Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Pretending you're smart about wine ...

One of the pitfalls, Gentle Reader, of being in the role of your Humble Correspondent is that I need to sound sensible about wine as well as food. While I worked as a sommelier in a previous life, keeping up with the staggering array of offerings from around the world is quite a health-threatening task!

That's where it helps to have good friends like Richard Cohen and Eric Dahler. Richard and Yoshiko have run Village Cellars for more than 20 years as well as a number of wine clubs for other firms. Their excellent tasting notes and the superlative advice available at the end of the telephone have seen me in excellent stead, from a guzzler for a BBQ to fine wines to serve at a Prime Ministerial dinner on Kangaroo Knoll. There is plenty of the best Southern Hemisphere wine, but also a growing selection of delectables from other places. [Full Disclosure: Richard and Yoshiko are regular participants in the Old Bastards]

Eric Dahler has recently branched out on his own after sterling service at Alcotrust. His Home Wine Tasting service is a real boon for those of us out here on the gin and tonic front lines. Eric comes to your house or apartment with wines, and pours these with good cheer and elegant professionalism for your guests! No obligation, although he obviously hopes you and your friends will be persuaded to buy some. He is remarkably well-informed about his selections, and I think he makes a casual Sunday gathering of friends into a sophisticated 'salon'. [Full Disclosure: I am a customer of Eric's]

Apart from these two eminent gentlemen, I'm afraid I only have myself to blame. Come to think of it, I need to cultivate an Italian wine connection. Hmmm, ....

So if you're at dinner with me, and I start spouting off on a particular wine please make sure you ask who recommended it in the first place. Otherwise I might suffer an ego blip ...

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