Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 4:39
Subject: Wine at Orangewood Consulting - 15
To our Wine Aficionados,
Another newsletter – another successful event!
The remaining content of this newsletter is as follows:
Cave Creek Coffee Company
Duck and Decanter
Epicurean Wine Service –Event Recap
AJ’s at Central
Rancho Pinot - 6208 North Scottsdale Road
I asked Richard Betts of AZ Wine how to get Rancho Pinot selling the RustRidge Zinfandel that is now on their menu. He suggested that I take a bottle along and get the wait staff to sample it. Tom Kaufman, the owner, told me to come along at 5:00 any day, so I did. Rancho Pinot is one of those places where everybody pitches in. Tom was moving tables around to meet the needs of the reservations they had. The wait staff were folding napkins and polishing glasses. The kitchen was bustling. I waited at the bar and amused myself by reading a restaurant kitchen catalog. (If you want to have a deep fryer that takes 40 pounds of fat, bring $400 and call this toll free number. Better yet, they have a website – check it out at http://www.centralrestaurant.com.) But I digress. I did get all the wait staff to try the wine, and they declared it good.
Richardson’s - 1582 East Bethany Home Road
So far Richardson’s has been a very high maintenance restaurant. We did finally get the Noceto on the “by the glass” and “reserve” wine lists. All the staff has sampled the wine. The prices are appropriate. The Normale was even the feature special for one week, until they sold out and didn’t re-order. I will deliver more on Friday, so we should see it on the list early next week. I ran into Richardson (Rich) as part of this process and he asked about other wines, so I dropped off the RustRidge for him to try.
Cave Creek Coffee Company - 6033 East Cave Creek Road
The Wine Bar is now open. There is an invitation only grand opening on March 3, my spy tells me (thanks Jim). Last time I looked it is open from 5:00 PM, but will soon be opening from 11:30 AM. Dave tells me that the Noceto Sangiovese (Normale) is being well received. Feel free to stop by to receive some.
Duck and Decanter - 1651 E Camelback
We’ll be starting the Frivolo (See Vino Noceto below) campaign here. They have a great outdoor eating/drinking area. It should be perfect!
Epicurean Wine Service - 7101 East Thunderbird – Report of Event
Last Friday was the long-awaited event. Out of over 40 people attending, more than 20 were traceable to WOC. What was amazing was that there were hardly any of the same people at this event as at Duck & Decanter. Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm. The 2 Noceto wines and the 2 RustRidge reds were featured. By sales volume the RustRidge Zinfandel won, with the Noceto Sangiovese (Normale) a close runner up. Those of you who left early (Bill and Christine) missed the celebrity sighting. Beth McDonald, of the “Beth and Bill Show”, dropped by to taste the wines. She is a Cabernet Sauvignon drinker, in case you are wondering what kind of wine to take to her next party.
AJ’s at Central – 5017 North Central Avenue
Just in case you think that everything we do is a roaring success… AJ’s at Central continues to sell the Normale at a reasonable rate, but we wanted to try to expand the number of wines that they carry – from our portfolio that is. I have been working with Wendy for some time to set a date for a wine tasting that she and her staff could attend. I was also trying to attract Archie from AJ’s Moon Valley store. Neither of these people is easy to get a hold of, much less pin down for a tasting. We finally agreed on a date; flyers were prepared and posted; munchies procured (bread and cheese again); wine readied (put on the table with a corkscrew beside it); Oscar Peterson loaded into the CD player; and the event was ready to roll. I thought that Wendy and two of her staff were committed to coming and I was hoping that at least one from Archie’s staff would make it. An hour and a half after the starting time, Jerry from the Central Avenue store showed up. He tasted and took notes and we talked and he tasted and took notes and then he left. That was it! So it goes.
I finally heard, but have not received written confirmation, that the ATF has approved the labels. Some of you may have seen the labels at the wine tasting – those are the ones. As we are getting closer to actually seeing some wine, you can get some background information about Marinda Park on their family website: http://www.marindapark.com/summer2001.html
Both the user name and password are “measurex” (no quotes).
Vino Noceto does a Moscato Bianco called Frivolo. It’s a white, light, slightly effervescent, summer sipper. They did not make much last year and we took only 4 cases. This year they produced nearly 500 cases and we hope to get a few more than 4. Vino Noceto bottled the wine Monday and plans to do the labeling Friday. Then it’s just logistics to get it to market. We think that Phoenix can absorb huge quantities of this stuff.
One of the questions that I was asked (by Frank) at the Epicurean Wine tasting had to do with letting wine breath. Should you? Shouldn’t you? Does it depend on the wine? How long should you do it? And so forth. I suggested that getting my opinion or a real expert’s opinion, for that matter, is not especially helpful. What I suggested was a little scientific method. As a starting point, when a bottle is opened it should be sampled from time to time to see if you notice a change. If not, this wine doesn’t need to breath. This works if there are only two of you because the bottle of wine may last for several hours. If there are more of you, another approach would be to have two bottles; open one an hour or two early and then compare them when you open the second bottle. The key here is not “Do wines improve with breathing?” but, rather, whether a particular wine improves for you. That said, the first time we were in Italy we were with a friend who convinced us all that one bottle of wine was corked, i.e., spoiled by a bad cork. So, determined to exchange the bottle, Dick practiced the Italian phrase for “This wine is corked” (“Questo vino sa di tappo”) all evening. The next morning, off we went (Dick and I) to try out his phrase. The long and short of it was that the overnight breathing made this wine gorgeous. The lady at the Enoteca tried it and explained what had happened. She did exchange our bottle and she did remind us, and the rest of the store, to let it breathe for at least an hour or two before drinking.
I received positive feedback on the tasting at Epicurean, both at the event and subsequently. Thanks again for the support.
Richard and Laurie