What's New with The Dean of Drinking: April 2019
The whole spring-rebirth connection can sure seem hokey sometimes, but the older I get, the more it tends to ring true. March is a hard month; it’s gray, it’s more cold than warm, the threat of snow still looms over our heads, and we’re all ready to be done with outerwear and rock salt. April, however, is a beacon of light that lets us know we’ve made it to the other side. When I think about it, I’ve got a lot of celebrating to do in April: family birthdays, my wedding anniversary, and the beginning of playoff hockey (which actually ties nicely into my wedding, considering it was held at PPG Paints Arena (then Consol Energy Center)). This year we also toss Easter into the mix, which is why the April Tour de France class focuses on the Loire Valley, home to perhaps the most famous of France’s traditional ‘Easter’ wines. In all, it feels darn good to put a little joy and levity back into my step, and you can bet I’ll be stopping to smell the flowers in bloom (which is also great for blind tasting practice!). In addition to our Tour de France stop, we’ll also address topics like soil and its effect on wine,Australian wines, and new wines from Bolivia that are already generating a lot of positive press. WSET Level 2 in Wines & Spirits is also back in full swing, and it’s exciting to see professionals and consumers alike finding value in these wonderful, comprehensive courses. And on a personal note, I’ll be in the Finger Lakes at the end of the month for the Wines of South Africa masterclass and first round examination for the Sommelier Cup. I hope to see you back in class, and with any luck, I’ll bring back some good news about the competition!
What Adam's Drinking...
It’s rare to have such a personal relationship with a wine, but the newly-arrived Keermont Terrasse, a white blend, is one such wine. In February of 2018, I had the pleasure of visiting Keermont in Stellenbosch, and after tasting through their portfolio with the property owner, Mark, and the winemaker, the talented Alex Starey, I knew these wines were destined for really great success. I even returned to the farm a few days later and helped lug crates and pick some Syrah and Viognier – the latter grape destined, in fact, for this very wine! To be sure, the 2018 vintage hasn’t yet been released, but the 2016 we have in our warehouse is a gorgeous wine that is springtime ina glass. Chenin blanc is the backbone of the blend, but it’s complemented by judicious additions of Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, and the aforementioned Viognier. It’s rich witharomas of white and yellow peaches, apricots, butterscotch, vanilla, and fresh cut grass while the palate adds in a juicyapple component that makes the long, dry finish that much more enjoyable. Whew, I’m salivating – do yourself a favor and snag a bottle of this to celebrate the return of spring!