By Mymi Myriam
The room at Frank at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was flooded with light entering from large panel windows on a late weekday afternoon as I sipped on a glass of the Kim Crawford Fizz Methode Traditionnelle 2009.
I took my place at the table and was quite puzzled at finding an eye-dropper amongst my tasting glasses. What kind of experiment would we be conducting?
Our host for the event was Anthony Walkenhorst, Kim Crawford’s senior winemaker, who led us through the most memorable wine tasting I have ever attended.
In front of each attendee were nine glasses, eight of which were filled with wine samples leaving one empty.
As Anthony spoke about the Marlborough wine region, he emphasized and defined six sub-regions from which the fruit of their signature blend Sauvignon Blanc originated (glass #7) Glass #8 contained the 2014 Small Parcel Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc. Turns out, barrel samples of wine from those six regions were right in front of us!
Each region’s Sauvignon Blanc was surprisingly different, from tropical to minerally to citrusy to bold, complex and each contained an amazing range of acidity.
Anthony suggested that we sample each wine and take notes on how to create our “individual” blend which was reserved for the empty glass, hence the eye-dropper. So I went for it! Remembering what I considered to be “pretty damn good” cooking skills, I was determined to create something sublime, something even memorable.
I gave it my best try blending my favorite samples together in various quantities. The result? Yikes. I must confess that my only success was metamorphosing a very recognizable varietal into something that tasted like it came from another planet.
When I spoke to Anthony, he revealed that blending is something that Kim Crawford himself worked on very hard and passed onto him. When I asked him if he was nervous when he made his first batch of wine on his own, he said he couldn’t remember as he was so nervous.
I, on the other hand, will always remember my first time trying to blend the perfect wine and now I appreciate even more the level of skills necessary to create it.
Merci to all the phenomenal master blending winemakers!
Sommelier & Musician
Mymi is a sommelier, singer-songwriter, musician and voice-over artist with a serious and contagious passion for wine, food and music.
When asked why she is so enthusiastic about wine, she replies, “Wine connects so many elements of life that I absolutely love. From growing herbs and vegetables to cooking, eating, travelling, entertaining, studying. There is always something new to learn in the world of wine. Sharing my knowledge with people, no matter their level of expertise, is something I sincerely enjoy.”
Her qualifications include certifications from The Court of Master Sommeliers, The International Sommelier Guild, The Society of Wine Educators, The Ontario Wine Council and most recently, The French Wine Society. As a professional musician, she shares her knowledge of wine in an entertaining, down-to-earth, and unpretentious way.
She is completing the WSET Level 4 Diploma program, is in the early stages of creating a food/wine/music show is currently recording her first all-French album. Mymi is a regular contributor to NatalieMacLean.com.