Well, whatever my wine reputation happens to be, it’s about to be dismantled. And you know what? It’s going to be done on my own volition.
You see, I’m in entering a blind wine tasting challenge. One of my favorite auction houses, Heritage Auctions, is hosting its third annual blind wine challenge in about 10 days. They have asked me to participate. God knows why.
I mean, I can write about what I like or my encounter with a winemaker. But I have always been amazed by people who can take a couple of sips and tell you not only what kind of wine it is, but what country it comes from, what region, what year it was made, and, for those disturbingly brilliant few, who actually made the wine.
My confidence level entering this is not high. If I’m allowed to actually see the wine, then I’m almost positive I’ll be able to determine if it’s a red or white. Beyond that, all bets are off.
Why am I doing this? It’s because I’ll be drinking fantastic wine! Last year, at its Second Challenge, Heritage poured Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Sine Qua Non, and other incredibly prominent and prohibitively expensive wine. So, while I don’t expect to do anything to bolster my vino self-confidence, I know that I will be drinking great wine. Who could pass that up?
On another note, I’ve written before about Carlos Davalos, owner of Closet Wine Cellar. The picture you see here is of the cellar that Carlos installed at my home. What is unique about Carlos’s system is that you can actually see the label of the wine, eliminating the need to guess what wine is where. Thus, Carlos’s system is about the most user-friendly that I have found.
Anyway, I have another wine closet that was not purchased from Carlos. The cooling system went out recently. I called Carlos to see if he could help. He came over and determined that he needed to bring in a specialist. His friend, Amelicar, diagnosed the problem and was able to get it up and running again. As a result, I saved almost $2,500, which is what a new system would have cost. When I asked Carlos what I owed him, he said, “A smile.” If you’re thinking about putting in a wine cellar at your home, you have to give Carlos a call. Carlos, here’s me smiling.
Finally, another prominent wine figure that I’ve written about is DiMaggio Washington. As you’ll recall, he runs the wine instruction program for COC’s culinary arts division. DiMaggio is the wine Industry’s Renaissance Man. Not only does he have an encyclopedic knowledge about wine, but he also grows his own grapes and makes his own. He’s decided to share his viticultural and enological joy by establishing his own custom Crush operation. This facility opens in October. The novice winemaker can use DiMaggio’s crusher, destemmer, and other equipment to create their own award-winning (no promises on that) bottles of Merlot or Chardonnay or whatever they desire. I’ll explain more about that after it opens. It’s called Wine Resources, and it’s in Lancaster