Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2002 5:40 PM
Subject: Wine at Orangewood Consulting - 18
To our Wine Aficionados,
We had a successful week. Two new restaurants, Our Gang and Saluté, started carrying our wine, and the Cave Creek Coffee Company wine bar started selling Noceto Frivolo. The Frivolo has now been picked up by most of the places selling Noceto.
Little Jazzy – the foal is getting bigger and stronger. She has a “playful” habit of turning around and kicking out her back hooves. We have the bruises to show for it. We are getting very nimble.
The remaining content of this newsletter is as follows:
Wine Tasting (feedback)
Our Gang (New customer)
Saluté (New customer)
Cave Creek Coffee Company (New wine)
AZ Wine (Upcoming event)
Marinda Park (Shipping progress)
RustRidge (Wine review)
Well, as Richard cleverly did not ask for any indications of attendance, we had little clue as to who or how many would show up at our wine tasting. We did get emails from people who needed to explain that their trips to Provence/Japan/Russia were going to interfere with their attendance. In fact 12 people did show up, which was sufficient to drink the wine and demolish most of the cheese. Thanks to all of you. Tom Hamilton was there, and it seemed as if everybody already knew him for various reasons: he currently works some of the time at Saluté at Thunderbird and 7th St; he used to run Zinfandel at Maryland and 16th Street, and before that he ran Dave’s Liquors at 16th Street and Camelback. Somewhere in the chronology Tom ran a restaurant called “On the road to Amador” (which is where Vino Noceto is located!) Someone else had met him playing nude volleyball. Or maybe I heard that incorrectly - it was late in the evening.
Our Gang – 9832 North 7th Street
Some restaurants require a lot of selling and it takes a lot of persistence. Some are easy. Our Gang was easy. One of our Newsletter readers (thank you, Robert) has been bugging us for a while to sell wine to this popular restaurant located at 7th Street and Mountain View. Laurie and I had been there several times. It’s a New York City style red tablecloth Italian restaurant, so we went again to check the wine list. There was definitely room for the quality and price of the Noceto Sangiovese (Normale). I then called and spoke to Lorraine, the General Manager. I arranged to bring the wine along. She was sick that day, but I did speak to and give a taste to Dino, one of the owners. Following up a week later, Lorraine was better, so I took another bottle of wine for her to taste. She liked it and bought a case to see how it will do. Now it’s your turn. Stop by and check this place out. After you sit on the patio drinking draught Bass Ale for an hour waiting for a table, you should be ready to eat and try the Noceto Sangiovese. It may not be on the wine list yet, so ask for it specifically. Let us know how it works out for you.
Saluté - 21001 North Tatum Boulevard
On the other hand, the first taste that I gave to Mike at Saluté was last July. Of course much has happened since then, including Mike building another Saluté at the new Desert Ridge mall at Tatum and 101. However, I will be delivering the Noceto wine combo to him on Monday (May 20). I was along there on Friday to “taste the staff” as they say. They have a small army of wait staff who tried the Sangiovese, Sangiovese Riserva and Frivolo and asked questions about Vino Noceto. (I arrived a little early and started talking to Dan, the barman, who swore that I reminded him of a friend. Turns out the friend is Julian, my son. I guess we must look alike. Dan went to grade school and high school with him.) Anyway, Saluté is an Italian restaurant without checkered table cloths. They do a very professional and reasonably priced lunch and dinner – one that we have enjoyed for many years.
To find this restaurant, head north on Tatum past Highway 101. Take the first right into the mall area, ignoring the signs that say the main entrance is at the light. Go past the billiards place and Target, turn left when you reach Petsmart. You are pointing directly at Saluté.
Cave Creek Coffee Company - 6022 East Cave Creek Road
On the low maintenance end of the scale, Dave sent me an email asking for a case of Frivolo. I was out of town so Laurie dropped it off. Within a day it was their featured white wine special. Laurie and I stopped by last night to check quality and sample the food. We enjoyed the Brushetta (the misspelling certainly helps the mispronunciation) and a salad. Good stuff. This was our first time in the bar and we were not surprised that it was not full of Cave Creek cowboys looking for MGD at happy hour prices. It had more of an English pub quality to it – conversation drowned out the soft background Charlie Mingus music. Get there while the Frivolo is still available – they seem to have a strategy of turning the wines over quickly and changing to something new.
AZ Wine Company – 2515 North Scottsdale Road
June 21st is penciled in as the date for tasting “Wines of RustRidge Ranch and Winery”. Richard Betts, the buyer there, visited the ranch a week or so ago and is hot to sell more of the RustRidge wine. The event will run from 5 – 7pm. I will send out a reminder closer to the time.
The wine is crossing the Pacific, somewhere, with a scheduled arrival in LA on May 31st. In the meantime, we are working to get permission to ship it to Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii – which, in addition to Arizona, are the initial target states.
The “Gang at RustRidge” sent me a clipping from the Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine. They had an article on the top 100 cabernet sauvignons. The review for the RustRidge 1998 read “87 High in creamy oak and showing notes of herb, clay and pencil lead that add range to its ripe, direct black cherry aromas, this wine is medium-full in body, fairly supple in mouth feel and nominally tannic for Cabernet. It shows a bit of bluntness at the end but it is deep enough to earn our vote.” I don’t know who makes this stuff up, notes of pencil lead indeed!
Please keep those cards and letters coming. How was the trip to Provence, anyway?
Richard and Laurie