Wine On Set: My Favourites From Our Masterclass

Without downplaying it, because it's going to be a valuable resource and tool for anyone who wants to register, the masterclass I'm currently polishing and about to release is essentially me putting to the test, in an extensive way, my theory of taking the $400-$500 you'd spend on WSET and going wine shopping instead. The more I think about this, the more I realize that wine education needs to begin and end inside the glass. That probably sounds obvious. But if I'm working a 7-5 job or an 8-6 gig and I want to learn about wine, you're gonna have to help me out a little. I don't have time for too much theory. I need to eat and drink while I learn. And I don't need to be #sommoftheyear, no, I just need to be a step or two ahead of the guests I'm trying to impress and my partner, so I can also impress them.

Welcome to the Wine Lovers at Home Masterclass.

We begin and end in the middle of your experience. I'm expediting the process for you. The theory and books will always be there. I encourage you to pick them up if you can. But I'm going to get you right into the nuts and bolts of using wine as the secret ingredient to really set your everyday meals ablaze, whether it's a jar of vindaloo sauce over chicken thighs or if it's a tasting menu you want to design for your loved one.

Imagine a cooking show or a cooking course where wine played an equal or greater part in the process, rather than just being tacked on at the end.

That's this masterclass.

I've already gained the weight and experienced the wine hangovers for you. I'm making it easy.

For free, I'll let you in on my three favourite food & wine moments from the filming sessions so far.

1) Broiled Herb Mac & Cheese paired w/ 2018 Animus Red, Douro Valley, Portugal

The entire meal, including wine, cost $17 and fed two hungry & thirsty people. The day after I served this dish to my wife, Jessie, I served her a 5-course tasting menu. When I asked her what her most memorable dish was, she came back to this one. All I did was spice up a food that came from a box. The truth is, I loved it, too. Soft, supple, warm, spicy, round red wine with crispy, oozy cheesy pasta. Almost like being back in college. Only way better.

2) Seared Scallop on Fried Potato Cake with Lemon-Chive Butter paired w/ 2017 Rodney Strong 'Chalk Hill' Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California

Chardonnay & potatoes. And a scallop. And butter. What the hell could be bad about this? Nothing. Honestly, nothing. I hadn't revisited Rodney Strong's classic expression of new world, pleasing Chardonnay in some time and it didn't disappoint. My potato cake looked a little like a veggie burger patty, but tasted like a million bucks. A scallop is one of the easiest and most elegant foods you can serve. 60-90 seconds on each side, salt, pepper, et voila, better than Bengay™. Especially when Chardonnay is involved.

3) AAA Striploin with Wild Mushroom Risotto paired w/ 2015 Fontanafredda Barolo, Piemonte, Italy

The talk about Fontanafredda starting to flourish under its new ownership in the latter half of this decade has been palpable, and their entry-level effort, with 5 years on it, demonstrate that. It's not a wine I drink all the time. At $40, it seems too good to be true for Barolo. Well, I'm not saying it's like the second-coming of Barolo Christ, but if you wanted to hook someone on Nebbiolo, this would be an easy way to do it. You get the feeling of why this region is so prized as soon as you pop the cork. The wine just packs a rich, flavourful intensity which is BURSTING, I mean BURSTING with aromatics. That gentle grip on the palate is almost like a set of training wheels that are about to break off. It's like the most intense movie trailer you could imagine for the region, getting your heart racing and making sure you should up at the box office on release day. Did I mention the food? Wild mushroom risotto (I reconstituted dried chanterelles. Sue me, I couldn't find any morels) with a generous melting slice of pecorino romano cheese underneath a perfect striploin morsel. Savoury, earthy, aromatic and real. Just like the wine.

Ready for more than just a transcript of all the fun we're having?

Register for the Wine Lovers at Home Masterclass here. Doors close on September 1st. Use the code LOVERS50 for some love at the checkout.

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