Rob Moshein - Austin Wine Guy
T'is the Season...To RELAX.
December 09, 2008I have noticed a trend in the wine thing out there lately. A lot of up tight, nervous, anxious, stressed, distressed folks, either desparate for assistance or too damned arrogant to ask for the help they really need.
I know that unless you are already a wine professional, or your net personal wealth is still intact enough to have a staff, that you, gentle reader, probably fall into one catagory or the other. Its ok. I'm not here to judge. I'm here to offer a little advice, help, consolation, consultation or words of wisdom. Trust yr mst hmble & obdt srvt on this. I've been in these trenches every holiday season now for the last 15 New Years Eve's. There is no such thing as a wine emergency.
In this, and following, I speak not only for myself, but for all of my fellow wine guys and wine gals who will be assisting you on the floor somewhere over the next weeks. This comes from my heart, and all our hearts. No matter what wine purveyor you choose, the wine guy there (and make certain it IS a wine guy and not some grocery stalker) will want this same info. We can make it very easy for you to go home and look like a hero when you open that bottle of wine.
While you're still here on my blog, review AWG's "Da RULZ" for Holiday shopping here: http://austinwineguy.com/blog.html?pid=10 and continue reading.
First, before you leave the house, stop for two seconds, come on, you know you have a few seconds somewhere, and just think about what wine you NEED, or at least WHY you need some wine. Who is going to be drinking it? What are you serving with it? Just how many of them are there? What "sort" of people are they? This last one, well, it "is" a bit judgmental, I admit, but it is necessary. viz: Aunt Martha and Cousin Jethro from Pigs Knuckle, Oklahoma probably have little experience with wine, and that snotty brother in law from San Francisco with the expense account never lets you forget that he" knows " more about wine than you do. I call this bit of intel "The not casting pearls before swine" effect in choosing a bottle. White Zin for Martha and Jethro, Napa Cab for Mr. Expense Account.
This is the kind of information that I need. With these answers, and your ballpark budget (and for Pete's sake PLEASE do not just say "it doesn't matter" unless it "really" doesn't matter (and those to whom it "doesn't REALLY matter" probably sent their STAFF to fetch wine). You will know it does matter when I head to that locked case where the price to even open the damn thing starts northwards of $125 per bottle. So, please, do you want $10-15, $25ish, "no more than $50"? I need this intel, really.
Home stretch here. you're almost ready to head to the register with your wine already, wasn't that EASY? Do me one final favor, trust me. Honest. Be willing to drink a little outside the comfort zone. Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay are all really BAD value varietals these days. California wines are not so great value wise compared to other regions. Now, there are exceptions here, but generally speaking bang for your buck will not be found here. I know those gems out there, that will drink like twice the price, at ANY price range you want. Put your faith in me, gentle wine drinker, I only want you to go home happy, Why? because you will COME BACK. Professional wine lingo calls this "the repeat customer". We ADORE repeat customers. We wine guys can help, honest. Give us a chance and you will save yourself tremendous stress during this otherwise stressful season.
If anyone in the Austin area wants to know some specific places, check my site for a few. If you want to know specific wine folks in town who are worthy, or want specific wine suggestions, please just drop me an email. My ethical code precludes me from doing so publicly.