Category: Food

Certified Specialist of Wine Program Refines Enthusiasts’ Knowledge


Certified Specialist of Wine pic
Certified Specialist of Wine

Aric Keck has a proven record in marketing, sales management, and business development, drawing on that experience as a regional manager with Vectra Networks, a cybersecurity firm. In addition to his professional work, he is a member of the Society of Wine Educators (SWE), a nonprofit organization that provides education about wine and spirits to professionals as well as amateur wine enthusiasts. Through SWE, Aric Keck has completed three of the five levels of the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) program.

One of many certifications offered by the SWE, the CSW program certifies candidates’ knowledge of wine, wine production, and viticulture. Program participants are issued a CSW Study Guide, from which the certification exam’s 100 multiple-choice questions are sourced. Topics covered include etiquette and service, composition and chemistry, physiology of taste, and several more. In addition to the Study Guide, CSW provides free monthly webinars and a workbook that includes practice quizzes and other learning tools.

For its authority in wine industry practices and standards, the CSW program received the Quality Program designation from the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation. Various colleges, universities, culinary schools, and corporations use the Quality Program certification as an educational standard.


Three Must-Visit Vineyards in Georgia Wine Country


Boutier Winery pic
Boutier Winery

Since 2016, Aric Keck has served as regional manager for Vectra Networks in Georgia. A certified wine specialist, Aric Keck also donates to the Society of Wine Educators.

Home to a number of incredible wineries, Georgia has gained attention in recent years as the new Napa Valley. Some of the most celebrated wineries on the East Coast are located in the state.

A historic option for wine fans is Three Sisters Vineyards, which was the first winery to open in Lumpkin County after prohibition. Named the Best Winery in the South, Three Sisters also produces the Walasiyi and Chestatee brands. Guests can peruse Southern folk art or listen to local musicians while sipping the wine.

Boutier Winery has won both American and international awards for its French-American hybrids. Its most recognizable wines include the Chambourcin and the Peach Chardonnay.

Known for its red blend, Wolf Mountain Vineyards creates wines in the European style. Visitors will find a cottage tasting room and a restaurant that overlooks the vineyard hills. The vineyard tour highlights the winery’s old-world approach to wine making.

Certification Offered by the Society of Wine Educators

Society of Wine Educators pic
Society of Wine Educators

Aric Keck, regional manager at Vectra Networks, has more than two decades of professional experience. Outside of his professional life, Arick Keck supports the Society of Wine Educators, a nonprofit group that has promoted wine education through certification, events, and professional growth opportunities since 1977.

The Society of Wine Enthusiasts offers a range of membership options for independent members and corporations, with perks including online prep classes, discounts on books, and free invitations to events and seminars. The organization also offers networking opportunities for wine enthusiasts around the world.

To better serve its members, the Society provides a variety of classes, seminars, and certifications. These certifications can be obtained by not only professionals in the industry but also those who simply love wine and want to share their knowledge with those around them. These certifications, which include Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Wine Educator designations, are highly regarded in the world of wine and spirits. Certification exams are held several times a year, both domestically and in many locations abroad.

Three Traditional Mexican Dishes to Try Cooking at Home

Chilaquiles pic

An experienced sales executive, Aric Keck currently serves as regional manager at Vectra Networks. During his spare time, Aric Keck enjoys cooking and grilling dishes from a range of cuisines, including Mexican.

The culinary history of Mexico is storied, and the home cook can spend years exploring the many dishes available at their fingertips. Here are a few of the most popular:

1. Chilaquiles. This common Mexican breakfast food is a bit more spicy than one would expect breakfast to be. Red or green salsa is spread over a corn tortilla, with eggs, chicken, and a large smattering of cheese. As with many dishes from Mexico, refried beans are a welcome addition.

2. Chiles Rellenos. These traditional stuffed peppers are perfect for lunch or dinner and can provide a fair amount of kick. Hatch green chile is the most popular for the dish, but any medium-sized pepper will work well. Roast the peppers, and stuff them with plenty of pepper jack cheese and spices.

3. Pozole. There is no dish more historical than this soup, once used as a part of ritual sacrifice in pre-Hispanic Mexico. Often featuring chicken or pork, pozole is stewed overnight and made primarily with hominy corn, herbs, spices, and veggies.

Mistakes Commonly Made When Cooking Quesadillas

Quesadillas pic

Based in Smyrna, Georgia, Aric Keck is a sales and business development professional with years of experience in software and hardware technology sales, currently serving as a regional manager with Vectra Networks. In his free time, Aric Keck enjoys cooking, especially Italian and Mexican cuisine.

Quesadillas are one of the easiest and most satisfying Mexican dishes to prepare at home. However, it is also easy to make mistakes. Here are some to avoid:

1. Using corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are great for tacos, but quesadillas require flour tortillas: the flour is more pliable and will hold the cheese and filling together. Flour quesadillas are also easier to flip.

2. Using two tortillas. It is tempting to make larger quesadillas with two tortillas laid flat on top of each other, but the folded, half-moon approach is much easier to handle. First, fill one side of the tortilla with cheese and filling, then fold the other half over.

3. Overstuffing. To avoid breaking apart and spilling the contents, limit the quesadilla to two heaping tablespoons of filling per tortilla, aiming for a balance of cheese and filling.

Differences Among Three Classic Red Wine Varietals

Pinot Noir pic
Pinot Noir

Aric Keck serves as the regional manager of Vectra Networks in Smyrna, Georgia. He previously held positions with Intel Corporation and Exostar, LLC. Aric Keck is also a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators.

Many of us enjoy drinking wine but do not have a good understanding of the differences among the varietals. Three of the classic red wines include the following:

1. Pinot Noir. Pinot Noirs often offer the lightest body with fruitier flavors and aromas. Pinot Noir is known for its acidity. Since this type of wine has low tannin, the acidity is more potent.

2. Syrah. Syrahs are often smooth and velvety with dark fruit flavors like plum and blueberry, bolstered by additional notes of chocolate and tobacco, and have great body. Syrah wines pair well with lamb and cheese.

3. Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine globally and is full of tannins. Tannins create the dry taste of the wine and are also great antioxidants. Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with steak.