Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Often times, as wine fiends, we think we know our tastes, supremely confident in the knowns and unknowns to us, the preferred and the shunned or slighted. Some good friends of mine (more in America, as France doesn't have the informatique infrastructure) make their wine purchases online and have the wines sent to their home, bypassing any physical act of wine store purchase.
To my senses, they're missing out on something crucial: shooting the breeze with smart, like-minded folk.
There is nothing to compare to stumbling into Caves Augé or Chambers Street Wines and seeing familiar faces and talking about the latest tastes. If travel expands your world, I think that talking to other people who are passionate about wine expands your palate, pushes you to new fields (regions, grapes).
Of course, there can be flubs. Poor pairings, let's call them. Or a careless caviste. I'm never going to like that Riesling, mea maxima culpa. And I'm certainly not interested in paying thrice as much as my enjoyment for something I don't quite enjoy.
But when I think back over the past months of my wine experiences, I get a little smile on my face when I see Chris Barnes at Chambers Street bringing over a Valdespino Inocente sherry. (Salty sharp zap to my brain!) Or Tim Mortimer offhandedly mentioning Lioco Indica at Discovery Wines in the East Village. (Oh, how pretty that is.) Or Max Delorieux giving the down-low on black wax Overnoy at Augé in Paris. Or Josh Adler at Spring Boutique pulling a cork on a Burgundy I have never tried.
This is our tribe, after all. Tempting as a thousand, thousand candy stores, the smart friends of the bottle wait for us to push the door open and embark upon new landscapes.
It's a playground sprawling throughout the city, throughout the world.