Episode #546 – The Many Routes to Becoming a Sommelier

She was the 5th woman to earn the title Master Sommelier and she has earned a lot more titles, honors and certifications than that in her extensive wine career. Catherine is the proprietor of Planet Grape, LLC, a wine consulting firm providing content, reviews, corporate & private tastings, restaurant wine program development, and speaking services. She created her alter-ego, Grape Goddess, to help bring wine down to earth for consumers as well as those entering the wine industry. She is one of a handful of female professional sabreurs in the world, opening a bottle of Champagne with a sword in a dazzling theatrical performance. Catherine was recently inducted into Les Dames d’Escoffier and is a Board Member of The American Institute of Wine & Food.

Her diverse wine background as a salesperson, sommelier, distributor, and supplier helped Catherine become the well-rounded and thorough expert she is today. She understands all facets of the wine business, and is a frequent speaker, event host, educator, and consultant for corporations, consumers and the wine trade. She is a highly sought after wine expert and spokesperson for the wine industry.

On today’s episode of Grape Encounters, Catherine tackles a couple of very important topics. First, for those who desire to become a certified wine expert, there are many routes that can be taken. Catherine helps listeners sort out the differences and offers expert advise on which direction to go.

Next on to today’s main subject. As the seasons change, so do our desires for different wines. In the same way that we change our wardrobe throughout the year, we also pay closer attention to wines that suit the season. David and Catherine take a deep dive into this subject and much more!

Episode #541 – Wes Hagen on Enjoying Wine

Join David and winemaker/wine historian Wes Hagen talking about the science and experience of tasting wine… when wine hits your tongue, all five flavor components – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umomi/savory – one of the few beverages that delivers all of them. Trends in food and wine pairing take all these into account, and why wine is the perfect accompaniment to food.

In this episode, David and Wes, who is renowned in the wine business and also the winemaker for J. Wilkes in the Santa Ynez Valley of California’s Central Coast, address some of the major trends taking hold in the wine industry. Chances are, you’ll welcome the trends that are transforming the industry.

This is an eye-opening episode that you won’t want to miss. One of the trends that David and Wes address include the shattering of rules related to wine pairing. Even some of the world’s most renowned Somms are questioning conventional wisdom.

Also, there’s a growing affection toward Riesling that is really taking hold. When was the last time that you had one? Another major trend is the migration of wine drinkers toward rosé wines. If you think they’re strictly sweet wines, you’ve been hanging around White Zinfandel too long. Other topics include Orange Wine, Cabernet Franc and much more! This edition of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine and More.