I remember the first time he came in the store, well the first time I saw/helped him anyway, dark hair, big dark brown almost black eyes, soft spoken…shy even and a smile second only to Tiger Woods. He was looking for a red wine, seemed open to anything and I had just began falling in love with the wines from the Northern Rhone, “Come with me” I told him and we walked to the back of the shop. I stopped in front of the Cave de Chante Perdrix St. Joseph, I talked a little about the estate, (I think I had just returned from a trip) explained that it was 100% Syrah and was loaded with black fruit, violets, pepper and bacon. He stood there listening to me rattle on with that stunning smile spread across his face, when I stopped yammering he pointed to the lettering on his polo shirt….St. Joseph, the school where he worked, “Well there ya go” I said and he purchased a bottle or two.
Here it is years later and William is still shopping at the store working his way around the world of wine with the help of Ronnie, Nancy and myself, he seeks the three of us out, listens to everything we ramble on about and even seems to like it when we get lost in our own wine speak! We all adore him, he is a pleasure to talk wine with, still soft spoken but more apt to speak up when there is something he didn’t like….I love that and it only makes us better at our job, which is picking wines for the consumer…not just what we want to drink. I can tell you there are worse ways to spend your day than walking around the store you love with a customer that really wants to hear what you have to say, loves wine and on top of it all is a real sweetheart that just happens to be pretty easy on the ol’ eyes if you know what I’m saying…..
William was in yesterday and has mentioned before that he reads my blog, (blushing) but yesterday he was the one helping me. I have been facing a couple of really big decisions lately, the smallest one of them being changing the style of this blog….thought maybe I should be more serious, talk more wine less party or less, Sam’s Crazy Ramblings. I was wondering if people would rather I talk less about my adorable neighbor, being hung over, politics, panic attacks and the random crap that rolls around in the vacuous dome I call a head. I read other blogs and they seem more on track, still looser than wine magazines or books but still wine driven….if you look at my posts they are mostly my junk with wine on top….was I boring the crap out of people? Were they skimming my posts looking for wine write ups or any real information….was this thing I spend all this time doing even relevant?
“You know I really love reading your blog. It’s fun and I feel like I’m really learning something, I read all that other stuff but it doesn’t mean anything to me. There is a story to attach to the wines you write about. Like the Carballal Sete Cepas Albarino, (the number 7 wine) you wrote about, you made me want to try it and now I will always remember that was the wine you drank after you hit your hands on the light fixture in your hallway while you were doing a striptease” William said laughing….dude. Right then I knew that there are people that want to hear about the way a wine makes you feel, when it is too good not to drink too much of it….hearing about wine as part of your day rather than which winemaker came from where, vineyards, residual sugars and the like. There are a ton of people that want to read those things and even more people that like to write about them….just isn’t me and as it turns out there are others.
After years of writing wine descriptions I can tell you, coco, berries, cherries while honest descriptions get a little old….this is coming from someone that nearly exploded trying to write up 10 Chateauneuf-du-Papes last month….I mean they are different but the profiles are pretty close, how many times do people want to read essentially the same thing…vintage after vintage and from everyone? Not to mention that I don’t see wine that way, it is part of our lives, meals, memories and just like people they add a little something to each of us.
Thank you so much William for helping me make up my mind, your kind words and for always being super cool loyal customer and as it turns out, reader
Wine of the Week 2007 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape
13 hours ago