Were you ever curious about wine? Have you ever wondered how to actually know whether a wine is good or just so-so? Knowing how to swirl and smell it? I know I have. Wine Training Camp was the fanciest and coolest workshop I’ve been to so far—obviously because it involved wine. It was hosted by Sherwin Lao last November 19 and was held at a restaurant along Sto. Domingo called Betty’s.
The Wine Training Camp was such a fun way to learn all about wine—every topic discussed was interesting. From knowing the importance of its color to the reasons for its taste and aroma to knowing how to describe a wine, Sherwin Lao wants to change how wine is being taught and his goal was to make us drink the wine and describe it ourselves.
The topics covered in the event were: 2S3T (Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch, Total Impression), Aroma Wheel, Aroma Exercise, Taste Perceptions, Taste Exercise, Review of Varietal Wines, and Food & Wine Pairing. An additional discussion was about wine openers, how to use them, and which one is the best to use—which I thought was definitely helpful for people new to drinking wine.
“You have to look at the wine. The color tells you a good twenty percent of the story.”
My favorite parts of the workshop were the swirling and smelling exercises—besides the tasting part, of course. The different aromas and bouquets were discussed in order for us to understand the smell of each wine and how it came to smell that way. Some examples of the aroma and bouquet were banana, earthy, lavender, vanilla, and lemongrass—I especially loved the smell of lemongrass.
For the tasting part, we had two sets of four different wines, the first set being white wine and the second being red. Each wine had a different taste to it even though we tasted four white wines and four red wines, each had a distinct taste and texture. It was discussed to us that each wine is different – it can be acidic, as is, sweetness, or tannin. At the end of the taste-testing, we had a blind taste test to know whether we got the hang of each taste already—this was an exciting activity because I felt sort of like a wine expert doing it.
“Wine should be at least as full bodied as the food; matching weights of food and wine,” says Sherwin Lao. We were also taught how to pair white and red wine to its right food combination and for the last part of the event, we had the Food and Wine Pairing and the open forum—the best part of the event for most people. We learned to balance the right wine with different food, like carbonara, buttered vegetables, beef, and more. The wine definitely made the food taste all the better.
Some of the few tips from Sherwin Lao for all the wine drinkers out there:
- Avoid salt! Because it can increase alcohol intoxication.
- Nuts are good if paired with a cold white wine.
- Sparkling wine or champagne go well with fruits and chocolates.
- Sweet white wines tone down sweet chili food.
After gaining knowledge from the Wine Training Camp, learning about the smell and sight, and tasting all the wine, I don’t think I’ll see and taste wine the same way again. I’m surely looking forward to my next wine night with my friends to test out and show off my wine expertise. Thank you, Sherwin Lao for the amazing and super fun wine experience!