Home and Away

At this point in the year, my time spent traveling is starting to greatly out-weight my time spent at home.  Packing up my suitcase and leaving my wife behind never gets any easier.   But I consider myself very lucky to travel and race a bike professionally, and especially in an era when the internet and our smartphones help us stay so connected.

Even though I'm kept up-to-date on what's going on back home, I still deeply miss it.  Free moments while I'm on the road are spent thinking about what I'd like to do when I return home.  The usual format so far this year has been one month away, followed by two weeks at home.  Two weeks is nice, but it goes by so fast.  I'm forced to make the most of each and every day.

As I currently sit on a flight bound for Malaysia, I am finally reflecting back on my last few weeks at home. I can happily say that I didn't waste a moment.  From having my parents over from South Carolina, to spending some quality time with good friends in town, there are far too many memorable moments to highlight here.

On the wine front, a lot of new doors have opened up for me in my short time at home.  For starters, I took and passed the Intro Class with the Court of Sommeliers this past weekend.  What does that mean?  I'm still not so sure yet.  I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to be considered a true Sommelier, but I do feel like I'm heading in the right direction.

For those of you who don't know, the Court of Sommeliers is made up of four levels: Intro, Certified, Advanced and Master. All of these must be completed before becoming a Master Sommelier.  Each level increases in difficulty, with the Intro being more about fun and sparking the interest a bit.  Then, on the other end of the spectrum is the Master Certification.  There are currently around 180 Master Sommeliers in the world, while Colorado has about 10 in the state itself!  With only a select few passing each year, the MS exam takes every single aspect of beverage, food and service to the extreme.  

I had blast in the two-day Intro class, and I highly recommened it for anyone with an interest in wine.  It's not all about text books and lextures, as we spent the majority of our time tasting wine.  That is the best way to learn afterall.

These last two weeks also didn't come without their fair share of fine wine.  Some unforgettable moments where had with various friends while sharing a 99 Rinaldi Barolo, 05 Soldera, Movia Lunar, 06 Coche, 95 Dalla Valle and the list goes on...

I've also just discovered how much I love the reds from Friuli Venezia.  These reds - mainly Merlot and Refosco based - pair so well with any Italian dish, which makes since as we spent a great deal of time dining at Frasca and Pizzera Locale.  Their wines and food certainly strengthened my believe that "what grows together, goes together."

Thanks for reading,

Craig

Thanks Natalie, I have no

Thanks Natalie,

I have no doubt that you'll cruise through the certified portion!

Craig

Great post

What a heartfelt blog post, Craig!
I will definitely miss seeing you at the store while you're galavanting (lol) in Malaysia, and I wish you the best of luck.
I 100% agree about the intro Sommelier exam. It thoroughly peaked my interest and I have already begun the study for the certified in May- starting with Northern Italy- perfetto! There are so many fascinating subjects that are intrinsically tied to wine including history, geology, geography (love pouring over maps), culture, cuisine...
We will all be thinking about you and will see you soon, for time flies nowadays.
Ciao,
Natalie Bowman