, but I’m going to choose one that I truly do love in all seasons: Ken Forrester’s FMC, among the most iconic wines made from Chenin blanc that you’ll find anywhere on the planet. This wine, made primarily from vines planted in 1974, has a rich, luxurious mouthfeel that’s spellbindingly complex with notes of dried apricot, honey, vanilla, ginger, beeswax, and toast. It’s gorgeous now, but this wine will age gracefully over the next 5-10 years if you’re gifted with the patience that so many of us lack. This is the perfect wine to share with a loved one this month, but I certainly wouldn’t blame you for keeping it all to yourself.