Sunday, August 05, 2007

What Champagne Do Master Sommeliers Drink?

I have a new little piece of jewelry: a red and silver pin from the Court of Master Sommeliers. I picked it up recently after 55 other wine lovers and I passed the introductory exam given at Tavern on the Green in New York City.

Fred Dexheimer, Brian Koziol, Laura Williamson and "dean" Wayne Belding - Master Sommeliers who know a frightful amount about wine - spent two days giving a whirlwind lecture on every major wine region in the world. We tasted 22 wines, evaluating them aloud on sight, aroma and taste in order to conclude what kind of wine it was, where it was made and when.

Ultimately, the test was easy, but at the same time, it wasn't in that it got rather detailed on points like villages in the Cru Beaujolais. At 4 p.m. we gathered in suspense, waiting for our names to be called, and knowing that not everyone passed.

Anticipating a celebration, the MSs served Joel Falmet, a grower champagne that I'd never tasted before. It's a well-regarded champagne made in limited quantities that wind up at restaurants or shops in NYC, such as Harlem Vintage., where the brut sells for $29.99. I'm including a picture of the label, courtesy of Pamala Baur, in case you ever spot it on a wine list.

Fortunately, my name was one of the first called! Did I ever savor the crisp, green apple taste of that champagne!

Then classmates Jason, Jennie, Kerianne, Gilat (high scorer on our test) and I strolled down Central Park West to Jean-Georges, where we celebrated, decompressed and laughed over a bottle of Duval-Leroy Rose.

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