Posted by: erdehoff | May 24, 2009

Small crowd

I recently went to a wine store tasting of “unusual” California varietals and blends. The tastings at this place are almost always well attended, but this time it was absolutely dead. Same at a riesling tasting I went to last week and a gruner veltliner tasting the week before: nobody. At all three, employees said this happens whenever they offer an off-the-wall lineup — people will flock to the pinot noir or Bordeaux or zinfandel tastings, but offer them something different and they fade into the woodwork.

I can’t wrap my head around this. What’s the point of only tasting wine you already know you like? The whole point of a tasting is to try things you’re not ready to risk buying by the bottle (or even by the glass). No wine tasting is a waste of time! Every new wine I try is an education to me. Each new tasting tells me more about my own preferences — and every once in a while, a wine I never expected to love completely blows me away. Even the wines that don’t wow me often show me qualities I never expected — a minty nose, a chocolaty finish, a burst of rose petals.

I’ll rarely turn down a pinot noir tasting — but offer to introduce me to (or reacquaint me with) a varietal/blend I rarely encounter, such as mourvedre or sangiovese or vermentino, and I’ll be there in a flash. How about you?



  1. Great post, I’ve noticed the same thing. Eclectic tasting are what it’s all about. The nice thing is that this “secret” keeps prices low, but it would be nice to see more obscure beverages get some attention.

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