Today we have a conference preview from Tim Gaiser, MS. Tim has been one of the top-rated speakers at our conference for many years now, and his sessions fill up fast! This year we are lucky enough to have Tim presenting two sessions, which he will tell you about in his own words, below.
I’ll be doing two sessions at the conference this August in Portland. My first session, “Insights: Best Practices for Teaching Professional Tasting,” will focus on strategies for teaching tasting. I find teaching tasting to be one of the most rewarding things I do as a wine professional—but it can be one of the most frustrating as well. Everyone is wired differently and I need multiple strategies to teach any group, much less to coach an individual student.
These strategies include memorizing a tasting grid; improving recognition and memory of common wine aromas and flavors; calibrating structural elements (acidity, alcohol, and tannin) consistently and accurately; and deductive logic—putting sensory information together in order to make good conclusions in a blind tasting. In this past year I created a survey with the intention of collecting best practices for teaching tasting. I sent the survey to over 50 fellow Master Sommeliers and all were generous in sharing their strategies. This session will focus on strategies taken from the survey as well some of my own. To help illustrate the strategies we’ll taste through a flight of four outstanding wines. Join me as we deconstruct the best the practices of teaching professional tasting.
My second session, “Hungarian Furmint: Ancient Grape, Modern Wines” will focus on Furmint, arguably Hungary’s greatest white grape variety. Furmint has been the primary grape used in the production of Tokaji, one of the most remarkable, historic, and complex dessert wines of the last several centuries. In the last decade a new generation of winemakers has been using Furmint to produce some of the most exciting dry white wines found anywhere. Join me as we take a tour through the history and vineyards of Tokaj and Csopak, and discover the brilliance of dry Furmint by tasting an outstanding flight of wines.
About the speaker: Tim Gaiser is an internationally renowned wine expert and lecturer. He is one of 175 individuals worldwide to ever attain the elite Master Sommelier wine title. Over his 25-plus year career, Tim has taught thousands of students in wines and spirits classes at every level as well as developing wine education programs for restaurants, winery schools and wine distributors. He has experience in all phases of the wine industry – online, wholesale, retail, winery, and restaurant – including stints at Heitz Wine Cellars in the Napa Valley and Bix and Cypress Club restaurants in San Francisco, and Virtual Vineyards/the original wine.com.
Tim has written for a number of publications including Fine Cooking Magazine and Sommelier Journal. He also writes for numerous wine and spirits clients including Champagne Perrier Jöuet, Wines of Germany and the Portuguese Cork Quality Association. Gaiser has served as the author and lead judge for the Best Young Sommelier Competition and the TopSomm Competition, the two major American sommelier competitions. Considered one of the leading wine tasters and educators, Gaiser was recently featured in the Think like a Genius Wine Master training product, created by the Everyday Genius Institute.
Tim’s first session, “Insights: Best Practices for Teaching Professional Tasting” will be held on Friday, August 11, 2017 at 8:45 am. The session on Hungarian Furmint will also be on Friday, August 11, at 3:00 pm. For more information, see the website of the 41st Conference of the Society of Wine Educators to be held on August 10 – 12, in Portland, Oregon.