Terroir Terror- My Testimony of Wine Region Related Anxiety
Updated: Jun 5, 2022
I have hung my hat on "obscure and interesting" wine regions for over ten years but I haven't completely updated my repertoire in that time. It hasn't seemed to affect the wonder that guests feel when I describe my wine picks at tastings and while working behind the bar. As is my custom, I am completely dissatisfied that something is continuing to work well without much stress. That won't do.
We are smack dab in the heart of rosè season, and all I have to do is mention Bandol and heads turn. Stories about the popularity of Domaine Ott have been paying my bills in tastings and private events for a good while. The over 60 crowd (one of my favorite demographics to do business and talk about life with) gets a nostalgic wonder that borders on awe when I reveal Albariño's former Vinho Verde life. My high end private tasting coup de grâce comes in the form of me incorrectly describing Lacrima di Morro D'alba as a wine that inspired it's original vintner to tears because it was so soft, supple and delicious. (side note: I know where I got that bad dope from, and you're receiving a snarky text from me TODAY.)
As for what I am beginning to see is a "new-ish" wave (saying "new" leaves one wide open to supercilious ridicule that's still too easily found in the wine world.), I can talk briefly about pet nat bubbles and orange/natural wine movements. My familiarity with the elevation of France's VDP and introduction of Protégé regions is enough to get me a seat at the table-but by no means am I proficient.
What's been eerily obvious is that nobody seems to mind. Are my guests and clients too nice to hold a mirror up to my lack of knowledge, or is the culture so far ahead that they're about to start another life? Will I look behind me as they 'bout to pass me twice?
It's very hard to enter the stage of "knowing what we don't know", but that's the infant stage of discovery. Let's really dig in and see what the cool kids are drinking in my area, and if I even know WTF any of it is!