We had a great tasting event with Marty Clubb, owner of and wine maker at L’Ecole Winery in Walla Walla Washington. Every time we do one of these, the group says it’s the best one yet. It’s nice to know that we have that kind of talent coming to our island to share their knowledge and wine. Marty even mentioned that this was one of the biggest groups he has presented to. Funny, he had to travel across the state, take a ferry to our small but bustling island to find the biggest group. Just goes to show the caliber of our local wine enthusiasts. Marty is encyclopedic when it comes to wine and the Washington wine scene. He was a pleasure to listen to and I would love to have him back in the future. Marty and I shot a You Tube episode together and I will be putting that out on Tuesday. I interviewed him and we shared a bottle of an amazing Chateaunuef-du-Pape from the 2000 vintage. Check it out.
Speaking of my You Tube channel; I am going to crank it up a bit as I feature wines for Christmas. I finished shooting an episode featuring Petite Sirah which should go up Friday. After it will be one featuring Amarone, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, then… Yet to be determined. As I mentioned in the past, I love the wines that come out during Christmas. Many people love to go big during this holiday meal or to share with friends and family. It is one of my favorite times in the wine department as I guide folks to their choices. What makes it so much fun, is I know most of the people this time of year. I love selling wine during the summer months, don’t get me wrong, but it is to many I don’t know, who may never come back to share their wine experience. It makes me feel good when a customer comes back to the store to share with me how they liked (hopefully) the wine I recommended. It also gives me a bead on their palate, especially if they were not to keen on my guidance. This is very helpful and I of course, try to make it up to them.
The key to being a good wine steward, is paying attention to each customers preferences. I make it a priority to try to understand each customer’s palate. It’s not easy of course, but if I pay attention to what they are telling me (which I do), I can hone in on specifics that will help nail down the wine they will enjoy. In the book I am writing, I have a chapter on the five questions I ask each customer before I point them to a wine. Two of the most important of these questions is; what have they liked in the past, and how much do they want to spend? They will say up to forty bucks, and I will show them a twenty-five dollar bottle that rocks. It always amazes me how many will grab two bottles of that wine because it is so much less. Now, they have spent fifty dollars instead of forty. That was not my goal of course, but it happens a lot. It is because I was listening to them carefully and asking questions that they felt comfortable about my direction. I am always careful not to go to a favorite of mine, unless I am sure it fits their palate preferences. I am hoping to finish the book in 2018. Stay tuned. Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
Stan The Wine Man