Tonight was the first night at wine school. I started the Intermediate WSET course at Johnson & Wales tonight. And it was amazing. I think I know what I love most about wine — learning about it. Discussing the flavors and aromas, and hearing what other people have to say about it, really studying each individual wine. Not just drinking it, experiencing it, soaking it in, becoming a part of it and letting it become a part of me. I’m so happy to be in class, learning about wine again. It’s what made me fall in love with wine to begin with — Wines of the World 1 at RIT. Lauren, Michael and I all took it together, at the New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canadaigua, NY. It was about a half hour away from campus, and so worth the drive. The drives home from class were always an amazing adventure, but also being in class and everyone being at the same beginners level, was amazing. (You can find Lauren’s photography blog here; and Michaels European Adventure blog here.) I’ll write more about school soon, I promise.
There have been so many changes in my life lately, I don’t even know where to begin. Work is crazy. We recently closed Pietra, the fine-dining restaurant I’ve been working at since July. But, we opened at new restaurant on property – The Tap Room. It’s in the basement of the hotel, and only has 6’5 ceilings. It was a speak easy during prohibition, and the style hasn’t changed much. It’s been about 3 weeks since it opened, and it’s great. It’s much more relaxed and easy going. We also have some new management. New management that has promised me some improvements in my place at The Stone House (i.e., finally being completely involved in wine). It’s starting to get much busies there too, which is great, because we’re finally starting to make some actual money. I’ve also gotten a few really great compliments from one of the owners, Craig. Also, the other night, I had a couple come in for dinner and they were amazingly nice and friendly, and we ended up chatting about wine and I recommended a wine for the them to try; he really enjoyed it and when he was ready for his second glass said that he wanted to try the other pinot noir on our by-the-glass list. I poured him a small taste instead of a full glass and waited until after he tasted it to explained why I thought he may not like it with his meal, (although it is a great Oregon Pinot). He completely agreed and was so happy with my wine pairings throughout the evening. It was a really great experience for me, to not only be listened to, but to be respected and agreed with. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I think that I’ve done a good job with what’s been put in front of me.