By Laura Jackson
Park City never fails to amaze with its great wealth of resources, and wine expertise is no exception. Master Sommelier Ron Mumford has educated wine enthusiasts around the world and back.
After receiving the rare and prestigious Master Sommelier distinction at the Dorchester Hotel in London in 1999, Mumford has been a guest sommelier with such celebrity chefs as Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse and Charlie Palmer. His illustrious career also includes many years as Wine Director for the Nevada office of Southern Wine & Spirits, teaching numerous wine seminars for the Court of Master Sommeliers, colleges and wine festivals, and serving as a Guest Wine Expert on the Crystal Harmony Cruise Liner.
For the last decade, Mumford has also been a featured speaker for The Newport Beach Wine Festival and The Park City Food and Wine Classic. As President of RMMS Pro Wine Services, he currently offers his consulting expertise to restaurants, suppliers, distributors, wineries, spirit brands and hotels around the country.
When you ask Mumford about his best wine recommendations, you’ll soon understand that there’s a great deal of experience behind each and every suggestion. Following are just a few of the bare basics.
With meat and red wine, the tannins are neutralized by the protein of the meat.” Comparing tannin to the bitterness of coffee, if your coffee is too bitter, you add cream. “If we add a grilled NY steak to your big tannic California Cab, the protein softens the tannins and makes the wine better and the wine’s acid intensifies the flavor of the steak.”
Mumford explains, “To understand those rules, we must first understand the difference in the basic composition between white and red wine. White wine is built on fruit, alcohol and acid, whereas with red wine it’s fruit, alcohol, acid and tannin.”
The driving element pairing white wine with fish is acid. “A high acid white wine is the same as squeezing a lemon on a bland piece of fish — it intensifies its flavor.
There is a great deal of information available, each wine site, magazine and app with its own set of fans and critics. Mumford suggests joining the Guild of Sommeliers (guildsomm.com). You don’t need to be an industry member or Sommelier to join, and it provides accurate and up-to-date information.