The spark - wine passion is starting (#2)
Hey wine lovers,
Welcome back to my story of wine passion to wine profession!
I mentioned a Michelin star at the end of my last blog, so I’ll pick up from there. The team, (or family) back then poured their blood, sweat and lives into making the place a success. Everyone from the cleaner to the Head Chef had a job to do and pushed hard towards the goal of getting that star. As it became apparent that the dream really could be a reality, my boss asked if I’d like to take on managing the wine list. We believed we had the Michelin star level food, service and ambience – wine was the next challenge.
My mum often reminds that as a child she would always allow access to alcohol in the hope that as a teenager I wouldn’t binge. From as long as I can remember, I always had a teeny glass of wine (literally a child’s mouthful) with our family Sunday roast in a thimble glass. At the end of every meal, I’d leave the table with the glass untouched, whereas my little brother would down the drink for the both of us…how times have changed!
So, it’s clear my interest in wine had developed since childhood. I think my initial interest in wine came from being such a foodie - the two going hand in hand. My dad was a chef, and having the family shellfish business meant I was always around outstanding, fresh food. Mum’s always been a fabulous cook and baker also, so naturally I’d stand on a chair and enjoy cooking lessons from her throughout my life.
Back to the pub, and being around the best quality dishes and ingredients must have accelerated my love for food and wine. The best part of my shift was first thing, choosing wines to pair on our tasting menu with the chef each morning. As the menu changed daily this was great practise trying little tasters of the food with different wines and chatting through what worked and what didn’t. This is where my palate really started to wake up! I still remember a Foie gras, bacon and pea starter pairing beautifully with a Sauternes, and I wondered how and why this pudding wine complemented such a rich starter? I was eager to learn the science behind this, and finely tune my palate further.
Next time, I’ll chat about my introduction to WSET. So anyone wondering about starting their wine studies, be sure to catch up on the next instalment 😊
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