Conference Recaps 2015

The crowd loves the visuals used at "The Secret Life of Pinot Noir" session

The crowd loves the visuals used at “The Secret Life of Pinot Noir” session

We had a wonderful time at the 39th Annual Conference of the Society of Wine Educators, held August 11-13, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Highlights included the New Orleans-inspired food (of course), as well as 60 dynamic sessions led by wine professionals, the inaugural sitting of our newest certification exam, – the Certified Spirits Educator (CSE), announcement of our newest board members, and the release of 500 new questions to our SWE Wine and Spirits App!

Below you will find some pictures, presentations, and handouts provided by our wonderful speakers – the next best thing to being there!

Bill Whiting speaks to the crowd at the "Crazy for Chile" session

Bill Whiting speaks to the crowd at the “Crazy for Chile” session

On Wednesday morning, Bill Whiting, CSW led a session and tasting of Chilean wines featuring those that rated 90+! Bill’s class covered the grapes, regions, and terroirs of Chile, with an excellent discussion of the Costa, Entre Cordilleras, and Andres geographical indications unique to this part of the world. You can download a copy of the presentation here: Crazy for Chile 90-plus presented by Bill Whiting

Dino Altamare, CSW shared A Taste of the Northwest from the Banks of the Mississippi, giving attendees a wealth of information on the history, grapes, terroir, and wines of Oregon and Washington State. You can access a copy of Dino’s presentation here: A Taste of the Pacific Northwest presented by Dino Altomare

Prosecco, Franciacorta, Barolo and Amarone…sounds like a wonderful tasting, doesn’t it? Add some Rosazzo and an Inferno Valtellina Superiore, along with Eric Hemer, MS, MW leading a discussion of the Wines and Regions of Northern Italy from Friuli to Piemonte and you have an idea of what a wonderful session this was!  Click here to download a copy of From Friuli to Piemonte presented by Eric Hemer

The intense Arthur Black at the Agave Intensive

The intense Arthur Black at the Agave Intensive

Those lucky enough – and brave enough – to attend Arthur Black’s “Agave Intensive – No, Really” were able to hear the stories, see the pictures, and taste the magic of Tequila, Mezcal, Sotol and Bacanora. In case you had to miss it, you can download a copy of the presentation here: Agave Intensive presented by Arthur Black

One of the outstanding features of this year’s conference was an emphasis on wine’s emerging regions – and one perfect example of this was the “Getting High in Arizona” session led by Gary Spadafore, CSS, CWE, and Paula Woolsey, CSW. Gary and Paula gave an overview of the past, present, and potential future of Arizona-based wines while sharing samples of wines with names such as “the Provisioner,” “Emotiva,” and “Primer Paso.” Click here to download a copy of Getting High in Arizona presented by Gary Spadafore and Paula Woolsey. Click here for an Interview with Michael Pierce – Arizona wines.

Who would have known? It turns out that Jambalaya pairs well with Lambrusco, Blackened Catfish is great with Bolgheri Rosso, and Muffaletta and Soave is a perfect match! These pairings -and more- were enjoyed by the crowd at Sharron McCarthy’s Session on “Beignets and Brunello.” If you were able to join them, you can download a copy of the presentation here: Beignets and Brunello presented by Sharron McCarthy

Roger Bohmrich speaks on the Wines of China

Roger Bohmrich speaks on the Wines of China

Have you ever discussed the wines of Shandong, Ningxia, or Hebei? Did you know that China now has the second largest acreage of vineyards in the world? Have you ever tasted the wines of the Huai Lai Amethyst Winery? If you answered “yet” to any of these questions, chances are you were in attendance with Roger Bohmrich, MWD at his session on “Chinese Wine Today.” If you missed out, you can download a copy of the presentation here: Chinese Wine Today presented by Roger Bohmrich

On Friday afternoon, Don Kinnan, CWE, detailed just how La Côte Chalonnaise become known as “Burgundy’s Forgotten Region.” And while it is true that the Côte Chalonnaise has fewer recognizable appellations, and less production and distribution than its more prestigious neighbors to the north, it is also true that there is a new generation, quality-oriented winemakers in the Côte replanting vineyards with better parent material, using improved vinification, and in general creating wines that are better than ever! You can read a recap of the session here: La Cote Chalonnaise presented by Don Kinnan

Paul Poux tells the story of the wines of Trentino Alto Adige

Paul Poux tells the story of the wines of Trentino Alto Adige

Paul Poux, CSW led a session on the wines of Trentino and Alto Adige on Thursday morning. You can download part one of his presentation here: Wines of Trentino Alto Adige presented by Paul Poux part 1. Click here for part two: Wines of Trentino Alto Adige presented by Paul Poux part 2 – and here for part three: Wines of Trentino Alto Adige presented by Paul Poux part 3.

On Thursday afternoon, Will Costello, MS told the audience how New Zealand is a “land like no other,” and shared his thoughts – and some wonderful wines – in his session entitled “New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Breakthrough Approaches and Individual Expressions.” You can download a copy of the presentation here: NZ Sauvignon Blanc presented by Will Costello

Fernando Pavon led a double session on The Colchagua Valley and its Famous Red Blends” on Thursday afternoon. Fernando discussed the fascinating history of the region, the diverse terroir – including the sub-regions influenced by ocean breezes near the coast, the generous plains of the area between mountain ranges, and the areas tucked amongst the mountains themselves – and led the group in a wonderful tasting! You can download a copy of the presentation here: The Colchagua Valley and it Famous Red Blends presented by Fernando Pavon

On Wednesday afternoon, Tony Baldini and Andy Mitchell shared the history, terroir, scenery and (most importantly) with wines of “The Next Great Pinot Noir Area: Santa Lucia Highlands.” Click here to download the presentation: The Next Great Pinot Noir Area – Santa Lucia Highlands

Did we mention that Jordan Cowe is the recipient of the year's Banfi Award? He's also currently the world's youngest CWE!

Did we mention that Jordan Cowe is the recipient of this year’s Banfi Award? He’s also currently the world’s youngest CWE!

During Friday morning’s session, “All About the Languedoc,” Eric Entrikin, MS led the group on a discovery of the authenticity, diversity, quality, and value of the wines from the Languedoc, ending with a tasting that included samples of Saint Chinian, Minervois, and Corbières. Click here to download a copy of the presentation: All About the Languedoc presented by Eric Entrikin

“Saving the World – One Glass at a Time” was Jordan Cowe, CWE’s topic on Thursday afternoon. Jordan’s session covered the philosophies and processes of wine’s eco-evangelists, and covered such subjects as renewable energy, water conservation, integrated pest management, the use of cover crops, and even winery design and transportation. Click here to download a copy of the presentation: Wine’s Eco-Evangelists presented by Jordan Cowe

Maria Ghiglieri, CSW, and Stephen Ghiglieri, CWE shared some thoughts on how great wine is made in the vineyard while explaining terpenes, pyrazines, and polyfunctional thiols in their session on “Paving the Way to Great Wine.” Download a copy of the presentation here: Paving the Way to Great Wine presented by Stephen and Maria Ghiglieri

Michael Freeman, CSW gave us a different way of looking at Italian Wines in his session entitled Leave the Flashcards, take the Bardolino.” In addition, an excellent tasting of iconic Italian wines, including Fiano di Avellino, Bardolino, and Montefalco Sagrantino was enjoyed by all! Click here to down a copy of the presentation: Leave the Flashcards Take the Bardolino slide show presented by Michael Freeman; click here for the handout: Leave the Flashcards Handout

Tilda Parente, CSW, MD led a session titled “Is there a Doctor in the House?” What a great opportunity for the attendees who got to hear – directly from a physician and wine-lover, the latest research and truths on resveratrol, moderate drinking, hangovers (!), the French paradox, and the Mediterranean diet! Click here to download the presentation: Is there a Doctor in the House presented by Tilda Parente

Do you know what country is bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and the Adriatic Sea? It’s Slovenia, which has both a traditional and modern wine industry. Attendees were able to experience the wines of Slovenia in a session led by Mitja Herga. Click here to download the presentation: Slovenia – An Emerging Wine Country on the Rise presented by Mitja Herga

On Wednesday afternoon, Tim Gaiser MS shared some strategies for dealing with test anxiety in his session entitled “Psych Up! Click here to download a copy of the presentation: Psych Up presented by Tim Gaiser

On Friday morning, James King, CSW, FWS, helped us discover the Un-discovered wines of the Côtes. Click here to download a copy of the presentation: The Wines of the Cotes presented by James King

Speakers and presenters! If you’d like to share your 2015 Conference materials with our readers, please contact Jane Nickles at jnickles@societyofwineeducators.org – thanks very much!

 

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