|You never know how some little moments in your life can turn into monumental sea change for the future. Let’s go back in time, shall we? So here I am eight and a half years ago. I work in the financial services industry. I have several contemporaries who are equally passionate about wine as I am, but I always get the list when it comes to the business dinners. A very good friend has been living overseas for two years and has just returned. “Pete, I need you to come wine shopping with me. It’s time I get my cellar going”, he said to me. Though there is no consultation fee, I do know the benefits of helping friends choose wine. On the drive he instructed me that we were not to buy any domestic wine. This was interesting because before he left, all the wine we drank together was domestic. While in London, he lived near a Nicolas wine shop, and would stop in from time to time and let the staff guide him on a vinous tour of France. When we got to the first stop, we came upon a Chateauneuf-du-Pape from a well known producer for around $25. I started to sell him on the virtues of CDP, and he surprised me by knowing more about it than I did. From that moment forward, we have helped each other dive deeper into the French wine world. That was just one moment in the summer of 2001; but that one moment may answer the question, as David Byrne once asked, How did I get here?|
Fast forward to today. I work in the wine industry. I have several contemporaries who are as passionate about wine as I am, but I wouldn’t dream of getting the list at any business dinner. My friend who lived overseas is still here and is a good customer of The Wine House! We dine together often and still help each other dive deeper into the world of wine.
I’m on a real Wine House high today. Our “Prelude To a Sale” premium Rhone wine blowout has us moving and shaking at a frantic pace, and management notices when we’re swamped. So yesterday, as a reward, it was suggested we taste one of these Rhone beauties. It turned out to be the 2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine Font de Michelle. I’ve very much enjoyed their wines from other vintages, and excitedly anticipated closing time. We popped it after work, and it was singing straight away. Classic Chateauneuf-du-Pape here folks. Cherries, and cherries, and licorice, and cherries, and that unmistakable garrigue. It took me right back to the early days of discovering the wines from Chateauneuf-du-Pape for the first time! I remembered my wine shopping experience with my buddy, and in spite of my adoration for Bordeaux, it very well may be that Chateauneuf-du-Pape had a hand in getting me here typing these emails every fortnight for you.
Another facet of my Wine House high happened today as a first time customer walked in. I greeted her and gave her the 101 about who we are. She thanked me, and wanted to browse. As she was browsing, several friends of the shop stopped by; one to pick up a pre-order, another to find a fascinating Burgundy deal, another to inquire about the sale wines, and a couple who were not only picking up, but buying as well. This first time customer eventually came to the counter with a few bottles, and as she did, one of our friends was leaving. I had just remembered that this customer’s nephew had purchased one of the Rhone deal wines the previous day, and excused myself for a moment to run after her and ask how she liked it. As I returned to ring up our first-time customer, I explained all this to her, and her reaction was remarkable. She said she observed all that happened during her visit. She mentioned the rapport with other customers; knowing their names and the kind of wines they liked, and was moved by the experience. I don’t want to gush on and on, but hearing things like that will put a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart. We cherish our relationships with all of you. With that head of steam, I then sat down to remember my dinner last night, complete with the rest of the 2005 Chateauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine Font de Michelle! –Peter Zavialoff
Our Rhone blowout sale will end Sunday, but we will honor the sale price on this wine through the week, ending October 31. Feel free to email me about French wine, domestic wine, or anything else you may want to bring up: firstname.lastname@example.org