On Saturday April 6, 2019, before the Grand Tasting Brunch and Live Charity Auction, several dozen attendees enjoyed a hands-on wine seminar and blind tasting with the legendary Michael Jordan, of Jackson Family of Wines, one of only 15 Master Sommeliers (MS) and Certified Wine Educators (CWE) in the world! Jordan has been described as “Sommelier for the people” and his approachable style, sense of humor, incredible knowledge, and ability to educate made this one of the most informative and enjoyable wine classes I have attended. It was essentially the two days of Level 1 courses for students of the Court of Master Sommeliers, presented by a legend, and brought to an approachable level where anyone from a novice home wine drinker to a connoisseur or sommelier can easily enjoy, and come away a much better informed wine drinker! Michael walked his students through a blind tasting of four wines–one white, and three reds. He shared his version of the “Deductive Tasting Method” which he committed to memory to help him pass Level 4 of the Court of Master Sommelier’s examination, in which candidates have 4 minutes and 10 seconds to properly identify a wine, and back up their deduction with extensive information about the wine– its color, nose, flavors, any flaws, likely region, and year, among the extensive criteria. Participants received sheets listing dozens of criteria to work through when tasting a wine, as well as a list of all different scents that could be present in a wine, and were encouraged to photocopy them and use them for home tastings with family and friends to become even better informed about wine. Jordan shared some tips for identifying certain wines– for example, if a red wine contained the aromas of cassis, black currant, and blackberry fruit would suggest it could be a Cabernet Sauvignon, and black cherry and plum are suggestive of Merlot. Old World wines (Europe) tend to be earthier, while New World Wines (US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) are typically more fruit-driven.
Fred Bollaci will be writing a story about the seminar with Michael Jordan and how you too can “Blind Taste” like a Master Sommelier in the comfort of your own home!