Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wow, That's Real Bad

Okay so I said I would not have time to post but I find myself wide awake, (even though I woke to find our coffee pot had passed away over night….sigh, so sad. Sad for the poor little pot and also very sad for this caffeine needing retail worker on what is bound to be a long busy day) quite early this Christmas Eve morning and felt compelled to share a story that a customer shared with me.

“Can I help you find anything or answer any questions for you?” I asked the somewhat tallish man standing in my Burgundy department. “I’m in heaven right now. This is heaven” said the loudish English accent. As I began to walk away he shouted, “You have a second to hear a story?” to which I replied, “Absolutely”.

The Story

So I was being totally lazy, just trying to save myself a trip over the hill, so I stopped in at, (Gonna leave the name of the store out here. I’ve gone after them before and I don’t want this to sound like some petty grievance against one store but, it rhymes with Chevre No) Store X. I walk in and ask a clerk where the White Burgundy section is. The guy looks at me and says, “I don’t know anything about wine” I told him that was okay and asked that he just show me to the White Burgundy department. This poor guy leads me around the store, he was just reading the signs…I could have done that. Anyway the guy stops at the Burgundy sign and proudly tells me, “Here ya go” and I look down to see a small sampling of Red Burgundy, “No I was looking for White Burgundy” I told him. He looked painfully confused and said, “Wait here, let me get our sommelier”. So I waited a bit and was sort of thinking it was cool that a store like Store X, (Chevre No) would have a sommelier on staff…then the guy comes back and says, “Our sommelier is on break but she told me to tell you that they aren’t really making that anymore”.

I shook my head, got in my car and drove over the hill. I was being lazy and ended up wasting my time. I just want to thank you and your store for stocking all these antiques so I can find a decent bottle of wine when I want one. That and talk to someone that does indeed know wine and more often than not, even have a personal relationship with the winemakers.

End Story

“Um, I may just have to share that story” I told my English friend, “It’s yours” he replied. The gentleman went on to tell me that he was looking for a bottle of White Burgundy in the $50.00 price range for a gift. I took him to Philippe Colin, explained that I preferred Philippe’s wines over his brother Bruno’s. We talked about explosive fruit and gentle oak and the guy says, “See here is the problem with coming here, I have to have one for myself now”. We started walking to the register, my English friend with his two bottles of Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet in his hands, me telling him how shocked I was by his story and he stops me and says, “Hey why don’t you show me a Pommard as well”.

I would like to take a moment to thank Chevre No for helping me turn a $50.00 sale into a $150.00 one and for making one of our customers realize that it is always worth it to make the drive up the hill.


Thomas said...

Forget $150, Sam. That story will turn out to be priceless.

vickibarkley said...

Yes, indeed. And, thank you, Sam, from the bottom of my heart, for assisting Debby in her Christmas shopping!

I shudder to think what I'd have opened, had she gone to "Chevre No!!"

vickibarkley said...

PS - You're always worth a trip up the hill!!

Samantha Dugan said...

Indeed. I almost wish I were making it up.

Oh dude I am so glad you liked it! I was looking at Burgundy at first but then remembered that I was holding that last bottle of Clos Rougeard Poyeux for an online sale but the guy had not gotten back to me in like a month. When I was talking to Debby amd she said, "I want something heart stopping" (very sweet by the way) it pounced into my mind, figured you might buy yourself Burgundy but maybe not the Rougeard.

Merry Christmas to you both and thank you so much for all of your comments this year. I adore you.

The Woo said...

Great story... I'm really sad to hear that they no longer make white Burgundy. Too sad.

That Colin is a terrific wine! I have a few bottles myself. Totally one of the "go to" whites in our house.

Alas, this is a weekend of the big Napa Cabs. Good ones though, and I love them.

max said...

If they have stopped making white burgundy, it begs the question, what are they making now? I hope its Pinot Grigio.

Samantha Dugan said...

I think Philippe makes really delicious wines. It was kind of funny to meet both Bruno and Philippe when I was in France last year...Bruno was thicker, darker, kind of aggressive and Philippe was lighter, soft spoken and gave off a gentle feeling.....very much the same way I see the wines they make.
Glad to hear your holiday weekend was full of wines that you love!

Pinot Grigio being grown in the Cote d'Or?! Shuddering, I'm shuddering over here.

Gregg Ushiroda said...

Could you please tell me why you prefer Philippe Colin's wines over those made by Bruno Colin? I just tried their father's wine the other night - an '04 Colin-Deleger Chassagne-Montrachet En Remilly - a little young but very beautiful. Also, I very much enjoy your posts - always entertaining and informative.

Samantha Dugan said...


Let me first tell you that your timing is simply amazing. I was just moments away from pulling the plug on this blog. Long story that no one really cares about but your comment just loosened my jaw so to speak, reminded me why I spend far too much time doing reach people like you that care enough to ask questions and of course lavish me with compliments...bloggers man, such a needy bunch!

I've been lucky enough to have plenty of Colin-Deleger, well plenty is a bit of a stretch but I've been lucky. I adore them and find that regal and powerful almost noble thing that I so love about beautifully balanced Chardonnay...but I must confess, I prefer Philippe's wines for their gentle, friendly nature.

I think Bruno uses way too much new wood, the wines feel oppressed and, (this is just speaking to my palate mind you) lack the purity that I ache for. I just find that aggressive oak treatment on cold climate Chardonnay just robs the wine of fruit...the fruit becomes a secondary flavor behind the vanilla and toast, not to mention oak hinders my ablitly to pick up minerality...and that there just pisses me off.

I once heard that Philippe was kind of the black sheep of the family, he broke a cardinal Burgundian rule and married beneath his, "class bracket" not sure if it was true, (although when I visited the Colin estate we tasted Michel's and Bruno's wines there...had to go to a remote location to taste with Philippe. Just sayin') but I dug that little piece of passion, stepping outside the lines...the sweetness of it all and find that same romantic, fiercely passionate feeling in Philippe's wines.

Thanks for posting Gregg and for the words that will likely push me along for a bit!

John M. Kelly said...

Sam - just a warning: if you pull the plug on this blog you are gonna meet me in the flesh at last, and it ain't gonna be the pleasant little get-together we have been imagining.

Now that we have that little bit of business out of the way... Your post reminded me how much I have enjoyed Colin wines over the years, and why. I agree with you about Bruno's stuff - 'heavy-handed' has always been my reaction. I'm pulling a Goldilocks here, but Phillipe's wines have often seemed too light. Michel's wines have always been just right. I just remembered I must still have a couple of bottles of his 2000 red Chassagne "old vines" in the locker. Hmmm... looking forward to drinking again.

Finally, "chevre no"? That is just being mean to the cheese. What about "heaven-no"? Heck, I would have got it if you said "sorta rhymes with 'dreck-go'."

K.Mahoney said...

Great post Sam. Almost makes the chains favorite "5 cents sale" look good.

Long live White Burgundy!


Samantha Dugan said...

Is that what it's going to take to get you down my way? I'm gonna have to turn the light off on Sans Dosage...well, if I must.

The Cherve No is kind of an inside joke...I absolutely loathe goat cheese....

Nancy Deprez said...

Oh Sam, that is a super awesome story - love that at Chevre No they tell people that "they" don't make any more white Burgundy. That's so awesome. Awesome. I wish I applied at that wine store instead of working at The Wine Country. I think I would have run screaming from the wine biz after that. Thank you for sharing that hilarious tale, and yes, your Burgundy section is indeed Heaven. :)