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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Describing wine is not the easiest thing to do. When you are starting out, when asked to describe what you smell, you might say that you “just smell wine.”
But as you taste more, study more and hone your palate, you may start to describe sauvignon blanc as “citrusy with notes of lemon, lime and green grass” or pinot noir as “earthy with aromas of dried cherry and mushroom.”
How do we learn to describe wines like this? And once we can describe wines, how do we begin to understand how to pair wine with food? At the Paradise Ridge tasting room in Kenwood, sensory experiences with herbs or chocolates highlight the chemistry and fundamentals behind food and wine pairing. annette-mcdonnell-and-the-sensory-experiences-at-paradise-ridge-winery-kenwood-tasting-room-2
Tasting Room Manager Annette McDonnell joined the Paradise Ridge family in 2008. McDonnell was raised in Sonoma and has worked in the culinary world at Park Avenue Catering under Sonoma County Chef Bruce Riezenman and in catering with Café Lolo. At Paradise Ridge, she has been able to combine her passion for food, wine and hospitality to create a unique way to educate people about wine and food pairing.