It is the New Year and I am just going to throw down what I want to see in wine.
I am not a big gun. I don’t have an Asimov reputation or Vaynerchuk viewer ship but I am a passionate wine geek on a mission.
My mission that I have been on since 2004 and will be on until it is accomplished is to give the public, the masses, the good wine-loving people of this great city and beyond the confidence to make their own decisions as well as to ask questions about the wine they are purchasing.
So here we go.
Wine to the people!
Let’s drink some great wine this year.
If you are looking to learn about wine this year and have a busy schedule the best way is to make 2009 the year you find a good wine merchant. Find the wine shop in your hood or beyond that has a staff ready and waiting to give good wine. Whether you are cooking pea soup, filet mignon or just want to watch the new season of Lost, stemware in hand, with some good juice in it a good wine merchant should be able to find the right bottle for you…no matter what.
And when you find that place and that person you will most definitely have more hits than misses and by 2010 will have trained your palate to appreciate a plethora of new wine and you will have a better grasp on what you like and don’t like
If you are one of those wine consumers that finds a bottle and sticks with it every time you walk into a wine shop when you find that right place or person in which you trust you may be willing to branch out at some point and be glad you did.
At our shop we have seen people buy the same bottle day in and day out. Sometimes we run out and a day goes by without that particular wine on the shelf. They walk in and see the empty spot and look at us hoping that we can somehow make it appear.
It is up to us at this point to know enough about our customers and their palates as well as the bottles in our shop to be able to find a wine, other than their fave, that they will enjoy.
I love this part.
We show them some new options based on their palate and what they are into that evening. We offer a few price points because if they feel they are not getting jipped (and they are so not) they may spontaneously make this the night they spoil themselves and their friends or significant other.
They make a selection and take it home.
The look on their faces when they come back smiling and thanking us for the suggestion is priceless. They now get to come into our shop and decide between two bottles. When they get tired of those two all they have to do is ask us and then it will be a choice of three, then four and so on until one day they come in with some friends and start suggesting bottles to them.
It’s a beautiful thing.
Another thing for ’09:
Find Bordeaux that is not expensive and share it with friends. There are great bottles from the most famous wine region in the world that you can find for $15, $17 and $20. From Saint Emilion to Medoc chateaux. If you are a label person then this idea is right up your alley. Make sure you trust your wine merchant.
Pop a nice bottle of well-priced Bordeaux at a get together and people’s faces just light up and the room becomes somewhat electric with anticipation. And if it is a great wine then the anticipation turns to genuine joy as they pair the food with the some of the most food friendly wine on the planet.
Let’s branch out!
I have a feeling…or maybe it is just a desire that Greek wine is coming up. It just might happen this year. I have tasted some wonderful wines from the home of Dionysus that capture all kinds of aromas and flavors. From crispy Assyrtiko to deep, minerally Robola and Agioritiko, sometimes it is deep with swim teams of mocha gliding through it and sometimes it is bright with acidity and figgy round fruit. I have been doing a lot of research into the history of Greek wine culture and it has been fascinating. The closer I get to modern times the more anxious I get to increase the selection at the shop.
We can even go beyond Greece. Croatia. Hungary. China, all places with unique wine potential on the shelves.
Just throwing it out there.
One more thing:
If you haven’t bought stemware and you love wine. This is the year to get a set. Don’t go crazy unless you really want to. I mean you can go for the good stuff and you should. You deserve it. But if you are on a budget anything from Bed Bath and Beyond will do or Crate and Barrel. Try Wine Enthusiast as well. They have great deals on good sets.
If and when you find that right wine shop for you then you will find yourself wanting more and more to appreciate wine as people have for centuries before us. The color of a wine you are enjoying is much more attractive when swirled in a glass bowl washing the walls with the red or white magic inside. The aromas of your favorite wine at the time rush into your olfactory network and wind themselves around the brain easier and more completely with stemware. They were made for wine.
Just one word of advice for stemware:
There are a lot of options out there these days and the main rule (for me) is a simple one. Try not to buy the sets that have no bowl at the bottom. There is a new fad out right not where the glass gets narrower towards the stem. I would a void these because there is no swirl-ability. And they can be expensive.
So there we have it folks.
Nothing too crazy.
Lets just have some fun with wine this year. Let’s bring good wine to picnics or cookouts. Wine is an ancient, natural phenomenon. Let’s enjoy it. We deserve it.
Wine To The People!!