As many of you may or may not know, I’ve been taking a wine course at the College of Southern Nevada.  While I went into the course for several reasons, one stood out; and that is, I wanted to organize my wine knowledge inside of my artist-centric brain.  Those of you who have had to deal with artists (yes, I was a major – two years interning at the Moore College of Art in Philly – but that’s another story) know how those brains can be, well, *artistic.*  If you’re a rational, logical, left-brained sort, it can drive you crazy.  We’re good at that.

At any rate, I took this course because of the almost impossible goals I’ve set for myself in 2014.  I’m going to be the international wine guru of the year by 12/2014.  If there isn’t such a title, I just made it up and you’ve read it here first. Film at 11. Seriously however, I plan to finish my Sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers as well Certified Wine Specialist leading to Certified Wine Educator.  Obsessed? A bit.

Jocularity aside, I was surprised at what I already knew, what I learned, and how I applied it in the final. I rock, frankly. And so I decided to celebrate.

I purchased a 1998 El Albar Tinto de Toro and decided to have that with a lamb shoulder steak.

Let’s hear the choir of angels, because this combo rocked.

The El Albar is a bright garnet in color with a medium viscosity and legs and was a surprise – it certainly looks young for its age.  “Dark Fruit” was hanging in the background with lots of clean earth notes in the forefront.  On the palate, it had a surprising acidity for its age and paired with the lamb perfectly.  The lamb was simply cooked – pan seared with salt, pepper, and  “Everyday Seasoning” by Trader Joe’s.  Placed in a 350° oven for about ten minutes and served with a blanched and seasoned cauliflower, it was a good enough celebratory meal for a weeknight.

Of course the reality of grades is next week, but I already know I got it.  Next step, even more wine education.  That’s where I’ll be in 2014 in case you’re looking for me.  Nose-deep in a wine book and teeth stained with grape juice so that I can tackle any certification exam that comes my way.

I’ll nail those, too.  Stay tuned…

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