The SOMM Journal

February/March 2015

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Page 82 of 92

82 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2015 { continuing education } Somm Essentials Student and wine enthu- siast Jennifer Overholt learns about bottle presentation from San Francisco Wine School founder and CEO David Glancy, MS, CWE. EXERCISING OUR PALATES AT SAN FRANCISCO WINE SCHOOL by William Cavanagh / photos by Andria Lo WITH ONE SNIFF, M. TURNS UP HER NOSE. "SMELLS LIKE A FISH TANK." I'd have said mineral, seashell, with some green apple thrown in. And briny oyster. But "fish tank?" That stopped me in my tracks. This telling exercise is part of what we do, twice a day for two weeks, in San Francisco Wine School's Somm Essentials course. Under the guidance of San Francisco Wine School founder David Glancy MS, CWE; Catherine Fallis MS; and Brian Cronin MS, our group of very capable students spent two packed weeks gath- ered around tables with wine glasses a-plenty, preparing for sommelier duties and exams and Society of Wine Educators' Hospitality Beverage Specialist Certificate. From a heavy concentration on wine and all of its intricacies, to saké and its mysteries, to the complexities of fine coffee and tea services, and food and wine pairings, the master instructors made the vast subject matter approachable and, without a doubt, kindled our passions. It was the diverse personalities and experience around the table that made this intensive beverage program so fun and compelling. There was a retired firefighter following his wine dream, a woman in the international medical business exploring a potential new career, someone studying for their second level CMS exam, a server from Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco and two of us from David Kinch's Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos. This diversity led to lively exchanges, especially when it came to vocabulary. I currently work as a Captain at Manresa and was sent to Somm Essentials by the restaurant while it was being rebuilt after a fire, continuing my professional develop- ment during that time off. At Manresa and over the course of my 20-plus-year career, I have learned from people with exceptional experience and talent. But the comments around the table that first day had me reevaluating the way I look at wine. Student and enthusiast Pamela Stevens. Author William Cavanagh, a Captain at Manresa in Los Gatos, CA, evaluates a wine at San Francisco Wine School. In the background is Somm Essentials student Kamolnutt Putthongvilai of San Francisco restaurant M.Y. China.

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