Shaliza Somani is a wine lover and healthy eating advocate. She is passionate about combining these two interests by exploring the deep and nuanced science of complimenting food with wine.

As many wine experts will contend, the best way to learn about wine is to taste as much of it as possible. This motivated Shaliza Somani to learn more about her drink of choice through the Wine Fundamentals courses at the International Sommelier Guild.

The courses are designed to give a solid understanding of the grapes used for wine making and their discerning characteristics. The classes also provided an in-depth analysis of wine terminology, label information, appellation concepts, and food and wine pairing theories.

As someone who has enjoyed drinking wine for many years, Shaliza Somani was surprised to learn just how complex and intricate the wine industry really is. The Wine Fundamentals classes inspired Shaliza to share her knowledge of wine with others who have a similar passion for wine, but lack the educational foundation to make purchases with absolute confidence.

While it can be enjoyable to listen to wine critics and experts and guide your purchases accordingly, Shaliza Somani contends that it is much more fun to find your own preferences and come to your own conclusions.

“Don’t feel pressure to focus on wines that others tell you to like, because everyone has a different palate,” Shaliza says. “Instead, you should take time to explore the different varieties to discover the wines that fit your personal preferences.” For Shaliza Somani, that includes the grape varietal Cabernet franc. “Typically blended with cabernet sauvignon and merlot, this elegant grape varietal is also exceptional on its own, offering aromas of strawberry, red plum and roasted red peppers.  It’s medium body and high acidity make it easy to pair with most foods and its always a crowd pleaser at a party.”

Wine pairing is a continual learning process, as one constantly uncovers different tastes, smells, and finishes. It can be daunting, but Shaliza encourages others not to be afraid to experiment and try something new. “Remember to trust your own taste and allow your own palate to dictate your purchases.”

If you need a few pointers, Shaliza Somani is happy to help. “Focus on what you’re eating! Stick to white wines if you’re eating a lot of vegetables and white meats, and red wines when you’re eating red meat. If you’re eating something spicy, stick to beer or a white wine with a high sugar content.”

Recently, Shaliza Somani introduced her passion for wine to School Toronto, a restaurant that she invested in with her husband. The popular brunch and lunch spot hosted a four-course dinner with wine pairings to match. This event proved to be the perfect opportunity for School to help expose others to the benefits of proper food and wine pairings.