One of the truely great things about being a bartender, or more specificly, running a bar program to be proud of, is the chance to turn deserving and appreciative guests on to special products. My bar is lucky in that we have more than our fair share of foodies, wine geeks, spiritists, hop-heads and mixies that are quite happy to listen to us when we are jazzed those beautiful things that make our world fun.
One of our favorites in this area is V. (he happens to be a doctor, but we just call him by his first name.) V. is game for anything, as long as we believe in it. I have poured him everything from aged Chacaca, to the Brora 30, to Scaldis Prestige. On top of this, his wine knowledge is vast and regularly shares the most serious bottles on our wine list with the staff. I used to feel guilty about drinking these quater glasses he would pour for me until I realized just how important it is for him to share. I believe that have the enjoyment he gets out the good stuff is knowing that others are enjoying it as well.
V. went over the top this month.
Our Wine Director loaded up on some incredible bottles from Heredia Reserva line. Most notablely a 1970 Todonia, a 1976 Todonia and a 1976 Bosconia. V. Jumped at the chance, bought a 76 Bosconia (Tempranilio, Grenache, Graciano & Mazuelo) and shared it. I was stunned at how lively and bright a 3 decade old wine could be. I will not review it more than to say this was a wine I could easily drink every day...a friggen miracle.
Well, a couple of days after this, I had 3 guys wander in kind of late and ask for the bottle list. I sell them a mid-priced Rhone I am fond of, they dig it and it is gone in about 20 minutes. They look over the list again and ask about the reserve section with the Heredia Reservas.
"It just so happens that I got a half glass of one of the 76's a few nights ago," I say and I relate to them the experience and my surprize at how lively it was. I am little stunned when they say 'let's go for it.'
They love it so much they follow it with the '76 Todonia and share some with me. This one tasted much more mature (as weird as that it is to say about such equally old bottles) and was the prefect follow up.
The next week when V. comes back in, I tell him that I owe him a thank-you for the initial tasting he shared with me as it allowed me to sell two more bottles and I give him my notes on the Todonia. He immeadiately orders our last remaining bottle of that vintage and shares it again. As a matter a fact, he is so happy with it, that he buys our last 1970 Todonia ($325) to lay away so that it didn't get bought before he had a crack at it.
We opened it tonight.
I thank you V.