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This is a guest blog by current student Stella Silvente studying BA(Hons) International Hospitality Management.

When telling people your major is in Hospitality it instantly serves this perception that you’re studying to become a hotelier or even a restaurateur which, are two very fantastic careers to find yourself in. However, for myself, this degree is stop 1 on my voyage into the world of wine.

Into the second semester of Level 4 International Hospitality Management we were introduced to the Hospitality Operations module which, consists of a balanced seminar to lecture ratio. Via this module we are diving into the unspeakable satisfactions of Food & Wine Pairing.

Living in a world that was blessed with sun, soil, grapes and vineyards I was delighted to learn that we, first year students, would have a week dedicated to studying the importance of the role wine plays in the overall dining experience.

Just a day after Valentine’s Day my seminar group and I spent an hour in one of the Food Studios tasting three varieties of white wine and three of red. Here, we had the opportunity to expand our knowledge on the differing appearances, aromas, palates and intensities wine has to offer. Following a systematic approach to tasting wines, we were able to boost our comprehension and confidence that must be present when introducing and serving that glorious bottle of 2016 Pinot Noir, whether it be in a swanky downtown restaurant or a gastropub hidden in the heart of The New Forest.

During the blind tasting we were challenged in identifying which wines were ‘cheap’ (£3-£4), ‘middle range’ (£7-£8) and ‘expensive’ (£9-£12). Through doing this, we as a seminar group, collectively pondered on the factors which dictate the price of a bottle of wine. It was interesting to watch a room of wine drinkers and non- wine drinkers try to recognise the notes and aromas which the Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, Malbec and Pinot Noir had to offer. By being able to speak the language of wine, we will be able to perfect the art of Food & Wine Pairing.

It is something of luck that we were able to take what we learnt in the lectures to physical practise. It allowed us to really get a grasp of what we are learning, and it also showed us how much we really do enjoy studying this course. It was a fun and informative practical session where we could enjoy each other’s company in a learning-based environment.

Seeing that the module is called Hospitality Operations, you can imagine that we are also spending time in the Food Studio not only drinking wine but also suiting up in our chef whites and putting our cooking skills to practise. So far, we have perfected a few dishes including a few lunchtime favourites- The Club Sandwich, Vegetable Soup with Soda Bread and Hoisin Chicken with rice. Although these dishes seem fairly standard, what we have to grasp is the costing of concocting these dishes which I can tell you, is not as easy as standing around a table smelling and sipping wine.

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