definition of Sommelier

By Ken Fredrickson, MS
Restaurant Terroir, Jackson, Wyoming

Most people in this great country of ours get to experience a week or two of vacation. I know you probably want to go to the islands or to Disney World or maybe you’re super adventurous and want to climb Cerro Torre in Chile. Whatever your fancy, if you’re interested at all in wine, try to combine your trip with a visit in the vineyards. You will be surprised to find that nearly every state in the U.S. makes wine; you can find vineyards from China to Chile and countless places in between.

If you wonder why your Vouvray has hints of chalk aroma, well, check out the soil in the village of Vouvray. If you have had the chance to experience delicious sun-ripened Bandol, go feel the sun on the Mediterranean Coast in the Cote d’Azur. Wine is the most romantic and mysterious beverage on earth, and the best way to understand it is to go to the source: get in the vineyard and kick some rocks. Let the sun warm you, or the Cape Doctor wind (of South Africa’s coastal vineyards) blow through you, and experience terroir.

I studied the process of "vine to wine" long and hard before I actually visited a vineyard and winery. I thought I had a pretty good grasp of the whole process, but when I finally got in the vineyard it really started to make sense. Now the most important aspect of wine for me is getting back to the mother-- Mother Earth can unlock a lot of the mystery.

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