After years on the “supply side” of the wine business, I have dipped my toes into the wonderful, gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking world of the Sommelier. It’s been a few weeks now, standing in for a few of the sommeliers at Terroni in Los Angeles, and I have to say- this is much harder than I thought it would be!
Working with a list of over 700 wine labels, mostly obscure Italian varietals, in a restaurant run by a guy who would sooner lose a customer than have his kitchen cut their pizza, is no simple task. I am shocked, SHOCKED by how many people come in and ask me for a glass of Cabernet. Or a buttery Chardonnay, you say? oh. no.
My favorite Sardo @Terroni.
Have a become so out of touch with the every-day consumer that I don’t know how very little I know? Have I spent so much time around the 2% of the population who drink Grignolino and Erbaluce and Nerello Mascalese like water that I am blind to the real-world-situation for Italian wine? These are the trenches. We are fighting for our lives out here!
We have some work to do- and trust me, it’s not all self-serving. The People Need Vino Italiano. You think you like your Napa Cabernet… but you don’t even know how much you’re going to fall in love with this Aglianico from Basilicata.
I’m coming for you!