Back to (wine) school
I love back-to-school season. Fresh markers. Boxes of pencils. New pink erasers and that new eraser smell.
And, of course, the opportunity to learn. This year, I’m going back to school — sort of. In a couple of weeks, I’ll start the next level of my sommelier certification. Fifteen weeks of hard studying and, hopefully, some good wines along the way.
If you’re also interested in pursuing professional wine education, check out the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program. The internationally recognized program is based in London, England, but a range of introductory and advanced courses is offered in Calgary through Vancouver’s Fine Vintage Ltd. Go to finevintageltd.com for more information, or call 1-866-379-4915. And if you end up in my class, say hi.
Until then, here are some new wines to try.
Located in the “toe” of Italy’s boot, Calabria isn’t exactly the No. 1 place in Italy people think of when they think about Italian wine. But this juicy red just may change your mind.
About 90 per cent of the wines produced in Calabria are red. Like Solenero (a word that literally translates as “black sun”): a combination of Magliocco (an indigenous Italian grape) and Merlot, it’s dark purple, with soft tannins and earthy notes of cherry and cranberry — a quaffable, yet interesting red to share with good friends.
It’s a great deal, and one to stump the wine snobs with at your next dinner party. Don’t let them see the label, and make them guess what they’re drinking.
Price: About $20 at Aspen Wine & Spirits, select Crowfoot Liquor locations, Wine Inc., and Willow Park Wines & Spirits.
Drink: Now, with pizza, spicy tomato-based pasta dishes, lasagna, Italian sausages, gourmet burgers or steak. Cork closure.