Memorable Wines as a Perpetual Wine Student

May 17, 2024

By Jade Palmer, Krog Wine Manager

It’s graduation season! Students are waiting to move on to the next phase of their learning, start new careers, or finally enjoy the summer (amirite?). This time of year has me reflecting on my own educational pursuits within the world of wine. I often get asked how I know “all this stuff about all these wines.” Truth be told, I’ve spent many hours pouring over wine textbooks, flipping through flashcards, and memorizing extremely specific facts about tiny wine regions. I’ve tasted more wines than I can remember. But there are a few distinct wines that were key to my understanding of certain regions, styles, and grapes:

Seguinot-Bordet Chablis - $29.99

Chablis was my first love when I started working in wine. My first sip of Chablis blew my mind. I used to be an ABC wine drinker - Anything But Chardonnay. Chablis changed that for me. Chablis is a small appellation in between Champagne and Burgundy in the eastern part of France. Chablis is always 100% Chardonnay, no ifs ands or buts. Like this one, it tends to be unoaked and protected from malolactic conversion, so it’s not a big oaky butterbomb. Instead, you get a crisp, sharp white wine with notes of green apple, chalk, and lemon zest. Pair this with a chill porch hang or a dozen oysters.

Hermann J. Wiemer Cuvee Brut - $38.99

This time last year, I was invited to the Finger Lakes for FLX Riesling Camp, a three-day excursion for wine trade professionals to learn all about the Finger Lakes and the amazing wines produced there. Ever since I came back, I’ve been a megaphone for all things Finger Lakes wine. Beyond Riesling and Cabernet Franc, FLX producers are doing some wild and fun things with grapes like Saperavi, Blaufrankisch, and DeChaunac. This traditional method sparkler from HJW is the perfect example of how the Finger Lakes does sparkling. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir spend 39 months on the lees to produce flavours of baked apple pie, candied orange peel, ripe berries, and a touch of minerality. Enjoy when the time is right - whether that be a graduation celebration or a regular degular Tuesday night.

Aurelien Chatagnier Saint-Joseph “La Sybarite” - $41.99

If Chablis is my “aha” white wine, Saint-Joseph is my “aha” red wine. I had my first sip of Saint Joseph when I was working at another shop and a customer bought the staff a bottle to share. It happened to be another cuvee from Aurelien Chatagnier - I instantly fell in love. Syrah is soooo savoury with its notes of olive brine, dried meats, and black pepper. Throw in some fresh or ripe black fruit notes and you have an absolutely divine red wine. Enjoy this with any red meat on the grill. 

Cesar Florido Fino Sherry - $14.99

I’m currently studying for the WSET Diploma - a huge wine certification that is taking up two years of my life, but I can’t act like I don’t love it. I’m in the Fortified Wines unit right now (slated to take my exam in June - send prayers) and studying this unit has really gotten me to like dry fortified wines. I used to turn up my nose at Sherry, but now I love it. Fino Sherry is the perfect drink for summertime - it’s briny, bready, and citrusy with some almond notes. The process of making Sherry is actually pretty cool (ask me about it and I’ll talk your ear off), and there are so many different styles out there. If you’re going to be adventurous with your palate, grab a 375mL of this Fino. It’ll blow your mind. Pair with assorted salty snacks - hard cheeses, Marcona almonds, Castelvetrano olives, and salt & vinegar chips.

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