Monday, October 27, 2008

CSW Exam - Certified Specialist of Wine

I am continually studying for the Certified Specialist of Wine certification. The Tasting Room has set up access to Gallo's Wine Academy for for everyone that works for them. The first person to complete the Academy gets to take their CSW exam on TTR's dime.

I finished first, but have yet to take the test. I really should have taken the test right after completing the Academy. I will need to go through the whole Academy again as a refresher and I hope to have my CSW by the end of November.

In the mean time, here's some questions you might find on an CSW exam - answers below:
  • Where is the wine region of Mendoza located?
  • Who is the man responsible for the "Balanced Vine" theory?
  • What is a synonym for Chenin Blanc in South Africa?
  • Wine is mostly comprised of what?
  • The Los Carneros AVA is best known for which varietal of wine?
  • When did prohibition end in the USA?
  • Catarratto, Grillo and Inzolia are used to produce what fortified wine?
  • What are the two primary white grapes in Bordeaux?
  • How many aromas can humans be trained to identify?
  • Humans are most sensitive to which taste?
So these are only 10 questions of about a 1000 they can give. The actual exam is 100 questions. The questions range from viticulture to viniculture to every continent that grows wine and all the major wine growing areas within those regions. This is definitely A LOT to learn, but for me well worth it.

  • Argentina
  • Richard Smart
  • Steen
  • Water
  • Pinot Noir
  • 1933
  • Marsala
  • Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
  • ~1000
  • bitter

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun Wines for Halloween

Evil CabernetVampire WinePoizin ZinfandelGhost Block Cabernet

It has been a busy month and I have neglected my beloved wine blog. So let's get this month going with a post about this time of year...

Halloween, definitely my favorite time of year. It celebrates the Autumn season with spooky fun and that brings up some interesting wines. Here's a short list of wines that come to mind:

Evil Cabernet - A full bodied fruit bomb from the irreverant Aussie's
Vampire - They make Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay and more
Poizin - From the award winning Armida winery in Sonoma
Ghost Block - "Nestled on a gently sloping knoll, Ghost Block vineyard is named in honor of Napa's pioneer winemakers who rest in a tiny 150 year old cemetery on the north edge of Yountville - the epicenter of Napa Valley"

I've personally tried the Evil Cabernet and Vampire Pinot Noir. The Evil Cab is great and the Pinot was just OK for me. Poizon and Ghost Block have gotten great reviews and I'm looking forward to trying them. I hear that getting Ghost Block is very difficult too.