All modesty aside, I thought this tasting/get together was a fabulous experience. I saw & learned a lot & sincerely hope all of the young wine minds who attended did too.
As a side note, I would like to add a thought or 2.
A few days after the tasting, a long time fellow co-worker, now turned level 3 sommelier, stopped by VINO. He had worked at VINO for a few years some time ago & therefore understood our continual search for “good” wine. He also remembered how we look to “tell their story” in an effort to serve our guests wines we are proud to serve. Since leaving VINO, he has worked at some real top wine destination restaurants in California & now in Las Vegas.
He mentioned that although he loved the wines from Au Bon Climat, Costa de Oro & Scherrer, they were, in his experience, a real “hard sell” on the restaurant floor, even in San Francisco & Las Vegas. That really floored me & was actually quite depressing. It took me a few days, to sort & sift through that bit of insight & ponder how to address that. (I am an admitted addresser).
As this tasting clearly reiterated to me, all 3 of the wineries he mentioned, in my opinion, produce really good wines. AND, they have done so, for many, many years.
In addition, each of these producers also, in my opinion, under charge us for their wines, not that I am complaining.
So, top quality (good enough to REALLY standout at this tasting & its top caliber line-up)………offering BIG quality for the dollar………hmmmm……
Isn’t part of my job as a sommelier to find wines like this, even if they are not recognizable?
AND, even if they are not lavish, opulent 95 to 100 point rated or are not colored orange or from Mt Etna, isn’t it part of my job as a sommelier to be able to find suitable opportunities to turn people on to such wonderful valued discoveries?
Furthermore, because of having delivered these kinds of traits for quite some time, shouldn’t these kinds of wines actually be considered core staples for their respective categories in one’s wine program?
There are many more questions I would like to ask, but at least, that’s a start.
I absolutely love challenges like this!
At VINO, we have been recently getting a special egg. This Japanese couple took over a farm in Waimanalo. They changed the diet & water of the chickens. Now, the egg is much more orange to the yellow. They harvest 5 mornings & we get the eggs in the afternoon.
Our VINO Chef Keith Endo has chosen to support this farm & champion this egg. He therefore uses them wherever & whenever he can. So, all of floor staff now tell our guests a story about this egg in an effort to help promote it. We now sell quite a bit of eggs AND this farm’s eggs are now on allocation, which thankfully means the demand is higher than the supply. They now thankfully have a better chance of making it!
The point here is, one CAN make a difference, which is really cool, especially when it is the right thing to do.