기사입력 2013-12-08 15:12
Ira Harmon, master Sommelier, participated at a wine tasting event at the ‘KSool' (Alcoholic beverage in Korean) Korean Traditional Wine & Spirits Show, which was sponsored by Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation and ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and presented by the Korean Traditional beverage Trade Association at Lee’s Discount Liquors Store on Lake Mead, Las Vegas on Sunday, Nov 10.
K-Herald: Could you explain what a Master Sommelier does and how you get to the Master Sommelier status?
Ira Harmon: There are only 160 master Sommeliers in the world and as wine experts, we promote alcoholic beverage services through professional development, wine market, wine tasting, beer and spirits at the hotels and restaurants. To be a Master Sommelier, we should pass five steps of Sommelier examinations to achieve a certificate.
KH: As a Master Sommelier, what can you say about traditional Korean alcoholic beverages?
IH: I think traditional Korean alcoholic beverages bring out a distinctive flavor and aroma, so I cannot appraise on the fact based on western wine. That is difficult to assess its quality using regular measuring progress. In particular, traditional Korean liquor is made out of ingredients which can only be found in Korea such as Korean wild grapes and black raspberries. There are good examples like Meoru Wine and Bokbunja wine. Anyway, I think Korean liquor has heralded as a blueprint for the future of drinking because it is steadily becoming known amongst American people with Korean food and culture.
KH: How different is Korean liquor from whiskey or brandy?
IH: Whiskey and Korean spirits both have distinct flavors. Usually, Korean spirits which I drink in here is smooth, pure and clear, but has a deep, stronger flavor afterwards. Despite the 45% alcohol content of Myoung In An-dong Soju, it is very clear when I drink. When I meet my Korean friends, I enjoy drinking soju frequently.
KH: We have a special type of liquor that is proven to be good for health. What can you say about traditional liquor made of ginseng or red ginseng?
IH: Personally, I like to eat ginseng. How wonderful it is that I can drink alcoholic beverages with ginseng. That tastecannot be found in American wine. I just wonder how you age this liquor.
KH: Comments on the design of traditional liquors' bottle?
IH: Korean traditional wine is unfamiliar for U.S customers, so it is a bit necessary to have a unique shape in showcasing that it is a special wine. The bottle of shape from myoung In An-dong Soju is attractive. Also, the apple wine bottle from Applease is curved and unique.
KH: What needs to be done for traditional Korean alcoholic beverages to get an established market in America?
IH: The U.S. drinking market is an international market; there are a lot of cheap and high quality wine products. Probably, you would need to have more specialized markets
KH: You have tasted 18 Korean wines and spirits. Which one is best for you?
IH: Personally, I like the Jindo Hongju. It has a very distinctive taste without bitterness or sweetness. And I like the Pomegranate wine from Applease, which has its own unique flavor. Mildly sweet.