That's right. This week New England Wine Academy has been approved to offer the WSET Level 1 Award in Sake qualification as an online option. We are very pleased to bring this class to you as there has been a big upswing in interest with sake in recent months, perhaps because of the pandemic and people are simply looking for new things to try, or perhaps because Sake is so good - especially with food.
The Course Description
A beginner level introduction to sake suitable for those starting a sake career or pursuing an interest in sake.
For individuals new to sake study, this qualification provides a hands-on introduction to the world of sake. You’ll explore the main types and styles of sake through sight, smell, and taste, while also gaining the basic skills to describe sake accurately, and make food and sake pairings. Upon successful completion you will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin.
What you'll learn
To see when the next class begins and for full details follow this link to our class descriptions page.
This week, I had the distinct pleasure to speak with Piero Mastroberardino, 10th generation owner of the famed winery Mastroberardino in Campani, Italy. A leader of the region, with a history of preserving the recent and distant past, Piero and his father Antonio have been strong voices in the wine scene of Campania since the 1940s. Working with grapes from the Hellenic and Latin side of the culture in ancient Italy, there is probably no other winery with such a strong connection to the wines and the land of the ancient times as Mastroberardino. We will be publishing some tasting notes ont er current releases in the coming weeks, but these are exciting wines, unlike any other grapes from any other regions. And what is perhaps understated here, is these are grapes that may play an event more important role in vineyards around the world as the temperature in the atmosphere continues to rise due to climate change.
Check out the winery website here to see all of the wines and learn more about their fantastic production.
This week, I went into the archives and pulled out an old video I made in 2009, while on a trip through Napa and Sonoma. We were visiting a number of wineries, including St Francis Winery in Sonoma, and took a few minutes to stop along the road and shoot this quick video in the Pagani Ranch Vineyard, near Santa Rosa. These vines were planted in the 1890s and early 1900s and have massive trunks almost like trees. Most of the fruit from this vineyard ends up in either the St Francis or the Ridge bottlings, and it has always been a favorite of mine. The Ridge Pagani Ranch wines from the late 1980s and early 1990s were some of my first encounters with wines of this nature. My dad used to buy them and share with me, long before I really knew what fine wine was all about - although I do remember tasting some of those wines and really liking them. Enjoy the video, and please remember to like/subscribe (trying to get to 100 followers so I can update the URL on my YT page - so thanks in advance).
A very interesting article about the use of oak, or rather the non-use of oak, was posted on Jancis Robinson's website this week. I have been through many cellars in recent times where the use of oak was being challenged or at the very least reconsidered in part or in whole. Many wines can benefit from this evolution in winemaking, adding a style and dimension that compliments some oak, or just the beauty of the wine on its own without the use of oak. For me, I often find the result to be a more textural expression in the wine, different that what I get from oak aged wines. Keep in mind that concrete has been used for years as a means of tank construction, and that in ancient times most vessels would have been a form of terracotta. You can read the article here.
Because I participate in the annual restaurant poll for Wine & Spirits Magazine, where participants are asked to list their best selling items in order to get a read on what is being listed out their on wine list, I often get a call for some quotes or a read on my take on things. I think this happens a lot because I don't have the standard wines on my lists, so things get noticed when you have slightly different selections. I often say "yes" as well, so that may have something to do with it. Anyway, here is the link to the article if you care to read...
Brian Mitchell with Wine & Spirits Magazine Feb 2021
This past weekend, Thomas and I dove into a couple of topics on Food and Wine, Blind Tasting and some new items / regions / grapes. Check out the videos below and don't forget to hit the like button and even subscribe to the channel to get new videos when they arrive. Cheers!
ABOUT THE Author
Brian Mitchell runs The New England Wine Academy, and is responsible for the content of this blog. With over 25 years of drinks industry experience, Brian has learned a few things, but everyday he is learning more. This blog helps to bring that knowledge to you.