I never saw myself ever having a mentor in wine. Mentorship was something that I never deemed necessary, when I first got into wine I was scrutinized. Either I was not authentic enough in my ambition toward the field(many believing I was in it for the wrong reasons) or to authentically AfroLatino to be taken seriously. Everything I wanted to attain I had to get on my own with very few peers to discuss wine with. Now that I finally have somebody who is in my corner (quite a few actually) I feel empowered and fruitful.
Every Monday at 7 am I am greeted by an e-mail with a list of questions. The purpose of these questions is to make me a more well rounded Somm by table side. Although I do have my certification from Sommelier Society of America I find these questions to be refreshing and humbling. When I answer the questions in our virtual chats I try to speak to him as if I were speaking to a guest at my table. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the theory of it all that e forget that we are supposed to be taking such a complex subject and being able to explain it to a five year old child.
Here are some of the questions from my weekly excerpts I hope it can be as much use to you all as it has been for myself.
When you walk through the door remember to always hold it open for the person behind you.
What Is Mencia? (MEN-THEE-AH)
A spicy grape native to the area around Bierzo; Galicia, in the Provence of Leon, in North western Spain.
Currently it is undergoing a small revival:
Descendientes de J. Palacios Pétalos
Guimaro Finca Meixeman
Bodegas Estefania Tilenus Pieros
Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas
Bodegas y Vinedos Luna Beberide Paixar Mencia
Mencia is also grown in Portugal’s northern half called the Dao region, where it is known as Jaen.
Bierzo, Valdeorras and Ribeira Sacra are the three most renown regions for the production of Mencia
Grown throughout the Iberian Peninsula
Old Vines are cared on Schisty hillsides. This gave the grape vines more concentration grapes and more higher quality wines.