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Another Tale by Sean King of Michael's Wine Cellar... Among most of the people in my circle, I am known as the wine guy. (I know it’s a cliché, but if I had a $1 for every time someone asked me a variation of the question “Have you had this wine?” or “Do you like this wine?” …. Well you get the idea). Needless to say, people like coming to my house because of the good food, good conversation and good wine. If my guests actually have an interest in wine, inevitably the conversation steers that way.
We Have So Much in Common... A well-made wine is capable of so much. I believe interesting wines often start conversations that boring wines could never inspire. Captivating wines can bring a dynamic commonality to simple cheese and appetizer get-togethers that can make the evening much more memorable than a fancy four-course, sit-down dinner party… Wine is like almost anything else that will inspire discussion - whether it be cars, art, movies or food. Consider a group of guys sitting at an outdoor patio drinking beer. They won’t take notice of a brand new VW Jetta that is parked out front, but if a 1963 black-on-black MGB pulls up and parks these guys are likely to start a conversation with the owner which would lead to a discussion about their dream cars and the cars they have owned. If there are other guys around it is quite possible that strangers will join in because of the simple commonality.
Another Glass? Of Course... Last Monday in the Michael’s On East Lounge, Nancy from the Wine Cellar, Tyler the GM of the Restaurant, Kim Mancini and I met for some appetizers and to try a wine. Knowing full well that Kim and Nancy are huge Chardonnay fans, I opened a just-released 2015 Aubert Chardonnay. (Mark Aubert makes some of the most sought-after Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in California and the fact that Michael’s was able to secure a case is quite a testament to how important we are to the wine community.) I also chose this wine because Tyler is on the Aubert mailing list. After I pulled the cork and poured a little in each person’s glass our corner section was filled with toasty citrus blossom. None of us could not get over the complexity. It was both rich and refreshing and it started a conversation when Nancy asked how Mark Aubert can do this when almost no one else can. I said that what’s makes Mark a master. Tyler told stories of his last trip to Napa to a Chardonnay barrel tasting and Kim said, “I need to have Phil get me a couple bottles!” I talked about barrel delivery day that happens in early August when the truck backs up to the winery and off come 75 brand-new French Burgundy barrels and the smell of that toasted wood when I put my nose in the opening. As we were all getting up to leave a woman came up to me and asked “How does one get invited to your table?” I said: “You need to like well-made wine and then just show up. We are here most Mondays.”