Friday, June 1, 2012

New Hours, New Perspective

This week we started new hours, open til 7:00 Tuesday through Thursday. It's just one more hour three days a week. however we are hoping it will jump start our sluggish weekday business. Well the first week has been a good one. We have had multiple sales each day! The question is was this just coincidence or were the new hours in some way responsible. Only one of the sales was actually during the extended hours. I was at least able to stay busy and keep from getting bored. Next week will give a better indication if the new hours are making a difference, but certainly it will take more than a couple of weeks to prove the value.

Next week, Jan & I will be taking a road trip to Cleveland to attend a showcase of Rudi Weist German wines. This should be a great opportunity to learn more about German wine, as there will be ten producers there and they will be able to answer questions about their wines. Look for more on this adventure the end of next week.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's been a long time.

I have been absent from the blogespher for some time now. I am not sure if anyone noticed, but I figures that since I would have an extra hour to kill at the store tonight, I might as well be productive. So a lot has happened with the store over the last year or so. We are now in the neighborhood of two thousand different wines in the store. We have topped 135 champagnes and will probably be at 150 by the end of the year. We have changed our tasting format so that every week we have six reds and six white wines available. Most exciting, is the new preservation system we purchased last month, which will allow us to pour more wines, including sparkling wines by the glass or taste. We have plans to conduct  some intermediate priced tastings on Sunday afternoons, such as an upcoming tasting featuring verticals of Seghesio single vineyard Zinfandels. We are also planning to conduct some educational tastings. Jan and I both passed the Certified Specialist of Wine exam and introductory sommelier test this spring. This has given us some great ideas that we hope to incorporate into educational tastings in the coming months. Stay tuned I hope to be a little more regular with my posts in the future.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blind tasting

Last night we hosted our third annual blind tasting at the store. For those of you not familiar with what a blind tasting is all about, it's where the labels are covered so that no one knows what the identity of the wine being tasted is. Each year I have tried something different and this year I went for relatively obscure grapes or producers. This type of tasting can be a humbling experience, as you are exclusively relying on your sense of taste and smell with no preconceived notions based on varietal or producer. I had at least one person who had to admit that they actually like the Merlot in the tasting the best. No one got all of the wines correctly. When possible this is actually the best way to sample wine, as you will get a truly unbiased appraisal of the wine..

Tonight, we have something totally different on tap, with our monthly dinner featuring ten Chateauneuf de Papes, including two whites. This should be a great opportunity to see what makes this classic French wine region so special. Next week I will have a report on the highlights of this tasting.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Resolve.

It has been a while since I posted to this forum. There have been many changes to my wine appreciation over the last year and a half. Our wine store is now more than two years old and we have weathered three holiday seasons. This year has seen highs and lows for the store and has been a series of new lessons. We saw solid growth for the year, while several months sales were relatively soft. We worked hard to establish our place among the many fine wine stores in the region and I think we are slowly succeeding in providing the most comprehensive selection of champagnes and sparkling wines. Our tastings have gained acclaim as good values and great opportunities to meet fellow wine lovers.

In the coming year we hope to introduce more new wines to our customers and establish our Saturday afternoon tastings as exciting opportunities. Jan is going to continue to expand her menus for our tastings, including perhaps offering pizzas on Wednesday nights. We continue on a monthly basis to offer regional tastings from different parts of the wine world, so that regional differences can be more clearly defined. We will also feature tastings guided by our great assistants, Jay, David M. & Christine. We hope to feature several wine maker tastings or dinners this year as well.

We also are looking into expanding our building, with both more space for tastings and display. Jan & I plan to take the level one sommelier teat this summer and we are studying for the certified wine educator test. We want to serve the needs of our community and as such are happy to assist in fund raisers when possible. We are also looking forward to supporting the Mt Washington Farmers Market again this year.

My goal this year is to post to this blog on a more regular basis. If any of my handful of followers have any topics of interest or suggestions please let me know and ideas for how to serve our customers are also welcome.

Thanks for the support over the last couple of years!