Over a weekend in July, more than two dozen members of the Global Gourmet Catering team gathered to further their knowledge of wine in an introductory sommelier training course led by members of the Court of Master Sommeliers. We love working with fine wines as much as we love creating exceptional food, and pride ourselves on bringing great pairings to our events.

Master Sommeliers Randall Bertao, Catherine Fallis and Allan Murray led our team through an intensive two-day course culminating in a rigorous exam. There was even homework! Certification in hand, our team of connoisseurs is even better equipped to help our clients pair the perfect wine with the food at their events now.

Our team prepared for this training for a few weeks; required reading was assigned ahead of time to ensure the students had a basic grasp of oenology, the study of wine. The class covered the full evolution of wine, both historically and in production, from vineyard to crush to barrel to glass. Most important, however, was the crash course in tasting notes.

The Global Gourmet chefs, executives and sales teams can now differentiate a glass of pinot noir from a merlot, perhaps with a blindfold on. We discussed the differences in appearance, like colors and legs, as well as the bouquet of aromas a bottle can offer, before even touching on the taste itself. A chardonnay with a floral aroma may surprise with a more bitter taste, while a fruit-forward cabernet might taste as sweet as it smells. “Mouthfeel” is another consideration altogether. We left with some unexpected pairings up our sleeve too, like rich seafood with a light pinot noir or white wine from the Sancerre region of France.   

We love California’s wine country, but this course opened our eyes to a whole world of wines and their possible pairings. Whether it’s an Old-World French vintage or a newer Napa selection, we’re excited to help our clients find an appropriate accompaniment for an excellent meal.