Well, today when I came home, a large envelope from the Society of Wine Educators was waiting for me. Inside there was a folder with two pieces of paper with my name on them. The first was a letter congratulating me on my status as a Certified Specialist of Wine! I passed with a score of 91%. The second document was a signed certificate documenting my CSW credentials. I now have the option of taking the Certified Wine Educator exam in the future. The CWE credential adds two tasting exams and an essay to a more rigorous multiple-choice exam. I will need to study more and taste a lot of wines before I decide to continue down this path.
With the good news in hand, I decided to open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate. While not a fancy wine, the Miolo Brut Rose is not your ordinary sparkler. This blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay hails from the Vale dos Vinhedos in southern Brazil. Miolo actually began in 1897 when Guiseppe Miolo immigrated to Brazil from Italy and planted grapevines. In the 1970s, his descendants were pioneers in planting premium grape cultivars in Brazil with Miolo Winery finally being established in 1989. In 1992, Miolo released its very first commercial vintage of Merlot. Now, Miolo Wine Group operates eight different wine brands, owns 1000 hectares of vineyards and produces over 1 million cases of wine every year. While you may think of Chile and Argentina as the most important wine-producing South American countries, Brazil is the third-largest producer and second-largest consumer of wine on the continent. In fact, Moet et Chandon even has invested in the potential of Brazil's ability to produce fine sparkling wine with its Chandon brand. While Brazilian Chandon is mainly a domestic product, Miolo does export a bit of its lineup to the U.S.
NV Miolo Brut Rose, Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil
This blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is perhaps the darkest non-Shiraz sparkler that I have seen. The flute is filled with a dark, yet clear garnet color. The nose offered low-intensity aromas of yeast and cranberries with a hint of saltiness. This bubbly tastes of extremely tart cranberries and unripe guava and strawberries. On the back end of the palate I tasted rye bread and raw walnuts. While this wine is interesting in its geography, the bitterness and lack of fruit flavors leave me wanting more. 13% abv Purchased $14. Average (tasted 10/04/10)