Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wines by the Glass

There's nothing that makes me quite as giddy as opening a wine list to see a large, eclectic list of carefully chosen wines available by the glass. I'm a kid at the candy store, wanting to try every last thing, wondering whether this chablis or that flute o' bubbles would work with my lovely salad. Restaurants, wine bars and bistros who take the time to craft their by-the-glass lists with the menu in mind, and who take the chance that patrons will, with guidance, try new things have always impressed the hell out of me.

Now, if you live in San Francisco or New York, you might be inclined to say "Well, duh, how else would they choose their wines?" Problem is, I'm in Austin, Texas, and folks here are new to wine and tend to cling to what's familiar. The number of clingers outnumber the more adventurous by a large margin. People ask to see the wine list and scan for the safe choices, which are invariably cabs, merlots, or if they're really feeling fancy: pinot noir. White wine drinkers love their chards, of course, and many think pinot grigio is synonymous with 'white' wine. As a result, many wine lists around this town consist of all things safe and sound: couple of cabs, couple of merlots, couple of chards, a zin or two; if there's anything out of the ordinary, it's usually something very similar in style to the others: big, oaky, fruity.

The reasoning behind this is also safe and sound: give the people what they want. Those who are relatively new to wine usually identify quality and satisfaction with that big, forward, sexy new world juice, and why should we disappoint them? We shouldn't. Those should be on the list. But I have a theory: people want to try new wine, want to know more about it, but they stick to safe because they don't wanna get burned.

Scenario One: Bob and Sally sit down at the bar to wait for their table. The bartender arrives on the scene (looking very hot in her blacks):

Bob: I'll have the house cabernet. Honey, what do you want?

Sally: Oh, well, what kind of chardonnay do you have? (chardonnay = white wine)

Bartender: We've got one from Napa and one from Monterrey. They're both good.

Sally: You choose, whichever one's the best.

RESULT: Bob and Sally get what they expect and have little or no recollection of what kind of wine they drank.

Scenario Two: Bob and Sally belly up to the bar to wait on their table. The super hot bartender arrives.

Bob: Hi. I'll have a house cabernet. What do you want, hon?

Sally: Oh, well, what kind of chardonnay do you have?

Bartender: Tellya what--let me show you our wine list and tell you about a few of these you might like to try.

The bartender takes a moment to point out a few choices on the list that she thinks the couple might like. Bob tries a barbera, and Sally goes for the Au Bon Climat pinot blanc/grigio blend.

RESULT: Bob and Sally remember their wine experience. They tell their friends how the bartender (besides being so incredibly beautiful) turned them on to these two new wines, and how they should go check the restaurant out.

You get my drift. Getting what you expect at a restaurant or wine bar is nice, but forgetable. Trying something new that you like is memorable. That happens when the staff at the restaurant, from the wine buyer to the servers, know the list and have enough knowledge to guide the guests towards a new experience. And I ain't saying they need to force a bone-dry white burgundy down a Sonoma-Cutrer lover's throat; that's where knowledge comes in, where the wine buyer for the restaurant has used his palate for the people and not his own preferences. I am saying that not everyone knows how lovely a peppery gigondas pairs with a lamb shank until they're encouraged to try.

18 Comments:

Blogger farley said...

Even though I live near San Francisco now, I completely relate to this, as I moved from jackson, Mississippi-- where almost every restaurant had Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay by the glass or else fear of rioting.

It was (and is) a great pleasure to see the Viogniers and Sangioveses and other lesser-known treasures available.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

You can be the bartender at my place. You already qualify for the good looks...!

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how can a typical 'bob' or 'sally' tell if the person behind the bar knows what they're talking about? i think good help is tough to get in bars (which i don't frequent) and the wine department of stores like whole foods (which i do frequent). i've been stuck w/ a bad bottle of wine more than once by well-meaning but unknowing staff.

then there's the matter of taste. would 'bob' or 'sally' relate to various wines the way a knowledgeable person would? maybe 'bob' and 'sally' would like their semi-sweet wines better than a drier, more complex ('whatever that is', says sally to bob...) wines.

buyer beware....

ryanr

7:21 AM  
Blogger taj said...

Ryan,

I've been both a retail wine salesperson and a bartender (which I am now), and have always considered it the primary part of my job to know the products I sell. I realize that there are many places out there that sell wine, such as grocery stores, where there might not be a knowledgable person there to assist a customer, and I agree, that's a shame.

In my fictitional Bob and Sally scenario, however, the bartender knows that if the two of them are used to a certain style of wine, it wouldn't be wise to offer them something way far out from home base. A barbera, for instance, can be a great crossover wine for people who have never tried Italians. The scenario I described is one that plays out almost nightly when I'm at work, and most times I'm able to turn someone on to something new. If they don't like the selection I recommended (and this is true of most places, including reputable retail wine stores) then all they have to do is say so and I'll give them something else.

As far as taste: it's not knowledge that changes taste preferences. It's experimentation. The more food, wine, music, sports or art you experiment with, the wider your interest becomes. Palates are built by trying new things. The more Bob and Sally try new wines, the more they'll find things they like, and the more sensitive and discerning their palates will become. I want to be part of turning people on to this wonderful way of exploration.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous wine making said...

If you are interested in wine making then you need to do a little homework before you get started. Wine making is not something that you can just plunge into and learn along the way, you need to do some research so that you know that you are not missing any vital wine making steps or processes. If you do miss these wine making your wine could very well turn out tasting like anything but wine.

Wine making is a something fun that you can do in your spare time and at the end you will have a glorious result. Wine making is something that people tend to get hooked on because the very first batch is not usually perfect, it may taste delicious but it will not be perfect. As you learn about wine making and as you get the wine making experience behind you your wine will get better and better. You will undoubtedly pick up tips and tricks to help you improve your wine making capabilities.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

taj:

I'm just glad you're writing again.

Having said that, retail food and beverage businesses have to be willing to offer variety of wines and train their people to sell this wine and guide customers to good food and wine matches.

Perhaps you should write your take on local restaurant wine lists. Some are quite "safe" and typically over priced. Others are unique, fairly price and have a staff that knows the end and outs of the whole list.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merrier by the bottle I guess!
www.teeshirts.in

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To watch the wine's opening process is already a wine lover gift!

8:27 AM  
Blogger Fon said...

Nice blog. I will keep reading. Please take the time to visit my blog about Free Guitar Lesson

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We got a demo of it today, and it immediately brought.buy cheap wow gold back memories of the classic 20-player pre-expansion raid instance.cheap wow gold Zul'Gurub.wow gold It's a lush, sprawling outdoor instance.wow po replete with the Mesoamerican-inflected structures we've some to associate with WoW trolls.wow gold and nestled somewhere between Karazhan and the.wow gold kaufen larger raids in terms of the quality of the loot.wow gold In other words, it's the logical next step for.guilds that have farmed Kara to oblivion.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately it's not the whole truth.wow gold The real fact of the matter is that you can make.wow gold kaufen gold from fishing without knowing how to cook at all.wow gold Yes, cooked deviate fish sell for higher than uncooked ones.wow po but they still sell Then there are others.achat wow gold which can't be cooked, but are used by Alchemists - Firefin Snapper.Cheapest wow gold Oily Blackmouth, and Stonescale Eels still bring in gold.wow gold Not as much as they did pre-TBC, but still a respectable amount.Then there is all the loot available from floating wreckage

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why you should get the best headphones for mp3 players.mp3 player you can find.When you search for the best headphones for mp3 players.cheap mp3 player you'll be amazed by the prices of some of the really high-end.buy mp3 player high-quality, headphones, But don't worry.mp3 player you'll find decent quality headphones for every price range.MP3 PLAYER kaufen Of course, if you ever try one of those high-end models.mp3 player it will take a while to get to the lower model In the end.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As stunning as the visual aspects are.eve isk the game’s sound has fallen a bit short for me.ever quest platinum My sound was promptly turned off as the first.lord of the rings online gold volley of missiles nearly defeaned me even after.lotro gold turning it down the effects were too annoying.lotro gold to leave on I’ve heard other players praise the in-game.guild wars gold music but I’ve never had any real attachment.runescape money maybe it’s my propensity to jump on voice-chat or tune into some MP3.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We supply WoW Gold for wow players, you can Buy Wow Gold,wow power leveling,and world of warcraft gold server here, Cheap WoW Gold always waiting for you!

8:02 PM  
Blogger live said...

buy wow GoLd.We supply cheap WOw GOld to reliable customers. welcome to WOw golD,buy woW goLD,sell WoW gold .For more information of wOw Gold,
please visit a the super wow gold website specialized in selling WOw gold. We will serve you with cheap woW gOld, cheap WOw gold. Welcome to WOW.
WOw gold,and WOw gold.

1:29 AM  
Blogger jacrey said...

modern abstract art sofa manufacturer гранит 净水器 混合机 过滤机
保险箱 保险柜 阳痿 法兰 法兰标准 ffxi gil
牛皮癣 皮肤病 北京快递公司 北京国际快递
传世私服 传奇世界私服 天龙八部私服 天龙私服 传奇私服
网络电话 免费网络电话
假发 补发 织发 植发 上海搬家公司
上海搬场公司 大众搬家
大众搬场 韩国SZ女装
实验仪 传感器实验仪 传感器实验仪 传感器实验仪
萎缩性胃炎 neoprene laptop bags
DHL快递 苏州DHL SEO优化 SEO优化 计量泵 hose clamp 胃炎 胃病
血糖仪 血糖仪 银杏 水培花卉 企业宣传片 空分设备
代孕 代孕网 软件著作权登记
代孕 代孕 代孕 试管婴儿 代孕 电话交换机 程控交换机 集团电话 集装袋
混合机混合机 混合机捏合机 捏合机 捏合机导热油炉 导热油炉 导热油炉 反应釜 反应釜 反应釜 回流焊 波峰焊
spherical roller bearing 韩国SZ女装
DHL快递 苏州DHL 苏州DHL快递
搬运车 搬运车 电动搬运车 油桶搬运车 堆高车 电动堆高车 半电动堆高车 堆垛车 高空作业平台车 电动叉车 平衡重叉车 前移叉车 电瓶叉车
苗木价格 苗木信息 标牌制作 深圳标牌 儿童摄影 北京儿童摄影 防静电鞋 淘宝刷信誉
威海凤凰湖 威海海景房 大庆密封件
阴茎短小 阴茎增大 打标机 淘宝刷信誉 安全帽 TESOL/TEFL国际英语教师证书 英语教师进修及培训
早泄 前列腺炎 皇冠足球投注网 韩国饰品批发 代写论文 代写代发 论文代写 代写毕业论文 减速机 野山参 西洋参 美甲加盟店 美甲店加盟 淘宝刷信誉 金龙出租汽车 电源模块 模块电源
X架 超薄灯箱> 易拉宝 展柜制作
代理服务器 游戏加速器 网络加速器 网通加速器 电信加速器 电信网通转换器 电信网通加速器 网通电信互转 网通电信互通 网络游戏加速器 美国VPN代理 美国独享VPN 美国独享IP
pvc ceiling panel Spherical roller bearings 天龙八部私服
电烤箱 厨房电器
电蒸炉
烤箱
家用电烤箱
嵌入式电烤箱
消毒柜
家用消毒柜
嵌入式消毒柜
蒸汽炉
武汉日本留学 武汉韩国留学
中国福利彩票双色球 磁翻板液位计 北京仪器仪表网 磁翻板液位计 椭圆齿轮流量计 折弯机 SEO优化
安全鞋 劳保鞋 防砸鞋 电绝缘鞋 上海安全鞋 上海劳保鞋 江苏劳保鞋
欧洲旅游 美国旅游 马尔代夫旅游
服装软件 服装管理软件 进销存软件 进销存管理软件 服装管理系统 服装进销存软件 进销存系统 进销存管理系统 免费进销存软件
吉林中医 东北特产
广州市酒店 司盘
斯潘 吐温
阴茎增粗 阴茎延长 打包机 dhl
阳痿 阴茎短小 阴茎增大 早泄 前列腺炎 阴茎增粗 阴茎延长
国际机票 上海国际机票 国际打折机票 国际特价机票
CRM 客户管理软件 客户关系管理 免费客户管理软件 客户管理软件下载 客户信息管理系统 销售管理系统 销售管理 CRM系统 CRM软件 客户关系管理系统 客户关系管理软件 客户管理 客户管理系统 营销管理系统 客户资源管理 销售管理软件 客户资料管理软件 客户资源管理软件 客户信息管理软件 客户资料管理 客户资源管理 客户信息管理 客户资料管理系统 客户资源管理系统 客户管理软件免费版
砂磨机 砂磨机 砂磨机 卧式砂磨机 卧式砂磨机 卧式砂磨机 三辊研磨机 三辊研磨机 三辊研磨机 混合机 混合机 混合机 锥形混合机 锥形混合机 锥形混合机 行星动力混合机 行星动力混合机 行星动力混合机 无重力混合机 无重力混合机 无重力混合机 干粉砂浆设备 干粉砂浆设备 干粉砂浆设备 捏合机 捏合机 捏合机 导热油炉 导热油炉 导热油炉 反应釜 反应釜 反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜 搪玻璃反应釜
乳化机 涂料设备 干混砂浆设备 无重力混合机 胶体磨 涂料成套设备 双螺旋混合机
北京婚庆 北京婚庆公司
商业计划书 投资价值分析报告
玩具加盟 玩具店加盟 湖北led 400电话
办证 呼吸机 制氧机
减速箱
准分子 近视治疗 眼科医院
眼科 眼科专科医院
亚都 亚都加湿器 亚都净化器 亚都装修卫士
饰品批发 小饰品批发 韩国饰品 韩国饰品批发 premature ejaculation penis enlargement
破碎机 制砂机 球磨机 雷蒙磨 雷蒙磨粉机 鄂式破碎机 免烧砖机 加气混凝土设备 反击式破碎机 选矿设备
安利产品 马来西亚留学
苗猪 仔猪 种猪
仔猪 苗猪 仔猪 苗猪 仔猪 苗猪
格力空调 格力 广州格力空调专卖 广州格力空调价格
网站优化 网站推广
衬布
vancl 冷却塔
上海装潢 股骨头坏死 更衣柜
代写论文 代写论文
论文代写
代写论文
代写代发职称论文
代写硕士论文 代写论文
代写毕业论文 代写硕士论文 代写代发职称论文 代写毕业论文
论文代写 代写论文 代写硕士论文 代写毕业论文
磁力泵
离心泵
化工泵
隔膜泵
螺杆泵
潜水泵
油泵
耐腐蚀泵
水泵
拖链 防护罩 排屑机 塑料拖链 钢铝拖链
放热焊接,火泥熔接,离子接地极,离子接地棒,铜包钢,镀铜钢,接地模块,降阻剂,接地,铜包钢绞线,铜包钢
水泵
磁力泵
隔膜泵
离心泵
液下泵
自吸泵
多级泵
排污泵
螺杆泵
油泵
化工泵
电动隔膜泵
气动隔膜泵
自吸式磁力泵
氟塑料磁力泵
管道离心泵
导热油泵
深井泵
潜水泵
污水泵
潜水排污泵
无线售饭机
32位售饭机 TCP/IP消费机 互联网消费机 广域网消费机 32位消费机 无线消费机 WIFI消费机 TCP/IP售饭机
USB消费机 语音消费机
USB消费机 语音消费机 嵌入式消费机 售饭机 水控机 水控器
深圳装饰 深圳装饰公司 深圳装修公司
dhl dhl快递
广州搬家公司 广州吊装公司 广州大众搬家公司 广州大众搬屋公司
皇冠投注网 足球投注网
特价机票 打折机票 国际机票 机票
新风换气机 换气机 立式新风换气机 风机箱 新风系统 能量回收机
搅拌机 混合机 乳化机 分散机
毛刷 毛刷辊 工业毛刷 刷子 钢丝刷
网球场 环氧地坪
涂层测厚仪 硬度计
兆欧表 激光测距仪
测振仪 转速表
温湿度计 风速仪
超声波测厚仪
粗糙度仪
噪音计 红外测温仪
万用表
硬度计 万用表
美容院 美容加盟
澳洲留学 澳大利亚留学
屋顶风机 轴流风机 排烟风机 离心风机 混流风机 斜流风机 管道风机 风机 风机厂 上虞风机
什么是法兰
电烤箱
酒店预定 北京酒店预定 北京酒店
老虎机上分器
离心机
张家界旅游 香港旅游 深圳旅行社
里氏硬度计 洛氏硬度计
维氏硬度计 硬度计
粗糙度仪 超声波测厚仪
超声波探伤仪 测振仪
转速表 红外线测温仪
打包机 收缩机
nail equipment nail products nail product nail uv lamp nail uv lamp nail uv lamps uv nail lamp nail brush nail file nail tool nail tip nail gel curing uv lamps lights
万用表 风速仪
红外测温仪 噪音计

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want to go to tibet tour? You can rely on us! We are expert in tour in tibet. based in Tibet 15 years experience, 600 private groups operated! So join us for your wondrous tibet travel! Are you interested in mysterious Lhasa travel to tibet? Why not take our Lhasa tibet trekking? You can appreciate the holiness of Lhasa tibet tour guide with our well-connected itinerary and leave a memorable recollection over life. These are China Lhasa tibet thangka packages with personal local tibet map, and private vehicle with driver + hotels + entrance fees and meals as listed for your party based on minimum 2 travelers. Tibet Buddhist Sects and Characteristics, For single person, please email us for new quotations. For any questions, please feel free to contact our customer team with our prompt and personalized travel services.

6:40 PM  
Blogger live said...

WOw golD on sale , we are professional world of warcraft woW goLD seller, selling WOw GOld ,We supply cheap wow GoLd, the cheapest WOW GOld to our loyal and wow gold. WOw gold Store Welcome you! Look here to Buy wOw gOld, Cheap wow gOld , wow goLd Power Leveling, buy Cheap WOw geld in www.goldsoon.de ,Our WoW gold
service is warcraft wOw Gold.

2:12 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home