This is really a lot harder than I first expected. I keep doing tastings, but like the last one that I did, I was so busy I hardly had time to think about anything but pouring. I'm sure some of this is due to the fact that year end is always a very busy time in the wine biz. After all, it is basically a retail establishment, so most wine shop revenue is derived from the months September through December time frame.
One thing that I love about wine tastings, whether I'm attending or pouring, is the wide range of people attending. As I sit here now, I am reminded of a woman who came up to my table at a recent event and gave out the cutest and most outwardly friendly outburst. I was stunned. I remember a big smile on my face and the need to tell her just how much her infectious outburst had just made my day. You can't make this stuff up people.
Interestingly as well, are those folks that come up and are well read on wines. Mentioning their visit to a particular region or winery and hearing of their stories. You'd be amazed at how much information I glam onto from interactions such as those.
I'm currently in the middle of a number of wine tastings that are centered around the holiday season. Most of them being Champagne, or Sparkling, wines. I do, however, have one coming up that is focusing on Port wines. That's an area of the wine biz that I have never really concentrated on much. Never had many customers ask for it and I myself have never been much of a port drinker.
The one story (at least the one I can remember) takes me back to the wine shop in the early years of my employment. The owner did have an affection for ports and one day she opened a 1963 Colheita. Can't remember how she got it or why she opened it, but I do remember that with that first sip, I was transported to a new world that unfortunately would rarely be duplicated. EVER! We're talking about a vintage Colheita that's at least 40 years old. Now if I could keep drinking that wine, I would be all in. Availability and price would be my bane. Never again, have I even come close to that experience with Ports.
Then I have a tasting that I do at a particular wine shop in LaGrange. Tastings are always good, but what really makes it interesting is that I have this friend that comes to most of the wine tastings that I have poured at this shop. Not so interesting you say! Agreed. However, what makes this person stand out (aside from the fact that she's really cute - it's a male thing) is that I can almost set my watch on when she'll arrive and that her arrival coincides with the end, or near to the end, of the tasting. She's like my alarm clock telling me the tasting is almost over. Alarm clock, friendly face, end of the event. Makes the event end on such a nice note!
So with all this positiveness, you'd think all was grand. For the most part, you'd be right. There is almost always one negative factor to pouring at tastings, although offset by another positive. That being that when I pour I rarely have the opportunity to try others wines in the tasting. You don't have that problem when you're there to imbibe. The last Champagne tasting I poured at was the epitome of this issue. When I got home from the event, I had a chance to review the Champagnes that were being poured. I couldn't believe some of the names! Dom, Tattinger, Cristal, Krug and others. These were some of the best of the bests. So what's the good news behind this supposed problem? If I was there tasting I would also be buying I'm sure. So I know I saved A BUNCH!!!
We're down to the last couple weeks of tasting for this year. My schedule isn't too crazy. Another couple Sparkling and Wines for the Holiday tastings. Then a brief respite before starting up again in the early Spring. Not sure how I feel. Glad it's almost over or sad that's it's almost over. Time will tell.