When hotels and resorts have an expert chef, knowledgeable tour guide, and/or talented masseuse on the premises, it puts the "Amen" in extra amenities. The same goes for an onsite sommelier. Travel Agent learned this first-hand during a trip to The Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, NY, when the resort's sommelier, Scott Waller, enhanced the dining and leisure experience with his expert palate and knowledge of food, wine, cigars and cognac.
Whether pairing Rieslings from the Finger Lakes with greens and cheeses, or a glass of California Syrah with delectable meats, Waller's winter-themed presentation on a Friday nigyht was a truly local cultural experience that included a narrative complete with history and insight. Each cuisine tantalized the taste buds, accompanied by its own story and logic in pairing with the libations. It was close to an intimate combination of dinner, education and theatre.
Shortly after the wine and food pairing, Waller demonstrated his knowledge of other fine things in life, cognac and cigars. The presentation, seen in the video below, is just a sample of how in-depth his palatable knowledge is.
For instance, he can lead a Scotch flight tasting that focuses on malt, peat, barrel and age and, present a sampling of such bourbons as Woodford Reserve, Basil Hayden's or Knob Creek, and guide you through such Italian elixirs as Agrigiolas Mirto, Amara Averna and Fernte Branca.
And as for the cigars, well it's safe to say he knows as much about them as he does the food and liquor. Not only that, he's a master at perfectly lighting a stogie. See for yourself in the video below.
Now picture yourself at the end of an active or restful day of vacationing with a glass in one hand, a plate or cigar in the other, and new knowledge of which goes best with what embedded in your mind. Can you taste the difference?