A word from Bill — May 2011

I was recently invited to help judge the Algonquin College Service Exam. This is the last requirement of the program to achieve the Sommelier Certificate. Everything learned by the soon-to-be sommelier graduate comes together in a service environment where they get to apply their knowledge of food and wine matching. It was encouraging to see their high level of competence and passion for wine. As Vic Harradine once said on completion of the course: “Now, what are you going to do on Thursday nights”? I explained to them that The National Capital Sommelier Guild events are a great way to continue to taste a variety of different wines and keep your palate active. Welcome to all the graduates that joined the Guild that day, we look forward to sharing some tasting notes with you.

On April 17, we celebrated World Malbec Day. The Guild along with our friends at the Argentinean Embassy organized a special tasting—Wines of Argentina: Taste Gold Medal Winning Wines. I would like to sincerely thank Edgar Flores Tiravanti and Alejandro Alberto Basualdo, who worked diligently and showcased wines that are not available at the LCBO. They also provided some insight into the wine industry, culture and travel in Argentina. This discussion was supplemented by video presentations and personal observations from our members that had spent significant time in their wine regions. Further thanks to our Argentinean friends for inviting all attending Guild members to their celebration of International Malbec Day at the NAC. Great wines, great information and great value!

I would also like to note that several members were attending their first tasting at the Vendange Institute. They commented on the efficient layout of the room—how easily servers were able to pour without getting in the way of the tasting; ease of parking; and the overall experience. Vendange is a great venue for wine education—arguably the best tasting room in Ottawa. We’ve come a long way since the closing of the Chelsea Club!

Lastly, we are holding our AGM on May 9th at the Amphitheatre across from the wine labs at Algonquin College. Members will be given an opportunity to express their thoughts on the Guild and address questions to the Board. Come on out and have a glass of wine with us.

Cheers, Bill Ellis President