In my last post I made a comment about how and why we choose the wines we do. In the course of the last 12 years of my exposure to the retail world of wines, I continually see so many reasons what decides a person to pick up one wine over another. And almost as curious, why some keep going back to the same wine over and over.
Let me make it clear that these are observations and not criticisms. Just as why we may like Cabernet over Merlot or Chardonnay over Sauvignon Blanc, so too, do we go back to that famous Italian Pinot Grigio, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or the Famous Family wines of California. As a retailer, I understand our proclivity to return to the familiar and the wines we find pleasing to our palates. As a retailer though, I have the almost unique ability to try so many wines. I guess that is what also drove me when I first started my foray into the wine world. Going to as many wine tastings as I could. Trying the new wines and the myriad of grape varieties I had never even heard of before. Call me a wine adventurer. Like the crew of Star Trek, going where no Donald has gone before...
Over the years I found myself both acting as teacher and wine ambassador. A title I still hang on to tightly. Bringing new wines to those I come in contact with, to bring the enjoyment and excitement of finding that next great wine.
Most of us need that nice everyday quaffer for those evenings when we are rushed and feel we don't have time to savor that 93 point extraordinary wine. That's when we turn to our regulars. We pop that cork or unscrew that bottle and pour a wine that we know will please.
The really interesting part of that process, and why I started this blog, is which wines each of us chooses. It seems like there are almost as many reasons to choose one wine over another as there are wines. "I had it at my favorite restaurant," I was at the winery" and one of my favorites, and one that is why so many wineries rely on marketing, "I like the label." All great reasons, but something I don't hear as often is "It's such a great wine." Not to say they are not good or even great, but more to imply that, and this is only a guess, they were easier to fall back to rather than have to try to find something else.
Here's where the likes of myself, and people like me, come into play. Like the Captain of the Enterprise, I like to think that I can help point us in the right direction, to find strange new wines, to go where you have not gone before. Yeah, I know, I used that phrase earlier, but it so applies....
Just as my own wine journey started with going to tastings, wineries and the like, I found myself wanting to help recreate that experience for others. That's why I started my "Don's Picks" wine tasting at the wine shop. Sure, I want to help sell the wine, but as I said, as a wine ambassador, I find myself first and foremost wanting to bring new experiences to those who participate in my tasting. For those who have been to one of my tastings, you know that I try to bring wines from various regions, multiple grapes and along those lines, wines of prices from everyday to much higher end. I bring that up as I did have someone comment to me that it's a little intimidating trying these higher end wines with little prospects of actually buying. PLEASE be reassured it is the experience of tasting those wines that you may never have an opportunity to try that is exactly why I do it. Besides, if you're going to spend money on any wine, especially more expensive ones, I think it would be so much better to KNOW that you like it, rather than necessarily believe someone else. Of course, I also like to think that as you begin to trust your local Captain, oops, I mean wine merchant, you can come to rely on their knowledge to help find you other wines you will like without necessarily trying them. Hey, I don't want you not needing or relying on me some of the time! That's called "unemployed."
This blog is happening at a fortuitous moment as I happen to be putting together my next "Don's Picks" Tasting and Sale. I like to use the word fortuitous instead of planned as it sounds better and a little less self serving...
Reserve September 12th on your calendar. As we are starting at 2 P.M. and going to 5, I will be pouring some real gems, starting with a gorgeous French Champagne, moving through various whites, throwing in a 93 Point Rose (and keep that one in mind for Thanksgiving as Roses are a great accompaniment to lighter meats), and finishing with reds from around the world.
Okay, not to be satisfied with just that event at 5 when I conclude, I will cleaning up as we also set up for a return visit of Singer/Songwriter Dina Bach from 6 to 9 P.M. Dina was with us once before and did a phenomenal job of entertaining our guests for the evening. It's the Village Cellar's version of a "Double Header."
For my blog I don't like to "advertise" too much, but with the topic of this blog, it was hard not to reach out and bring more lovers of wine on board as crew of the USS Village Cellar, ha, I bet you thought I was going to say Enterprise....so come aboard to visit "This Strange New World."