East Tennessee Wine Society, November 19, 2020, 6:30 PM

First Course
Grilled Oysters on the Half Shell w/Herb Butter & Tri-Cheese
Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Reserve NV
The nose boasts notes of citrus and white blossoms which pave the way for vivacity and freshness on the palate.  Clean and precise with beautiful length.
Retail price - $24.99        Member price - $22.50

Second Course
Smoked Salmon rolled around Cream Cheese with Crustini
Serendipity 2015 Tempranillo
 Cherry red aromas of ripe red fruit followed by gentle sweet notes of vanilla and spice.  Soft and fresh with a long finish.
Retail price - $39.99         Member price - $36.00

Third Course
Bouillabaisse featuring Prince Edward Island Mussels, Clams & Shrimp in a Saffron Tomato Broth
Château Puech-Haut Argali Rosé 2019
A lovely pale color with a complex and flattering citrus nose; aromas of red fruits such as raspberry & cherry, with hints of citrus and peach blossom.  Mineral with a tangy finish.
Retail price - $19.99   Member price - $18.00

Fourth Course
Beef Tenderloin Kabob with Mushrooms & Bell Peppers
Blue Rock 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
Herbal notes with clove, sage, peppercorn and tobacco: this wine possesses Old World charm and classic, high-toned structure around well-integrated oak and tannin.
Retail price -  $39.99          Member price - $36.00

Fifth Course
New York Cheesecake with rich caramel topping
Quevedo Port Wine 10 year old Tawny
Retail price - $29.99             Member price - $ 27.00

$90.00 for member and $90.00 for one guest.
$95.00 per person for additional guests or non-members.
Reservations due by Sunday, November 15th.   No refunds given after November 15th.


Don't think of a sommelier as simply the waiter who serves wine. The best sommeliers use the skills of counselors as they inquire about their customers' needs and desires, teachers as they explain the merits of different types of wine, business executives as they cope with the high costs of some vintages, adventurers as they travel the world and bring home products. Successful sommeliers must be passionate about two things: wine and people. In a sense, a sommelier is a matchmaker, seeking to delight customers with perfect pairings of food and wine.

At the most basic level, a sommelier is a wine steward -- someone who oversees a wine cellar. The word comes from the Middle French soumelier, an official in charge of supplies [source: Merriam-Webster]. That word comes from an even older word for pack animal. While the connection from pack animal to our modern sommelier may seem tenuous, remember that wine was a necessary provision hundreds of years ago (and still is for many people today). Instead of procuring wines for a nobleman's banquet hall - though, most of today's sommeliers work to stock the cellars of fine dining establishments, consulting with the chefs to determine what wines will best complement the food. The sommelier must know how to serve wine, such as what glasses are correct and what temperature is ideal. Most of all, the sommelier must treat guests with respect and hospitality, giving them the feeling that they are on a shared gustatory adventure.

The typical sommelier begins his career as an assistant in the hospitality industry, working under and learning from more experienced sommeliers. After a few years, most are working independently, choosing wines for the restaurant and developing and maintaining relationships with suppliers. With much experience in the business, a sommelier often becomes a freelance wine expert and may serve as a wine consultant for several restaurants or for a restaurant group.

A good sommelier can take the customer far beyond the basic rules of “red wine with red meat”- “white wine with fish” into another realm of dining nirvana. He knows about every wine in the cellar and every dish on the menu and understands when to choose a wine that complements the food and when to select one that will provide a contrast. Even diners who are familiar with wines can benefit from the expertise of the sommelier. Sommeliers enjoy talking about wine and like to hear about wines their customers have tried.

After the sommelier and the diners have selected the wine pairings for each course, the sommelier orders the bottles from the cellar. If necessary, he decants the wine. Decanting means pouring the wine from the bottle into another container for serving. It is usually required for red wines that have been aged more than 10 years. Decanting oxygenates the wine, a process that's necessary to bring the wine to its full robust flavor. The sommelier brings the wine with its appropriate glass to the table. He pours a small amount for the host to sniff, sip, and approve, telling her what she should be looking for as she samples the wine. This is when the sommelier gets to use those descriptive phrases such as "fresh and crispy notes" and "the combined aromas of blueberries, oak, and the spice box." The sommelier will repeat the process of pouring and describing for each course.

Salaries for sommeliers vary greatly depending on where they work and their level of experience. Beginning salaries are around $28,000, while experienced sommeliers can command $160,000 or more [source: U.S. Department of Labor]. The job is more physically demanding than you might imagine. A sommelier is busy throughout each night, either on the floor or in the wine cellar. Also, it's a job for a night person, since most fine dining takes place in the evening. Sommeliers should also be free and eager to travel. As they advance in their careers, they will need to visit vineyards and wineries around the world, seeing in person what they already are acquainted with in the bottle.

Ever wonder about the flattish silver cup that sommeliers sometimes wear on a chain around their necks? It's a Tastevin, French for -- you got it -- "taste wine."


Do you have a credit with WSET?  Click here to find out.

1. Fill out the Reservation form on line and either mail in your check (with form) or pay using PayPal,
2. Leave a message the Wine Society Answering machine at 896-3753 (note the new phone number) or e-mail State clearly your name, your membership number, the event(s) you wish to attend and the number of reservations you are requesting. Then, promptly mail your check with this form to: The Wine of East Tennessee, Post Office Box 52861, Knoxville, TN 37950-2861 or through PayPal (You do not need a PayPal account).

                                           WINE SOCIETY VOICEMAIL SYSTEM

To make phone reservations, call the Wine Society voicemail at 865-896-3753, leave your name, membership number--or say non-member, and the names of your guests.  Then follow the reservation policy above.  Non-members will receive email reservation confirmation.