The Granite Tower
A Glass of Wine Will Do
Park Kyung-Eun  |
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승인 2014.12.07  15:50:58
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When you think of wine, an image of luxurious glasses filled with extravagant liquor would come to mind. However, this is not true according to Kim Kang Deog (’10, History), the current leader of Sommelier Club. With the goal of making college students become more familiar with wine, Sommelier Club is maintaining its tradition  of sharing and studying about wine together.       

The history of Sommelier Club begins in 2005, when a lecture under the name An Introduction to Wine intrigued students and eventually led them to create a club. In fact, the professor who was responsible for the lecture was known to be the first wine auction dealer in Korea. This was how a club studying wine was established in universities for the first time. Since 2008, it has become one of the central clubs of Korea Univeristy (KU). 

Every Friday, members of Sommelier Club gather to study about wine under various themes. Each student pays 10,000 won to participate in the study session and drinks about half a bottle of wine. The most recent theme was about a particular region in Italy and students tasted wine that was produced in that region. Rather than being overly formal, they casually pour the wine into glasses and share their thoughts about it. They mainly share information that comes from the Internet, books, or magazines.

Apart from the weekly study sessions, they also hold an annual Wine Festival some time around Ipsilenti: Jiya Hamsung school festival. Rather than having the purpose of financial profits, Sommelier Club holds the festival in an attempt to provide students with the opportunity to drink wine. “Every year, it gains a lot of popularity with about 300 to 400 visitors who come to buy Shangri-La (a mixture of wine and different sparkling drinks) or Vin Chaud (a drink made with boiled wine),” says Kim. Despite the high cost of holding the festival, Sommelier Club still maintains the tradition with pride.

In November, members of the club can also enjoy an occasion called “Changlipjae” where they meet alumni of the club. In October, the club participated in the Autumn Festival, held by the Club Federation. There, Sommelier Club sold cups of Shangri-La and Vin Chaud and again gained much popularity.     

“Many people think that there only exists expensive wine. That would be the main reason why students do not enjoy drinking wine,” says Kang. However, since the price of wine greatly varies, there are many types that even students can afford[강1] . Kang strongly encourages students to try various wines as it helps them to improve their skills and broaden the knowledge about it. In fact, according to Kang, there are about one or two members every semester who become very fascinated by wine.

Last year, the wine was purchased solely using the fees of the members. However, from this year, Sommelier Club is being sponsored [강2] by a company named Shindong Wine, which sympathizes with their goal of spreading the culture of wine to university students. This year, 60 bottles of wine were sponsored by the group, along with a few glasses. Moreover, as they have a fixed route to purchase wine, they get a discount.

Many people would assume that members of Sommelier Club enjoy drinking wine even at Membership Training (MT) or private meetings. On the contrary, Sommelier Club members enjoy other types of alcohol as well, apart from wine. In fact, they enjoy their MT or other events with drinks such as soju or beer.  

There are now 20 to 25 members who actively participate in study session every week. They consist of various types of people of different age and majors. There is also a balance between genders which makes the atmosphere even more harmonious[강3] . Regular recruitment takes place at the start of the first semester, while recruitment in the second semester is quite flexible depending on the number of members that were previously recruited. A booth is held at the beginning of the semester along with other clubs at the Club Exhibition. “One special thing about our club is that there are always many applicants. The number never seems to fall,” says Kim.

If you are interested in wine, you are free to be a member as no background knowledge or skills are required to be recruited. “I myself have an alergy, so I am not so good at smelling things. You too can become a member yourself!” says Kang.  

Contact Info :

Kim Kang Deog 010 5348 4790

Student Union Building 504



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