My Journey into Professional Wine

Hi. So I feel bad about how silent it was around here this past few months. This won’t change next summer, or the summer after that, but I pledge to do my best and try to get a bunch of posts scheduled ahead of time. This means that I’ll need some suggestions.

The Ranch, obviously has kept me busy. Our summer season runs from June–October and I basically work all day every day for those months. I don’t write. I don’t do genealogy except to teach others how to do it. I don’t really get to read much. It’s all work.

One of the other things that kept me busy from August-October was The Court of Master Sommeliers.

What’s a Sommelier? A sommelier (/ˈsɒməljeɪ/ or /sʌməlˈjeɪ/; French pronunciation: [sɔməlje]), or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing.

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One can’t just call themselves a Somm (short for Sommelier). You have to earn it.

Now, I’m going to stop right here and talk to you, my old friend, who might be sitting back in your chair and judging me. I know you’re a tea-totaller. I know that. I respect that. Let’s move on.

The requirements to become a first-level somm meant I needed to read over 1700 pages of wine-related books and textbooks. Bring it on. I love reading. I love learning.

Then my husband and I drove down to Colorado Springs, to the Broadmoor. Yep. My class was at the Broadmoor.


There were two days of class. 8am–6pm and then a test after the class the second day. We had a blind tasting (though we weren’t graded on) and I had to stand up in front of the entire class of 80ish and do both the initial and final conclusions about a varietal I knew I had never tasted in my life. (A conclusion is where you look at the color, nose/smell, taste/palate of a wine and discern what kind of grape or blend it is, which country it came from, which region/appellation of that country it came from, and what year it was bottled. Yeah.) Luckily my educated guess was right on the money and I didn’t humiliate myself in front of the entire class of wine-loving aficionados and professionals.

The Test was tough, but it came and went, and I received my certificate and pin along with about 75% of the class.

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That’s the best explanation I’ve got for why I haven’t been hanging around. Now it’s your turn to tell me about your summer, lovelies.

Cheers! Salut! Sláinte mhaith! Cin cin!  Almien!



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