Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Dean Seal of Approval

Last weekend Dean wandered in and he hasn't left since. And I really need to go to the bathroom.

Dean cellars here but lives in Indiana. We have a lot of that, people who probably once lived here with their wine but left it behind when they moved to places like San Francisco, Nevada, Utah, Texas, Minnesota, New York, Montana, Hawaii. There are also the people who live in Hong Kong, Denmark, and the Philippines...and of course that really far off land of Beverly Hills. Like Dean they come visit LA once in awhile and stop in to raid the goods.

Dean came in last Sunday evening and asked me about a restaurant I'd blogged. Someone reads the blog? Great, now I need to behave. He thought the restaurant should post its wine list like Wolfgang Puck does at Spago Beverly Hills. We pulled up the Spago wine list assembled by award winning sommelier Christopher Miller and it's over 100 pages long! That's just crazy.

It just so happened the restaurant guy came in later that night and I told him Dean's suggestion.

Thursday, both happened to be here at the same time. I introduced them: Oh, right, you're both here. This is the guy with the restaurant. This is the guy who thinks you should post your wine list. Then I got out of the way. What followed was the biggest wine-nerd conversation ever to grace this space in my tenure and it was great!

I love it when winos diss other winos. It's funny. One guy here makes fun of a co-worker who also cellars here. "He's into the big label stuff," he scoffs. Like that. Funny.

So these guys got into the whole of it, the politics of wine lists, the politics of wineries who will only sell through restaurants versus retail, how some restaurants shut out others from carrying certain wines, etc. It somehow wove into things like Kermit Lynch versus the grey market. For a novice it was a really interesting conversation to be privy to. Dean has spent a good part of the week attempting to make me less ignorant about all things wine, and I appreciate his effort.

So, now that Dean scoped me out for a week and gave me the Dean Seal of Approval, he left me with a key to his locker. Though not quite the best new sommelier award from Wine and Spirits Magazine, I'll take it: now he knows it's a good situation for him to ship stuff here if he wants, and equally I can ship stuff to him. While I myself don't have a shipping license, Red Carpet up the street there does, so I can take it there.