I won't lie, there are most certainly some very nice perks to being a wine salesman. I mean sure, there are plenty of drawbacks-as there are with any sales position- but those of us in the business often pontificate on the fact that atleast we're not selling copy machines or cars. We're selling a product that's arguably not a necessity, but instead a luxury item and something that people enjoy. And best of all, no matter the economy or personal mood one truth always remains-people drink. Celebrating? Have a drink. Depressed? Have a drink. Unlike many luxury items, it takes a lot for people to turn their back on alcohol. That aside though, one of the greatest perks is being able to taste so many great bottles of wine.
Today was Glazer's 4th annual "Big Reds & Bubbles" tasting, and the second I've attended. Much like the yearly TPSA Convention (if you ever get a chance to go, do yourself a favor and do it) except without the spirits and beer, this is basically a giant room with 30 some odd wine suppliers showcasing their best of the best for customers (and salesman, hehe). Each one has a table with somewhere between 5 and 10 wines available to taste and they're more than willing to not only pour you some, but also educate you on the wines. It's a fantastic experience, and one I can't recommend enough to everyone if you ever get the chance (and if you're into wines and/or in the retail alcohol or restaurant business, lemme know and I will try to get you an invite next time).
Most people made the obligatory beeline for the Cristal when they got there (which I'd like to add is quite over-rated), but then like me found themselves preferring Roederer's L'Ermitage Cuvee which is quite possibly the best Champagne I've ever had, though the vintaged Moet and Veuve Clicquot offerings were also great as was Gloria Ferrer's vintage cuvee and the Cuvee Louise from Pommery. Most people that know me know that, like my father, I'm a sucker for the bubbles....we're a family of Champagne lovers. You put the bubbly in front of us and it doesn't last long.
Which isn't to say that the reds weren't also magnificent. I was a little disappointed that BV didn't showcase their Rutherford (Rutherford Dust is one of the more delicious, and curious, regional wine qualities), but the Dulcet, Tapestry, and Georges de Latour were mighty fine, especially sitting next to the Sterling 3 Palms Merlot, Sterling Reserve Cabernet, and Navarro Correas Ultima. On the whole I thought Diageo had one of the better tables. Other notables included the Far Niente Cabernet (still amazing), Allegrini's fantastic Palazzo Della Torre, each of St. Hallet's shirazes, the J. Lohr Cuvee Series, St. Clement's Orropas, and 75's Sauvignon Blanc (what can I say, I'm a sucker for a dry, slatey, grapefruit style Sauv Blanc).
In the end, it was a fantastic afternoon, I tasted some 60 wines-and I was even disciplined enough to pour and/or spit out a lot of really nice wines and pace myself. I'm almost shocked at my sobriety.
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