The wine service class for my Cordon Bleu wine course is among my favorites, mostly because the students are always so amazed at the skills involved,
Last week's was no exception. Barbara Werley of Pappas Bros. was calm, cool, confident and professional and they loved it. It's impressive to see someone use a waiter's corkscrew to open a bottle of wine in so few motions -- and, as Werley pointed out, without making any noise.
Also of note:
• Werley runs a 33,000-bottle wine cellar, which elicited more than a few stares of disbelief.
• Pappas' most expensive wine is an 1847 Château d'Yquem, the French dessert wine. It runs about $70,000 for a half bottle. Students love to hear about wine prices, since they can't believe anyone would really pay that much. Note to anyone with the cash: Yes, the d'Yquem is probably ready to drink.
• Music to my ears: Werley talked about food and wine pairings, and her most important piece of advice was to do just that -- advise. If your customers don't like a wine, she said, it doesn't matter how good you think it is. The best wine is wine they like. If they want to drink riesling with steak, help them find the best riesling they can afford.