Teaching calculus students by day....and wine aficionados by night.
I have, professionally speaking, been a mathematics teacher at the high school level in Calgary for over 30 years specializing in Advanced Placement Calculus. I have an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Calgary and a masters degree in teaching mathematics from the University of Idaho. I am known for my enthusiastic love of all things mathematics and my over-the-top bow tie collection that would put even Bill Nye to shame (120 bow ties and counting).
I started to get interested in wines in my early forties after taking a wine appreciation course at Willow Park Wines and Spirits in Calgary. I loved the fact learning about wine was learning about history, geography, chemistry, vinification and yes even a little mathematics! After the wine appreciation course, I was totally hooked and went on to take the British-based WSET courses up to and including Level 3. I achieved a Canadian Wine Scholar designation from Fine Vintage Ltd. I have also taken the Sensory course from Fine Vintage Ltd. My proudest moment was achieving a perfect 100% score on my Certified Sommelier Exam which was a course that entailed knowledge of wine, beer, spirits and sake.
As an educator, I feel it important to help people understand the products they are choosing by understanding the label and what factors will be the most indicative of a quality wine. Price is not always the best factor! With a little guided reading and perhaps a basic wine course you can become a far more discerning wine buyer without becoming snobbish about it!
It has always been a goal of mine to help people choose quality products that are at the medium price point. I find that some of the less expensive wines are a bit more of a chemistry experiment using tannin powders, etc. to simulate natural wine qualities. I only really taste the expensive wines at tastings or special events based on the obvious economic reasons. I am also keenly aware of the potential misuse of alcohol that can create havoc in both personal and family life so my motto has always been: “It is far better to drink less wine of a higher quality than the converse.”