Road Trip!

Tracy and I went on a business trip last week. Two distributor tastings held for the trade. These tastings are very valuable. You get to see a lot of buyers at the retail and restaurant level, as well as the people that work at those establishments. It’s a chance for them to taste all the wines that the distributor carries in one setting, plus the opportunity for them to meet the people behind the wines, and get caught up on vintages.

Our first trip was to Seattle, one of our favorite cities. We were at Safeco Field, in the Diamond Club. It was cool outside, but sunny. What a great stadium! It’s definitely one of the nice new small parks. It doesn’t look like there is a bad seat in the whole place.

The tasting went very well. There was a lot of attendance from both the wineries and the buyers who buy our wine and present it to consumers. We also had a wonderful meal at Brasa (Tamara Murphy and Bryan Hill). One of the standout wines we had while we were there, was 2003 K Syrah ‘Lucky No. 7’.

Then we went to New York. This is a big serious tasting event that goes from 10am to 6pm. There are lots more people that come to taste (compared to Seattle) and a lot more wineries. It’s a really good event, meeting and greeting and pouring all day. As in Seattle, the wines were showing beautifully. As the winemaker, you worry about how the wines are going to show. The 2005 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2003 Chesler and Cabernet were showing very well at both tastings.

In New York we had a chance to have a couple of really nice meals. The first one was at Annisa (Anita Lo and Jennifer Scism), which is down in the Chelsea area of New York. I can’t say enough about how good it was, such a wonderful dinning experience. We had a chance to have the 2000 Leroy Pommard. This is a really special wine that you don’t see very much. Annisa has a wine list that specializes in women winemakers from around the world. Lalou Bize-Leroy is one of the most famous Burgundian winemakers. The wine was awesome, very memorable.

The other meal we had was at Babbo (Mario Batali). Babbo was right across the street from where we were staying at The Washington Square Hotel. We were able to sneak our way in. You usually have to make reservations way in advance. We went there after the tasting, and we were beat. What a meal. It’s a very extensive Italian menu. You wonder how they can pull off this menu with all the first coarses and second coarses. Everything we had was very yummy. We had another memorable wine, the 1999 Isole e Olena Cepparello which is a Super Tuscan that is 100% Sangiovese. Tracy loves Sangiovese, but has had very few of the Super Tuscan wines. This one is special, because I think if you had it blind it would be very difficult to pick it out as a Sangiovese. The wine showed well for the whole meal.

So it was a great road trip. All the Selene wines were received well, there were lots of good wineries pouring and good people making it out to taste. Coupled with the good meals along the way, you can’t make a business trip more pleasurable than that.