A Master Sommelier Talks about Upcoming Wine Festival

Roberto Viernes
Roberto Viernes

(KHNL) - One of Maui' longest-running festivals celebrates 26 years of edible excellence this weekend. The "Kapalua Wine and Food Festival" is a four-day culinary extravaganza.  Here to give us a preview is Master Sommelier, Roberto Viernes.

ANGELA:  Good morning, a Sommelier?  How do you get to be a Sommelier?

ROBERTO:  A Sommelier is just a wine steward in a restaurant, however, a Master Sommelier goes through a series of examinations.

ANGELA:  Any particular thing about wine that you absolutely love?

ROBERTO:  I love the nobility of wine.  It elevates people, food, their experience when they're in a restaurant, and also I think it elevates some people's personality.  It just has an ability to it.

ANGELA:  What can you tell us about the event and what we can expect?

ROBERTO:  The Kapalua Wine and Food Festival is just an absolute world class event.  It's the pre-eminent event for food and wine here in Hawaii.  When you get all these wonderfully, passionate and talented people in food and wine all together, it's just an absolute phenomenal event.

ANGELA:  If folks have questions, that's going to be the place to ask all the questions to the experts.

ROBERTO:  Absolutely.

ANGELA:  For those who don't know a lot about wines, they go to the store and there's this big shelf full of all these different names and types, what is the level of the body when you're starting out?  Where do we start on the dry end?

ROBERTO:  On the dry end, we mostly start with the reds.  Most wines are actually dry.  There's not that many wine that are sweet.

ANGELA:  Is it true that the sweeter, the whiter the wine is, the fruity tones, that you might get a headache the next day if you drink too much?

ROBERTO:  Not necessarily.  Headaches coming from wine have so many different sources.  Sometimes, it's just having drink enough water during meals or having enough rest the night before.  But a lot of people are talking about sulfate in wine. And sulfate is a natural occurring element in wine.  But there are a lot of things you can do to avoid headaches in wine.  It has a lot to do with dehydration when you're drinking wine, drink a lot of water at the same time.

ANGELA: At this event, there will be eight Master Sommelier including yourself, where are they all coming from?  How great of an event  to have all these top people there

ROBERTO:  it's an amazing opportunity to meet all these great Master Sommeliers from around the country.  These are the top wine professionals from around the country from Florida, Seattle and California of course.  Having them all together is a very unique and special situation.  It's very rare that we get this concentration of Master Sommeliers at one place at one time.

ANGELA:  Well Roberto, we will look for you at Kapalua.  The Kapalua Wine and Food Festival is this Thursday through Sunday at the Kapulua Resort on Maui's Northwest Shore.