FOODIES WEST.COM         
 GARY SPADAFORE:
 Certified Wine Educator
Alliance Beverage Distributors Co.

Like any teacher that enjoys teaching, it is very satisfying for me to be able to make a complex subject like wine or spirits not only understandable but also enjoyable.

August 2015 Issue / Vol. 3, No. 15                                                                                                                                                                                                      























      
Chef de Cuisine
Richard Garcia


      
Chef Roberto
Madrid's Kitchen

      
July 2015
Chef's Larder

      
Q Tonic
Quinine Tonic Water



Gary Spadafore shares how to know if you are an oenophile —

See how in our
Facebook page!

      
Cool it with
Hibiscus Flowers

     
Café Zuzu:
Scottsdale, Arizona
       
     
Wright's at the Biltmore:
Phoenix, Arizona
 
     
Herbs & Spices
by Jill Norman


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Gary Spadafore, Certified Wine Educator
Got a thirst for behind-the-bar knowledge? Want to be a wine wonk? Meet Gary Spadafore, Director of Education at Alliance Beverage Distributing Company, Arizona’s largest distributor of alcoholic beverages. The 30-year-member of the Society of Wine Educators has had a seat on the society’s board of directors for 10 years, and he’s committed to the furtherance of smart somms and brainy bartenders. “It’s a very serious organization that is very serious about drinking,” Spadafore said, straight-faced. “We’re the wine educators. We do credentials for people. We offer education, and then we have very, very difficult exams. We, primarily, certify knowledge. Quite a few sommeliers are in our organization to get the knowledge that they need for the classes.” Such as those impossibly rigorous courses required for a sommelier certification and Master Sommelier Diploma. The exam for the latter has a 10-percent pass rate. “Our main credentials are the Certified Specialist of Wine,” Spadafore said. “That’s our entry-level certification. The advanced one is Certified Wine Educator. It’s not a very high pass rate. It’s a very difficult exam.” One that had Spadafore, one of just over 300 Certified Wine Educators in the world, studying in two tasting groups for a solid year. The exam involves a blind tasting of eight wines, which the candidates must correctly identify. Next, they do a blind tasting to identify wines with chemically-induced imbalances that have been doctored with different components, such as alcohol, acid, sugar, vinegar, sulfur, and oxidation. Spadafore passed on his first try. Spadafore Speaks! Gary Spadafore shares some sensational wines to drink tis summer. Included is King Estate Acrobat Pinot Noir, Beran Zinfandel by Joe Wagner, Banfi's Rosa Reglae and William Fevre Chablis.