the wine scout

The Wine Scout: Rosé State of Mind

When I was a freshman at a small liberal arts college in wine country, I had a roommate who worked for the one and only wine bar in town. She'd come home with wads of twenties, free booze, and stories of the crazy antics locals would get up to in the bar’s after hours. To me this job sounded fabulous, and seemed like an amazing respite from the long hours of studying and milquetoast “partying” with the J.Crew-clad kids that made up the bulk of the college’s populace.

Late one night, she stumbled through our door complaining that they couldn’t find any good waitresses; the town of Walla Walla, WA, [...]


The Wine Scout: If You Like Pinot Grigio…

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet the young and ultra-foxy Austrian winemaker Markus Huber. We were at a large wine industry event, and at the time I knew only two things about Austrian wine: 1) Austrian winemakers used to put antifreeze ingredients in their wines in the early 1980s, and 2) a really annoying winemaker who visited the wine bar I worked at in college used to call Austria’s most famous grape, Grüner Veltliner, “Groovy” (this was almost as annoying as the fact that he used to say “cool beans!” about everything).

Intrigued by this extremely hot dude seemingly hawking poison juice, I squeezed in [...]


The Wine Scout: Greece?

I’ve never done anything except sell and make wine, so I don’t know if people in other professions are the same way, but generally speaking, people in the wine business are completely preoccupied with our own industry. We are obsessed with wine. I mean OBSESSED. It’s all we talk about, to anyone who will listen. In fact, take a look at this video. While it’s true that those four guys represent one extreme of the scale, the people in this movie aren’t alone — there are legions of men and women who voraciously read about, taste, and otherwise consume wine from all over the world, and can’t wait to [...]


The Wine Scout: If Anyone Orders Merlot…

Whenever I stand behind the tasting bar at a wine shop, I get a lot of people asking me if that’s what my job is: to stand around at tastings and drink wine all day. Fortunately for my liver, it’s a small fraction of what I do, but I have poured a lot of tastes for a lot of people over the years, and the one thing that keeps cropping up is people’s refusal to try or like merlot. Even when they do try it, and they like it (as they invariably do), they all seem embarrassed about buying it, and qualify the purchase later with things like, “It [...]