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Showing posts from December, 2010

Wijncertificaat SWEN II

Yeah! Today I heard that I passed my exam on wine. It's a voluntary part of my course at the Academie voor Gastronomie in de Echoput near Apeldoorn. It is nothing big but a basic knowledge of wine-making and tasting, grape varieties and origins and stuff. Getting the SWEN II certificate qualifies me for starting a real Sommelier course, but I won't as it is truly insane on studying and takes a long time.

For now, I'm satisfied. I learned a huge deal on wine. From making it to storing it to aging and tasting. Different wine countries and their pros and cons. Classifications, styles, varieties, biological techniques for growing grapes and being more aware of the soil (terroir) and crops and its natural defenses. Amazing! I also learned of wine-food combinations and how to improve on either of the two with the other. My book will last me a long time because we hardly covered a third of it.

5-course Menu d'Aquitaine

As part of my exam at the "academie voor Gastronomie" in de Echoput near Apeldoorn, where I took a course all of last year, I have to create a 5-course meal with accompanying wines. At first I only had random ideas of things I like to eat or know how to make well. Then I had trouble figuring out an overall theme to the menu, something that ties all together. Then I could think of a theme or common idea but had no clue about the wines to go with the food.
And then it dawned on me: the region where my parent live, where we used to go on vacation when I was a kid and the Bordeaux region is sometimes referred to as L'Aquitaine region! So... that will be my theme. I can make canard from the Sud-Ouest where my parents are. I have the wines from that region, but also the Bordeaux-like wines from Bergerac. And I have the dishes and seafood I used to eat while on vacation on Ile d'Oléron with the fabulous Pineau de Charente. So I set out creating my courses and used seasonal v…