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Provence Recommendations by Liz Gabay MW

Liz Gabay, MW, Instructor for the Provence trip, has given us a list of regional wines available in broad distribution around the globe in order to demonstrate the diversity and quality of Provence wines.

If you only look at Provence and think pink…think again.  Liz says that this selection will show you a diverse and multi-faceted wine region

CONTEST: Give these wines a try, and then post your comments and tasting notes on the Wine Scholar Guild Facebook page.  The first person to post tasting notes on a wine from each of the six domaines will win a free registration in the Wine Scholar Guild's Provence Master-Level Online Study Program!



Be sure to “Like” the page while you’re there.

 


 

A selection of wines from around Provence

 

Chateau Coussin, Ste Victoire

Coussin makes wines under the shadow of Mont Ste Victoire (made famous by Cezanne) and is one of the many estates owned by the Sumeire family. The chalky soils of the region give a freshness (excellent acidity) to the wines. The whites and rosés show delicious peachy fruit and the reds rich black fruit. The César 2001 is still drinking beautifully.

  • T Edward Wines, New York, NY, www.tedwardwines.comfor New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
  • Zancanella Importing Co, Portland, OR.


Chateau Rouet, Cotes de Provence-Fréjus

Ch. Rouet is an old family estate, not far from Chateau d’Esclans. In fact, the winemakers for the two estates are brothers! Rouet makes a range of rosés--including a rosé from the very small sub-appellation of Cotes de Provence-Frejus where the volcanic soils impart a stoney-mineral character. The top wine, ‘Belle Poule’, does not refer to a pretty chicken dinner – but rather to the name of the boat which bore Emperor Napoleon away as captive. Napoleon's wardrobe doors were salvaged from the boat and installed in the chapel here.

  • Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY
  • Village Wine Import Ltd., New York, NY
  • Vigneron Imports, Oakland, CA 94602.


Chateau Calisse, Coteaux Varois

Coteaux Varois is one of the more northerly vineyards in Provence, the cooler climate lending a fresh, crisp character to the wines. The whites are full of green fruit, the rosés boast lively red fruits and the predominantly Syrah-based reds have a Rhone-like minerality.

  • Margaux & Company, Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Small Production Wines, Portland, OR 97210.


Mascaronne, Cotes de Provence

Owned by Tom Bove (who sold his other estate Chateau Miraval to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie), this domaine produces some stunning reds with good ageing potential.

  • Integrity Wines, New York, NY.  www.integritywines.com
  • Vinum Importing, Seattle, WA, www.vinumimporting.com
  • Vintage Imports, Bristol, PA. (215) 78www.vintageimportswines.com
  • Vinecraft, Miami, FL. www.vinecraft.com
  • International Cellars, Vienna, VA. www.internationalcellars.com
  • Chez Suze Imports, Boulder, CO.

Chateau Vignelaure, Coteaux d’Aix

This northerly Coteaux d’Aix vineyard includes some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Provence. (They were planted in the 1960s by Georges Brunet from cuttings from his Bordeaux estate, Château La Lagune.) This domaine was the earliest ‘cult’ wine producer in the region and brought the potential of Provencal red wines to the consumer's attention. After a number of years in the doldrums, this estate is now under new ownership and seeing a return to its former glory.

  • Blue Coast Wine Imports, New York, NY. www.bluecoastwines.com


Domaine de la Croix and Bastide Blanche, Cotes de Provence (St Tropez)

The peninsula of St Tropez is campaigning to receive its own sub-appellation for its cluster of top estates located on the hills behind the famous resort town. The two cru classé domains listed above are jointly owned, and both use wine consultant, Michel Rolland. The schist soil and proximity to the sea give a salty-mineral character similar to that of the wines of La Londe further to the west.

  • Vinecraft, Miami, FL. www.vinecraft.com
  • Purple Valley Imports, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Grapevine Distributors, Concord, NC. www.grapevinedistributors.com  
  • Schneider’s of Capitol Hill, Washington, DC www.cellar.com

 

To find all these wines, we suggest looking on www.wine-searcher.com

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Alsace Master-Level Program Excerpts

Thierry Meyer, an Alsace resident with an unbelievable knowledge and passion for Alsace wines, is lead instructor for our new Alsace Master-Level Program He also leads and instructs on the Alsace Immersion Trips.



PROGRAM PREVIEW - VIDEO EXCERPTS FROM THE FIRST TWO WEBINARS:


VIDEO # 1: On Alsace's Golden Age



VIDEO # 2: On Alsace Between the Wars



VIDEO # 3: On Alsace's Climate



VIDEO # 4: On Fault Bundles









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Thierry Meyer on Alsace

Thierry Meyer, the Parker of Alsace wines, an Alsace resident with an unbelievable knowledge and passion for Alsace wines will lead our new Alsace Master-Level Program debuting March 4th 2014.


He will then lead and instruct on our first Alsace Immersion Trip taking place in June 2014.




Alsace possesses one of the most complex range of terroirs in all of France… and yet people’s appreciation of Alsace is often limited to its main grape varieties. Why is that?


With 13 grape varieties, 200+ terroir types, and 1,000 producers crafting more than 10, 000 cuvées of dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet or sweet wines every year, Alsace is diverse, multi-faceted and a world onto itself. Moreover, quality/price ratios range from poor to exceptional. Price does not filter out the world class gems from the rest.


So a typical reaction is to consider the 7 most frequently used grape varieties and decline them from dry to sweet styles, but this does a disservice to the reality of the wines at hand.


The best cuvées reach the highest of quality levels. This reflects a world far different from the traditional image of the region. This is what I am planning to demonstrate with selected tasting sessions, winegrower’s visits and gastronomic experiences during our many gourmet restaurant meals.

What fascinates you most about the region and its wines?


When you consider the potential of the best terroirs of Alsace and the ability to produce fresh, vibrant and extremely complex wines, you realize that the best wines equal the best white wines you can produce anywhere on earth. What’s fascinating is that often the producers themselves don’t realize that they are sitting on a treasure of old vines in some of the greatest of terroirs. So it’s only a question of being knowledgeable enough to understand and spot those wines. They are always underrated and often underpriced.


Above all, what is really stunning about the best Alsace wines is their capacity to get better with age. They keep very long. Anyone who had the chance to taste great wines from the 60s will be convinced that 50 years is not old for a wine from Alsace.

What are the main misconceptions about Alsace that you wish you will clarify on the program?


Several misconceptions are still very present midst consumers and producers alike.


The first misconception is to simplify balance within a two-dimensional scale of acid and sugar. Although these two dimensions are important, they do not paint a complete picture. Complexity, depth, concentration, and the nature of acidity are equally important to understand a wine’s style.


The second misconception is that wines with high acidity or high sweetness will keep longer than others. Acidity may be good to preserve products, but acidity does not improve a wine. Vinegar does age well, but don’t expect it to turn into smooth wine after 10 years in the bottle. Same with sweetness. Sweetness will not prevent a wine without extract from fading away over time. There is more to a wine’s staying power than acid and sugar.


Lastly, pairing wine with food is not just a question of acidity and sweetness either. It is about depth of flavor, complexity of flavor and structure also. There is a misconception that dry wines are better with food. That is not reality. People drink Coca Cola (with more than 100 grams sugar per liter) and have no problem consuming it with food. Its sweetness is close to the RS level in Sauternes or in an Alsace Selection de Grains Nobles.

In very practical terms, what should a student in the program be able to enjoy and comprehend after following the program?


The key to understanding Alsace--its wines, vintages, cuvées, wine styles, terroirs and its relationship with food--all boils down to the grapes and where they are grown. It’s a formula the student will master.


We will address many aspects one by one, so participants can taste thee differences and make their own judgment about the styles.


This knowledge base will enable him or her to purchase the wines of Alsace from a position of strength, drink more interesting bottlings and make these bottlings shine at table. A true connoisseur is not one who has the best and best-known wines in his cellar, but rather the one who knows how to serve the right wine for the right occasion, be it a complex, old Grand Cru Hengst, a young, fresh and delicate Pinot Blanc, a mature and supple red or a fresh and fruity Crémant d’Alsace.


The course is both practical and empowering.





Thierry Meyer, the Parker of Alsace wines, an Alsace resident with an unbelievable knowledge and passion for Alsace wines will lead our new Alsace Master-Level Program debuting March 4th 2014.


He will then lead and instruct on our first Alsace Immersion Trip taking place in June 2014.






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FWS Program endorsed by Employment & Employability Institute

The French Wine Scholar Program (Singapore) gained endorsement by The Employment & Employability Institute (e2i)

In its initial months since appointed by the Wine Scholar Guild to host and conduct French Wine Scholar (FWS) program in Singapore, WineCraft Marketing & Services, under the guidance of Mr Lim Hwee Peng, CSW, FWS, have obtained support for the FWS Program from a quasi-government institution – the Employment & Employability Institute (e2i)*.

With that endorsement, the FWS course is now part of e2i’s Professional Development programs portfolio.

On the Professional Development program platform, awareness and recruitment for FWS program will potentially increase its outreach to a pool of professionals in the Wine, Food & Beverage, Hospitality and related trade sectors.

More importantly, the support of e2i builds confidence and credo for FWS program at its infancy phase while under the care of WineCraft Marketing & Services.

This support by e2i reflects its continued confidence in our company’s objective, i.e. to offer programs and activities that aims to enhance professionalism among our peers,’ Mr Lim Hwee Peng, CSW, FWS shared, ‘more importantly, professionals enrolled in the FWS program will now be able to invest in their career growth, at a subsidized cost funded by e2i.’

The pioneer intake of FWS program, under Lim’s guidance, is scheduled to commence on 4th July 2014, with the FWS exam scheduled on 19th Sept 2014. Learn more.

For more information on the FWS program in Singapore, please do contact Mr Lim Hwee Peng, CSW, FWS via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.


*About e2i
e2i is an initiative of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), supported by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF), and the Singapore National Employers’ Federation (SNEF), e2i serves all segments of workers, from rank and file to professionals, managers and executives (PME)

As an organization, e2i is ISO 9001:2008 certified in July 2010, and received Service Quality Class (SQC) endorsement in June 2011.

It is recognized as a leading organization to create solutions for better employment and employability; it exists to create better jobs and better lives for workers.

Since 2008, e2i has helped more than 300,000 workers through providing better jobs, developing better skills through professional development, and improving productivity for companies.

For more details on e2i, visit the website on this link: http://e2i.com.sg/what-we-do/

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2014 Wine Trips & Destinations Announced!

As the vacation season is sadly coming to an end… here are the dates of our 2014 Immersion Wine Study Trips to mark on your calendar for next year!

We will be offering 5 trips next year, with two new destinations: Alsace and Provence.

We will start in the warm southern wine regions of France and head north as we get into the warmer days of June.

•    Bordeaux Wine Trip:  May 18 to 24
•    Rhône Valley Wine Trip:  May 26 to 31
•    Provence Wine Trip:  June 1 to 7
•    Bourgogne Wine Trip:  June 8 to 14
•    Alsace Wine Trip:  June 15 to 21


Only one trip to each of these regions is being scheduled, and participation is limited to only 15 to 18 people, depending on the region. They will sell out very fast!

To receive advanced notice of the detailed itineraries and get a better chance to secure your seat, please let us know of your interest. You will then receive detailed information 2 weeks before we release the details to our 25,000 newsletter subscribers!



With new destinations will come new expert Instructors and hosts.  Watch for our upcoming newsletters, where we’ll introduce them to you! They are all super excited to welcome you to France and share their passion!




Still want to escape to France this year?

We have 4 seats left for this fall’s fabulous Bourgogne Immersion Trip running Oct. 20-26, 2013. Register Now!

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Video Excerpt: Climate change with Roger Bohmrich MW

Watch this 9 minute excerpt of Roger Bohmrich's one-hour webinar on the "Climate Change & Wine – Understanding the Essentials & Imagining the Future"

 

 

To view the entire webinar recording and get access to all 50 past webinar recordings and upcoming live webinars, all you have to do is become a member of the Wine Scholar Guild!

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Inrterview of Roger Bohmrich MW


{flv width="640" height="480"}Climate Change Excerpt{/flv}


Live webinar coming up on Wednesday November 21st:


Climate Change & Wine – Understanding the Essentials & Imagining the Future with Roger Bohmrich MW

Learn More

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Truth is Stranger than Fiction

The Wine Scholar Guild earns mention within the pages of a murder-mystery written by award-winning author J. Michael Orenduff.


Yes, truth is stranger than fiction!

While our Education Director was vacationing in New Mexico last summer, she picked up “The Pot Thief Who Studied Escoffier” at a bookstore in Albuqueque. It was a fabulous read especially since its main character was a Gruet-guzzling treasure seeker with a keen eye for ancient Indian pots…that weren’t his own.

The only thing “wrong” with the book was the constant reference to Gruet sparkling wine from New Mexico as “champagne”.

A friendly email exchange followed…along with a newly released sequel, “The Pot Thief Who Studied D.H.Lawrence”. In Chapter 10, as the main character shares a post-prandial drink with a friend …


Suzannah said,”The restaurant got an email blast today from the Education Director of the Wine Scholar Guild explaining that you shouldn’t refer to Gruet as ‘champagne’.”

“She mentioned me by name?”

“No silly. And she didn’t mention Gruet by name either. She said we shouldn’t call American sparkling wines champagne.”

“Why not?”

“Because true champagne comes from Champagne, France. Everything else is sparkling wine. It has to do with authenticity. You know, truth in advertising.”

“But the Gruet family is from Champagne.”

“But the sparkling wine they make here in New Mexico is not.”


Thank you J. Michael Orenduff for setting the record straight! And for the record, if you haven’t read one of  Mike’s murder-mysteries…you are missing out on some authentic good fun.

J. Michael Orenduff is a “Lefty” national award winner for best humorous mystery. He has won two “Eppies” for best eBook mysteries and is winner of the New Mexico Book of the Year Award.

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Program Provider Award of Excellence Announced!

Starting in 2014, the Wine Scholar Guild will be acknowledging its star program provider each calendar year. The award of excellence will be based on the number of students the program provider instructs over a 12-month period,  student evaluations, facilities, and the overall profile of the course offerings given by that learning institution or instructor.


“The most important aspect of the evaluation will be the student evaluations,” states FWS President, Julien Camus. “Their satisfaction is paramount. We want students to feel enlightened, inspired and empowered. Good instructors do that!”


“It is also important to recognize the depth and breadth of the other programs these instructors teach. It is this skill package that enables them to make accurate New World-Old World comparisons as well as to teach about France in proper contrast to other European producers,” adds Lisa Airey, FWS Education Director. “We wish to acknowledge the caliber of all that they do with this award.”


The first Award of Excellence recipient will be announced on  January 13, 2014.


The French Wine Scholar Study and Certification program provides current, accurate and in-depth information on the wines and wine regions of France. Developed and administrated by the Wine Scholar Guild with the support of the French Ministry of Agriculture, this specialization program  is designed for advanced students of wine, whether professionals or serious wine hobbyists.

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