Wine for your weekend: QuarantWINE reading

Did you know? Pandemic dreams are a thing! National Geographic totally checked it out!

I’m a vivid dreamer anyway, so the first days of the pandemic crisis, I was not sleeping well at all. Fortunately, as this “new normal” has stretched on for weeks, I’ve become a bit more settled, and can sleep through the night again. But the dreams have continued.

This week, however, I didn’t mind the dreams as much. And that’s because this week, I had wine dreams fueled, no doubt, by my before bed reading of Bianca Bosker’s brilliantly written memoir Cork Dork.

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers ...

The premise of Cork Dork is simple. Bianca Bosker is a successful tech writer who decides to quit her job in an effort to turn her wine hobby into a wine career over the course of a year by preparing for and passing the certified exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers. This might not sound like a big deal. People shift career paths all the time, you may think, and certainly moving into a serving role in a restaurant isn’t that big of a deal!?

You would be wrong!

If you’ve never had a taste of the high stakes testing and tasting in the world of Master Sommeliers, you have to watch this:

And then if you want more, you’ll watch the full Somm documentary series…multiple times…not that we’ve done that…too often…

Bianca Bosker is not striving for master sommelier, rather certified sommelier, a lesser rank at the beginning of the sommelier “leveling up” program overseen by the court. Still, she must learn to blind taste accurately, serve wine within the strict service guidelines of the court, and memorize thousands of wine factoids that could possible show up during service or on the theory exam.

For a taste of what the theory exam entails, try this practice quiz!

To break into the industry, she leans on experts in the field, calls in favors from friends, and employs her skills as an investigative journalist to get into some of the most exclusive and elusive wine events, tasting, and science labs in the world. Studying body chemistry, the science of scent, chemical reactions, as well as what really makes a wine “good” and how much of the industry is actually bull shit, Bianca prepares to enter a profession she asserts goes beyond even vocational calling into lifestyle in general.

A must read for wine lovers, Cork Dork is cleverly written and features many restaurants and vintage labels on foodies and winos bucket lists. For the wine novice or wine curious, this book is a friendly, humorous look into the world of wine, that makes the work of the sommelier look both ridiculous and glamorous at the same time. And it’s hard not to learn something about wine in the process.

You’ll want to read the whole thing with a glass of vino in hand of course!


Published by Kate

A former Wisconsinite, Kate now resides in southeast Minnesota with her husband where she teaches high school English and theater. She recently completed her master's degree in learning design and technology, and continues to study and advocate for arts integration in the classroom. A recipient of the RISE America grant for high school theater, Kate is working to innovate and expand theater opportunities for the students at PIHS. An avid distance runner, concert pianist, and want-to-be wine aficionado, Kate's blog "ink." is a passion project, embodying all the best parts of life: friends, food, wine, thoughtful conversation, style, and sass!

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