Savannah Food & Wine Festival Poster Competition

Taste Wine Like an Expert

By Molly Swagler, Vice President of Communications for the Tourism Leadership Council
At the Taste of Savannah, Savannah Food & Wine Festival’s signature event, on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 ticket holders will have the opportunity to taste hundreds of wines. In fact, more wines will be offered than can be consumed, so take the expert’s advice: drink, swish in your mouth and spit it out.

“Professionals spit and amateurs drink,” said Robert Jones a master sommelier based out of Virginia. “When you approach a wine vendor’s table. Let them pour an ounce; don’t lift your glass to smack the bottle. Typically a producer has a range of wines, and they progress from light to flavor packed. Taste in the order they have been set up, usually light to robust. Don’t jump to the deepest one. Taste the wine and spit it out.”

Jones also brings a notebook to write down notes about the wines he likes and does not like, and he drinks water throughout to stay hydrated. It’s no surprise that Jones has a number of tricks to get the most out of a tasting event. After all, he is a master sommelier.

To be a master sommelier, Jones had to pass a series of tests. In March 2001, he passed the theoretical component of the master sommelier exam, becoming the country’s 50th master sommelier. Today there are 202 master sommeliers worldwide, and 134 in the USA.

The Savannah Food & Wine Festival will welcome four master sommeliers and one master beer sommelier at the week-long festival set throughout Savannah from Nov. 10-16, 2014. Participants of the festival will have the opportunity to learn from these masters as well as taste their unique and qualified choices for wines.

Jones has a good way to approach wine and food pairings as well. He says that wine professionals can really make a match sing. When he is called upon to pair wine, he’s aiming to create an extra dimension when the food and wine meet in your mouth.

“Taste the wine first on its own. Taste the food on its own. Take a bite of the food chew a couple of times, and with the bite in your mouth, take a sip of wine. That’s the only way to figure out how the food and wine go together,” said Jones. “The wine is a sauce for your food. Instead of putting it on your plate. You mix it in your mouth. When you mix them, you get something special that’s greater than the sum of their parts.”

Master Sommelier Robert Jones will be designing the food and wine pairings at the Bethesda Farm to Table Dinner on Monday, Nov. 10 at Bethesda Academy Grounds. He will also be leading Master Classes on Wednesday, Nov. 12 called “A Taste of Iberia” at 700 Kitchen Cooking School at the Mansion on Forsyth Park.

The Savannah Food & Wine Festival is bringing unique culinary, spirits and wine experiences throughout the City of Savannah and historic district. The most up-to-date festival information is available on Twitter and Facebook.

Master Sommelier Robert Jones
The Tourism Leadership Council is pleased to announce the 2014 Savannah Food & Wine Festival. According to festival President, Michael T. Owens, “The overwhelming success of the inaugural Savannah Food & Wine Festival translates into an even bigger and better 2014 festival.

The Taste of Savannah will now take place in Ellis and Johnson Squares, the River Street Stroll will be in an expanded area and we’re in the process of finalizing plans on several new events and venues. We will have the full festival line-up of tickets on sale by June 1, 2014.”
Taste Wine Like an Expert at the Savannah Food & Wine Festival
For more information on the Festival contact us at:
– Buy Tickets

– Festival Overview

At the Taste of Savannah, Savannah Food & Wine Festival’s signature event, on Saturday, Nov. 15, ticket holders will have the opportunity to taste hundreds of wines.

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The Savannah Food & Wine Festival PO Box 10010
Savannah, Georgia 31412 ph: 912-232-1223; fax: 912-236-8821
©2014 Savannah Food & Wine Festival and The AdFish Group
*The Savannah Food & Wine Festival is presented by the Tourism Leadership Council, a 501-(c) 6 organization, with proceeds benefiting the TLC Scholarship Fund, with educational opportunities for hospitality program students in colleges and universities in the Coastal Empire and many local charitable organizations.

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