As a professional sommelier I look at wine with the same fondness that many wine drinkers do; but I also regard its complexity, subtlety and place in the history and culture of mankind with a mixture of sentiment, awe, adoration and intellectual curiosity that might scarcely be found outside of the wine industry. We somms can’t help it, the depth and breadth of both the diversity of wines to be discovered in this world, and the nuance and aspect of their character, can enchant and—dare I say—seduce the drinker into viewing wine more philosophically than its numerous merits would otherwise suggest “on paper”. This is what I try to convey to Resort guests whose love of wine brings them to our daily wine tours, our many restaurants, or my monthly wine classes.
Wine is history, and geography, and climate, and art, and science, and civilization—in a bottle. Its attributes are inexplicable, not least because they form a totality that titillates the soul more than merely the body through mild inebriation. Although any fruit or, indeed, anything with sugar in it at all, can be fermented, only wine grapes—for some mystical reason that none will know in this life—achieve an almost magical complexity during the fermentation process. Chemical reactions take place whose signatures put off notes of hundreds of different aromas and flavors that are almost anything and everything but grapes. At least, these chemical signatures (don’t be put off by the word ‘chemical’, everything we consume in this world, even the most natural and organic foods, have chemical compositions) are virtually identical enough to the ‘real thing’ as to completely fool our minds. Notes of apple, pear, citrus, quince, plum, cherry, berry, tar, earth, leather, tea, tobacco, coffee, cocoa, stone, flint, iron, cedar, herb and spice in their dozens, and many, many other nuances wine can attain in the bouquet of the finished product bear testament to this curious fact. None of these notes is infused, but naturally occurring. The complexity of wine can baffle the mind, tantalize the palate, challenge the olfactory system and stymie our best efforts to isolate the wild and varied tapestry of what it becomes in the bottle. It is worthy of celebration, poetry, industry, enterprise and abstract theory—and in a way that no other alcoholic beverage is, or could be.
For wine lovers, or for wine novices who are interested in learning more, come to one of our complimentary daily wine tours at Beverly’s on the 7th floor of the resort at 4:30. No reservations are needed, and you’ll receive a taste of wine, chosen by myself or Sam (the other sommelier) in addition to your tour of our cellar. Ours is the largest and most comprehensive wine collection and program in a 900-mile radius, and it is sure to impress. The two man sommelier team will also do our best to impress our guests and tour attendees and answer all your questions regarding the wine list at Beverly’s. Don’t be late, tours depart promptly at 4:30.
For locals who are interested in learning more about wine, consider making a reservation for my monthly wine class, Sip of Beverly’s, held the first Saturday of each month, at 3PM, at Beverly’s on the 7th floor. Each month I feature a new topic, tastes of several different wines, light appetizers tailored to the wine region of the class theme, and a fun and interactive class designed to increase the wine knowledge of the attendees. The class is only $25 per person, an almost literal steal, I assure you there is no better deal in wine classes in the entire U.S., and we are pleased to offer this as a thank you to all who’ve made our resort a success over the last 30 years, and to increase the sum total of wine enthusiasm in Kootenai County. Another benefit of this class is that, the day of the class only, all of the wines featured are available for purchase, if you wish, for LESS THAN RETAIL price! Some guests choose not to take advantage of this, and others order cases of wine for themselves. I am just happy to help increase appreciation of wine in those who attend my classes. Most are multiple attendees, as the subject matter changes each month, and that fact makes me personally honored to be the teacher of a class that draws people back again. No worries about jumping in mid-stream, I always touch on the fundamentals of wine appreciation each month again and again, even though a new wine region is encompassed with each session. Reservations are required for this class.
I hope to see many new guests in the coming seasons at our tours and my classes, not to mention at Beverly’s, where the wine list is absolutely world class and immense. Let us help you navigate the list, and travel vicariously and figuratively through the world of wine. Cheers!
The majesty of fruit is shown
in grapes fermented by skilled hands,
the magic of the crop is grown
fulfilling destiny’s demands. -tt
Trevor Treller, CS