Last month was productive for me on YouTube. March is the original Washington State Wine Month and at first, I thought I would do a couple of episodes featuring Washington Wines. As it turned out, every episode in March featured something different from Washington. The last, which went out there last week, featured red blends, one of the hottest categories in the wine retail. It’s been a fun and interesting ride and I’ve found some gems in the journey. I love wines from around the world, so it’s hard for me to focus on one area in particular. Washington, unlike many other wine-growing regions, is known not for one or two varietals. Washington State can grow and produce amazing wines from a number of different grapes which is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve always said that Merlot or Syrah should be its signature varietal, like Cab is to Napa or Pinot Noir is to Oregon. I’m not sure if Washington State will ever get there as they keep pumping out amazing wines from so many different varietals. I hope you take some time to check out a few of my episodes from March.
The Seattle Times had a nice feature article on Tom Stockley who for years wrote a wine column for them. Tom and his wife died in a plane crash off the coast of California in 2000. Now, twenty-one years later, his daughters are publishing a book featuring the many recipes their father jotted in his journals over the years. Evidently, Tom was a passionate cook and collected many recipes in his travels. I had great respect for Tom’s approach to wine writing and the reviews he did on many wines. He had a passion for Washington wine and was an advocate for the state’s wineries. His reviews were honest and down to earth. I think I may have picked up a few tips from his writings along the way. The thing I remember most about him, was the customers who would walk into my wine department with a clipping from the paper with Tom’s wine recommendations. It was a weekly thing and of course, I would not carry many of the wines that he reviewed. At first, I was annoyed by this. Then, I started reading his column and became a fan myself. I would try the wines he was particularly fond of and in many cases agreed with his assessments. I would search them out and if we agreed, I would bring them into the store. Although he didn’t know me, he was a mentor in my formative years as a wine steward.
It’s going to be an interesting week. I am putting together a Zoom tasting event featuring Mexican wines from Valle de Guadalupe in Baja. Patrick, owner of Beso Imports will be the guest of honor and he is very passionate about the wines from this region. He has done an amazing job searching out quality wines from this area. I think my group will be quite impressed. Also, my cell phone has gone on the fritz and like most of you, it’s a very important tool for my job. Now, I have to email all the sales reps and let them know to call me at the store to get their orders. Living on an island has its drawbacks, especially when it comes to solving a cell phone issue. However, life goes on and I’ll survive this temporary inconvenience.
Stan The Wine Man