wine

ICC to Host Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar Course

wine region in italyThis October, the International Culinary Center is pleased to host the Wine Scholar Guild for a first-of-its-kind boot camp offering of the Italian Wine Scholar credential program. The program serves as an advanced and comprehensive study to help master the complex wines of Italy. The Wine Scholar Guild provides specialized study & certification programs on the wines of France, Italy and Spain for the professional development of wine industry members and committed students of wine.

The Italian Wine Scholar Study and Certification program offers up-to-date, extensive and precise information on the diverse wines and wine regions of Italy. Created by native Italian, Maurizio Brioggi, (Wine Scholar Guild Education Director for Italy) with the support of the Italian wine DOC/G consortia, this specialization program is designed for all advanced students of wine, whether wine professionals or serious wine enthusiasts. The study manuals follow a regional approach with strong tie-ins to terroir and exploration of history, culture, climate, viticulture, varietals, wine making and all DOC and DOCG regulations.

Italian Wine Scholar Boot Camp: Unit 1, Northern Italy

Saturday, October 19th & 26th | 8:30am – 6:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway

For the first time, the Italian Wine Scholar Boot Camp will provide students with the opportunity to complete Unit 1: Northern Italy of the two-unit curriculum in just two consecutive Saturday sessions on October 19 & 26. Unit 2: Central & Southern Italy will be held in the same intensive two-day format at a later date in April 2020. Other offerings of this curriculum can take up to 16 sessions to complete. Students will not only have the opportunity to complete their study in an accelerated format, but will also take the required examinations at ICC following the completion of Day 2.

wine scholar logoThose who successfully complete the two-level curriculum and achieve a final passing score on the requisite examinations will earn the title of Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) from the Wine Scholar Guild. For industry professionals, the IWS certification provides a validation of your Italian wine expertise and enhances your resume; it also serves as a point of distinction within the wine trade. Many use the program as a resource and supplement to move toward advanced general wine study programs, including the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Advanced Sommelier examination, WSET Diploma (Level 4) and more.

alan tardi

 

Unit 1 of the Italian Wine Scholar Boot Camp will be held on Saturday October 19 & 26 from 8:30am-6:00pm, hosted at the International Culinary Center in Soho—462 Broadway, New York City. The program will be taught by Alan Tardi, renowned wine & food writer, educator and approved IWS instructor. Unit 1: Northern Italy tuition is $795 and includes two days of classroom instruction with guided tastings of representative wines, a 274-page IWS study manual, one-year access to the IWS online study program plus registration for the Part 1 exam which will be held during the final hour of the second class. The boot camp format is intended to be a review class for the Italian Wine Scholar exams—registered students will be asked to study the course materials in advance of the class (materials will be mailed to students).

 

For more information, please contact Nikki Palladino, ICC Wine Program Coordinator at npalladino@culinarycenter.com or call 646-254-7558.
chef pablo

Pop Up Dinner with Chef Pablo Ranea

Every year, after celebrating the end of the harvest season in their native Mendoza, Chef & Sommelier Pablo Ranea and Architect Alejandro Cohen pack their bags full of spices, unique ingredients and the spirit of adventure in search of inspiring experiences and challenges.

Together, they bring their unique take on food pairings and gastronomy to cities around the world. Whether the dinner event is held in a private garden or a culinary school, their carefully designed menus showcase Latin America’s best cooking techniques and recipes paired with exquisite wines.

This one-of-a kind experience is the result of Pablo’s well-tested recipes gathered through his extensive travels in cities and countries including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Finland, France, Denmark, Dominican Republic and Peru.

Friends gather around a table with a common desire to enjoy a memorable experience of aromas, tastes and textures of Argentinian and Latin American cooking, wines and history. Pablo and Alejandro arrive with a traveling kitchen of gastronomic marvels and the unique Argentinian wines not found in America.  Prepare for an adventure of the senses.

GET A TASTE OF ARGENTINA IN NYC

Pop Up Dinner with Pablo Ranea
Friday, June 28th | 7:30pm
International Culinary Center
28 Crosby Street
On Friday, June 28th, Chef Pablo & Alejandro return to New York City to present a six course dinner paired with 10 premium Argentinian wines at the International Culinary Center in SoHo. This will be the first time one of their pop up dinners will be open to the public.

PLATED DISHFor this dinner, Chef Pablo will prepare some of his iconic dishes such as Octopus chicharron with green chimichurri, as well as butternut squash, truffle and shrimp raviolis. He will also bring exotic flavors such as Lucuma artisan ice cream with Argentinian dulce de leche to the table.

During the dinner, Pablo—who is also a Sommelier—will introduce specially paired wines like Susana Balbo Brioso white blend (the number one white blend of Argentina); Malbecs from the best districts of Mendoza like Gauchezco Oro Appellation Gualtallary; Tinto Negro Limestone Block and Andillian by Lacoste de Los Andes.

In addition, LOS BUENDIA—a marvelous Bolero band from Mendoza—will fly to NYC to perform during the event.

They invite you to book an unforgettable experience. Attendance is by reservation and pre-payment only. Tickets are $195 and can be purchased here. For reservation questions, please email chefpabloranea@gmail.com for more details.

Please note, this is a dinner format (not a class) and seating will be communal like a big Italian family.

Guests with allergies or dietary restrictions will need to provide notice at least 10 days in advance.

If It Grows Together, It Goes Together – French Wines & Cheeses

In celebration of #FCIFlashback month, ICC hosted a special Bastille Day Wine & Cheese pairing event with specialty French cheeses provided by Paris Gourmet. For this event, which was the first wine and cheese pairing event I’ve ever attended, I was seated in a room with a Master Sommelier and 50 knowledgeable wine professionals. As a recent college graduate, a 22-year old lover of white wine (the sweeter, the better), and someone who knows little about wine, I was nervous. I rarely am intimidated by anything, but I felt clueless about how to participate in a tasting with people who had been doing this for who-knows-how long.

Sitting in the back of the room, I wondered whether I would actually have to spit into a cup (what is that even for?!) and if I should attempt to swirl the wine, or if should I just sip it out of its glass? Luckily, ICC’s Dean of Wine Studies and Master Sommelier, Scott Carney, took us through each wine and cheese pairing with ease and explained how to properly sample each pairing (for the record, you smell the cheese, then the wine, then combine the pairing). ICC’s wonderful Wine Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Smith, CS, who organized the event, also helped to create an informative slide show to help the newbie’s follow along (mostly me!).

Here is what I learned from the event, including each pairing and the different regions in France where they came from. Try to create these pairings at home, and remember the saying “if it grows together, it goes together… but the rules are made to be broken!”

  1. The Loire Valley is well known for its beautiful castles and scenery. A few hours’ drive outside of Paris, it was a popular place for châteaux to be built. The Loire Valley is also considered to be one of France’s most diverse wine regions, and popularity for their wines has been increasing throughout the last decade, even though they have been producing wines since Roman times.
    • The Pairing: For the first pairing of the event, we were given 2017 Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc and Le Chevrot, a goat cheese. I enjoyed this wine for its fresh citrus flavors, and Dean Carney was sure to point out how the tartness cleansed the palette and enhanced the creaminess of the cheese. I was indeed surprised how the wine somehow made the cheese creamier!
  2. Normandy is known for its seafood, pears and apples, and butter and cheese. The climate in Normandy – colder and somewhat more volatile than the rest of France – makes it ideal for apples, not so much for grapes. This is one of the many reasons that the best cider in the world comes from Normandy, and why Dean Carney decided to have us try a cider instead of a wine. If you ever have the chance, don’t miss the opportunity to try Normandy cider!
    • The Pairing: The second pairing was my personal favorite—a pear cider and Camembert cheese. The cider was Eric Bordelet’s Poiré Authentique, and in Dean Carney’s estimation, “they are one of the top producers of pear cider in the world.” It was so delicious and surprisingly light. The cheese—oh my, the cheese— was maybe one of the best cheeses I have ever tasted, and I am an avid cheese lover. It was made from the milk of Normandy cows, who are known for their rich, grassy milk. If you like mushrooms and truffles as much as I do, you must try this cheese. Somehow it tastes like truffles without actually having any truffles in the cheese.
  3. Jura, at the Swiss border near Lake Geneva, has a long history of cheese and wine-making. Arguably France’s most obscure wine region, Jura’s wines are unusual, distinctive, and completely different from wines made anywhere else in the world. It’s a tiny region, as in 5,200 acres planted, which is said to account for just 0.2% of French wine production overall. The Trousseau grape, which is what we sampled, is one of the grapes that Jura is known for.
    • The Pairing: This pairing was interesting and unlike any wine and cheese that I have tried. The cheese, a Montboissé, was strong and pungent in its aftertaste. There are two layers to the cheese; traditionally, one made from morning milk and the other from evening milk, separated by a thin layer of ash. The wine, 2015 Domaine Pignier Côtes du Jura Trousseau, was vibrant and tangy and somehow the cheese brought out buttery notes. While the cheese was not my favorite, I enjoyed the wine and would love to try it again.
  4. The Basque Region of France borders the better known Spanish Basque Region and has a population of less than 300,000. The region has a unique food and culture scene because of its complex cultural identity and history. Lesser known for their wines and therefore difficult to find, they are delicious and delightful when you come across them.
    • The Pairing: For this pairing we had the opportunity to try a cheese that is believed to be the oldest of all French cheeses, and said to be one of the first cheeses ever made. Ossau-Iraty smells oddly similar to Parmesan and has similar nutty flavors to Gouda. This cheese needs a fuller bodied wine since it has such a strong flavor, so Dean Carney paired it with 2016 Alain Graillot Saint-Joseph Syrah. Aged in 1-3 year-old neutral burgundy barrels which soften the edges of a wine, this particular wine was fruity and the pairing was perfection.
  5. The Occitanie Region, proclaimed by Vogue as “the new wine region to visit in France,” has had vines since the Greek planted them in 5th century B.C. Occitanie is also the birthplace of sparkling wine and one of the few places in the world where you can craft almost any type of wine. Remarkably, this region includes more acreage of vineyards than all of the land in Australia—almost 550,000 acres.
    • The Pairing: This was the pairing that I was most intrigued by. The 1997 Château Guiraud 1er Cru Classé Sauternes had a distinct caramel color and the most intense bouquet that I have ever smelled in a wine. The cheese was a sight not for the faint of heart. Most people are used to seeing the mold in bleu cheese, but this Roquefort had more craters of mold than I had ever seen. Even though it surprisingly did not have much of a smell, upon first bite its sharp, tangy flavor immediately made my eyes water. The wine itself was shockingly sweet despite its notes of maturity and perfectly paired with the pungent cheese. Despite its looks, the cheese was incredible and had a soft texture.

So if you’re just as inspired as I was by this afternoon of wine & cheese, try to recreate some of these pairings for yourself! Ask your local wine retailer for wines from these regions and visit Paris Gourmet’s website to try some of these unique cheeses.

Thank you to Paris Gourmet for the delicious cheese, ICC’s Dean of Wine Studies Scott Carney, MS for his perfect pairings and informative lecture, and ICC’s Wine Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Smith, CS, for her tireless efforts to put together the event.

5 Diverse Argentinian Wine & Food Pairings for Summer

Written by: Vanessa DaSilva
ICC Wine Studies Coordinator
Certified Sommelier

Chef & Sommelier Pablo Ranea is as warm & welcoming a presence as the diverse wine from Mendoza that he represents. Chef Pablo has the unique experience of being both a Chef & Sommelier in the heart of Mendoza; and being so, Chef Pablo knows better than most the great diversity that Argentinian wine has to offer.

1. Spicy empanadas with 2015 Filus Torrontés, Salta IG

Torrontés is a white grape variety that is most often found in the Salta region of Northern Argentina. Its tropical aromas of ripe peach, lychee and honeysuckle balance spicy flavors & its refreshing acidity contrast well with the crispy texture of the fried dough.

2. Grilled octopus with 2013 Corazon del Sol ‘Luminoso’, Uco Valley IG

This red wine from the high altitude vineyards of the Uco Valley (over 1,00 meters) is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre & Syrah, grapes commonly found in Rhone Valley blends.  The high altitude vineyards give an almost light body & beautifully balanced characteristics to this wine with flavors of cured meat, ripe plums, and just a touch of cigar smoke, those gamey smoky qualities will make a lovely pair with grilled octopus and the round acidity from the Syrah grape will cut through the fattiness of the Octopus.

3. Chocolate Tart with 2013 Gauchezco ‘Oro’ Malbec, Mendoza IG

This is not your typical Malbec! This single vineyard wine is reserved & complex with notes of ripe blackberries, toasty nutmeg, savory tarragon, and potpourri. You read that right, we’re suggesting dessert with this red wine! Try a bitter chocolate tart with berry coulis, a rich chocolate flourless cake, or red wine poached pears with lots of spice. The fruitiness of this wine will help it to compliment the sweet aspects of the dessert, and the soft tannins will make the bitter chocolate taste even sweeter, keep the dessert on the savory side & it should be a beautiful pair.

4. Lamb & grilled endive with 2014 Gascón Malbec Reserva, Mendoza IG

This malbec has 3% Petit Verdot giving a ripe wine with aromas of plum & jammy blackberry firm structure and lovely aromas of violets & freshly turned earth.  The gamey nature of lamb & smokiness from the grilled endive will contrast the ripe nature of the wine while also complimenting the more earthy tones. A great pair for grilling on a warm night.

5. Goat Al Asador with 2014 Rutini Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec,  Mendoza IG

This wine from the Tupungato region of Mendoza is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon & 50% Malbec. It is warm, full & complex with tones of purple flowers, smoky tobacco, cloves & cured meat. Chef Pablo told us about the traditional method of cooking goat ‘Al Asador’ where the animal is stretched out & roasted slowly over an open flame. This slow roasted gamey meat will pair beautifully against the soft tannins & complex nature of the wine.