Snippets with Shannon
A glimpse at a few of the latest posts on the Suhru Blog. Discover what's going on at the winery, in the vineyards, at the Tasting House and beyond! Checkout the full Suhru Blog here.
Snippets with Shannon: Chapter 2
Ok, so, it’s not that I have a bad palate, it’s just that I'm inexperienced?
I've recently watched the Somm documentaries and when the group of Sommeliers were doing the blind tasting they were able to name the exact region and vintage of each wine. My mind was blown and I thought to myself, how could my palate ever be that good?!
Maybe it's not so much about having the perfect palate and more about knowing the ins and outs of each wine varietal, region, vintage, etc. Don't get me wrong, palate training is 100% important but how can you recognize the flavor of Gooseberry if you've never had one? Well, as soon as you're done reading this, go to your local grocery store, start sniffing all the spices, buy all the produce and if anyone looks at you funny just tell them you're improving your palate. How can you tell the difference between Long Island wine and California wine? Well, stop scrolling on social media and start Googling.
Let’s think of it like a game of Guess Who. Your opponent has poured themselves a glass of secret vino and you have 12 different photos of wine in front of you. If you know what questions to ask, you can very easily deduce which one they poured. Start simple: Red or white? They say red; you can eliminate half of the wines in front of you. Red fruit notes or dark fruit notes? They say red fruit; flip down more photos. French or Italian grape? They say Italian; eliminate all the Frenchies.
Now just imagine you're playing this game with yourself every time you're tasting wine. When your brain to palate connection is strong enough to recognize that soft tannin, red fruit forward Italian grape varietal… you’re probably drinking Teroldego and maybe you’ll also recognize those same nuances in say, a new red blend at the Suhru Tasting house? *Cough*Cough* Ember. We all can become a Sherlock Holmes of wine— just look for the clues.
I doubt that there will ever be a day that I will know absolutely everything about wine and even now, I’ve only barely scratched the surface. But honestly, that’s really exciting. The magic of wine is that when you're properly tasting it, you are fully living in the present with each sip expanding your knowledge. Every bottle you open has a story to tell and a lesson to be taught. Wait, so does that mean I'll get a little smarter with every glass I drink? I’m not sure if that’s the exact takeaway from this but whatever floats your boat. Cheers to being a forever student!
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Snippets with Shannon: An Introduction
To say that I'm a novice when it comes to wine would be an understatement, but there is no greater driving force than that which is passion. I would be lying, however, if I said that embarking on this journey doesn’t feel daunting and, well, kinda scary. Wine has such a vastly rich history; I mean, hell, even Jesus drank it. (and yes, the irony in that sentence was 100% planned.)
Applying to be the Assistant Tasting Room Manager at Suhru was a spur of the moment, “why not,” decision. At least, that’s what I thought at the time. It turns out that, maybe, some things do happen for a reason.
Living on the South Shore of Long Island for the majority of my life, coming out to the North Fork was a bit of an endeavor, but that 40-60 minute drive was always worth it. I’ve experienced the East End wineries and tasting houses, in both small and large group settings, with family, and even with a few strangers that I had only met that morning. Regardless of the who, or how many, the common denominator was always… wine.
I’ve been able to have conversations with people that probably wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the bottle that sat between us. I guess you could say that wine is the proverbial Conch Shell. (That was a Lord of the Flies reference for all of my literary nerds.) I’ve shared bottles with people who have made wine a way of life, and with those who only cared about the alcohol content. But with each sip I took, the unknowing vinifera passion grew. While others immediately grabbed their glass from the bar after it was poured, I was always the last to walk away, because to me, the story behind what was poured into my glass was more important than the glass itself.
I remember the day I met Shelby at the Tasting House for my interview like it was yesterday. It was only 6 months ago, but you know what I mean. One of the first things she asked me was, “What do you know about wine?” Now, the term, Word Vomit, is typically used in a negative sense but in this case, I ralphed up everything I've absorbed through my wine journey thus far. Most interviews don’t last very long but when you’re in the right place at the right time, an hour and a half goes by pretty quickly. Interview questions just felt like friendly conversation, and I guess being a wine sponge all these years really paid off because the next morning I was offered the position.
In the short time that I’ve worked here the most common question I get asked is, “Are you one of the daughters?” my response is often, “Well, not by blood, but by choice, so I know they must like me.” While my sarcastic tone is abundantly present when I say this, there is very much an underlying truth to it. The Hearn family as well as the Suhru staff immediately welcomed me with open arms. This Tasting House is more of a Tasting Home and I couldn’t be more grateful for the Family, Friends, and Neighbors I've met thus far. I will keep being the best sponge I can be, while I continue my wine education journey learning from not only the incredible staff here but the knowledgeable guests I get to hang out with 5 days a week!
Follow along with Shannon's wine education as she expands her pallet and explores the world of wine. Check back each month to read about her latest wine musings. Want to know more about Shannon? Checkout her Bio