There’s another mini-Master Sommelier exam happening in Uncorked episode 3. Jane & Jon talking about the test, which is now 6 weeks out. Dana for some reason heads out to the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event with Master Sommelier Alex.
Yannick is doing a tasting test with a master sommelier, Pascaline LePeltier. He also introduces us to The Grid – what the tester uses to document all of the characteristics the student is describing in the wine. He finds out he goes too fast & cruises over aspects of the wine that are important. Pffft…. Argentinian Malbec… please.
Jane & Josh also have a tasting session with Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth. Geoff does a great job with leading questions. He also has Jane describe a wine, and from that description Josh is asked to call the wine based off her description & not by experiencing the wine himself.
Both Geoff and Pascaline are good at reminding the candidates that if they describe a wine in a certain way, they need to remember that description when they make their conclusions.
Dana is out at the Food & Wine event at Pebble Beach. Sommelier Alex introduces Dana to chef Daniel Boulud. Alex is trying to get Dana a stage (pronounced staaaage) at one of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants. A stage is essentially an internship. It’s a way for Dana to get table side experience that he’s sorely lacking. Dana’s interested, but gets in his own way. It’s hard to tell from this clip if he’ll actually get a stage or not.
And we’re on to this week’s competition is the Chefs Club Competition. Geoff Kruth describes it as a “lighthearted” test. The winner for this competition gets a trip to Napa Valley. Whoo hoo!
Jack, unfortunately has allergies, so he can’t smell anything.
First challenge is the picky customer. One of the judges is asking for a big white wine with vanilla & toast, but no chardonnay. And no oak. What does a sommelier do when they describe a wine, but then say they don’t want the wine they’re describing? It’s like the test Dana went through last week. One clue the judges give the contestants is to say “I like Conundrum.” Supposedly that should be like the Bat-Signal to a sommelier to go with a particular style of wine.
Back at Pebble Beach, Dana is pouring for a private tasting for folks that have already passed the Master Sommelier exam. Shayn Bjornholm, the director of education from the Court of Master Sommeliers gives Dana some advice. He counsels Dana to step up his service. As Shayn said, anyone can decant a bottle of wine. It’s the rest of the service that really counts. I think we get it.
Back at the competition, the second challenge is the Ah So challenge. The students have to demonstrate that they know how to use an Ah So. Josh decided to remove the foil before coming to the table. Naughty! Morgan loses the cork in the bottle. He keeps his cool, though & decants the wine instead, leaving the table with a cork-in-a-bottle. It’s a little less impressive than a ship-in-a-bottle.
At Pebble Beach, the Master Sommeliers decide to test Dana by blindfolding him outside a campfire and setting some glasses of wine in front of him. He’s a good taster. With no vision, he spits on his jacket. He calls both wines almost perfectly, which impresses the masters.
And the third Chef’s Club challenge is a champagne challenge. Which glass is the prosecco? Then, which is the American sparkling, which is the blanc de blanc and which is the Grand Krug. Jack is struggling due to his allergies, but overall most do well.
Alex is giving Dana a pep-talk. You can do it Dana! Work on your resting bitch face. At least, that’s kinda what Alex is saying.
And finally there’s a Chef’s Club cocktail challenge. The sommeliers have to make a cocktail with Campari. Jane is the only sommelier with bartender experience. She makes a variation of a Paper Plane. Morgan and Jon make a Boulevardier. Jack makes an Old Pal, or says he makes an Old Pal but the cocktail judge says he’s really making a Boulevardier. Man, I want a cocktail.
Josh just goes crazy & makes a drink without a name that has Campari & tequila. He doesn’t know how to use a citrus juicer. Or use the soda gun.
Jon ends up winning the trip to Napa (with Jane his runner-up). And so ends episode 3 of Uncorked. What are you guys thinking about this show?