Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment or drop me a line. Cheers! - Bethany

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let's get ready to learn some knowledge!

Yesterday I signed up for Algonquin's Old World Wine Regions, which starts in September. I'll have to hit Staples early with the throngs of keener parents and depressed children if I want to get a hold of my share of No.3 pencils and a set of Duo-Tangs.

This course will be my first official introduction to "the big wines". Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace ... names I'm vaguely familiar with, but inadequately educated on, making for awkward conversation with other wine geeks and foodies. Hence why I need to go back to school and get more smarts on the subject.

From the few samples I've tried in previous classes, I know this much: New World is in your face, Old World is subtle. New World is the Prom Queen, eager to impress, drenched in overpowering perfume and giving it her all on the dance floor. Old World is the too-cool wallflower, standing aloof on the sidelines, acting mysterious and keeping everyone guessing. She's so good she doesn't even have to try.

Well, that's my theory, anyway.

Once completed, this will bring me one course closer to the service exam, of which I am terrified. Believe it or not, I don't do well in front of crowds. I develop a twitch just trying to order a pizza or get through a drive-thru in one piece. So I'm not exactly relishing the idea of standing before a panel of judges, pretending I'm a real sommelier and being asked to remember the minutiae of some 60 plus wines on a list.

But I'm bound and determined to get that coveted pin; I've invested a great deal of time and funds, even enduring all-day-sickness in the early trimester of my pregnancy to complete Grape Varieties. (Yes, I spat. DUH.) I want to be able to stand up and deliver my acceptance speech, paying special tribute to Hubby, who hasn't faltered in his support of my lofty career plans, who will do study drills with me the night before a mid-term, and who has never once complained about all that wine we have to buy.

I do have to study, after all. Practice makes perfect.

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