This can not go on ! You must admit the truth. You are a victim of cavistophobia! Nothing to do, it is impossible for you to push the door of a cellar. Here is a little manual so you can get the advice so valuable for your dinners in town.
WHAT IS CAVISTOPHOBIA?
Being a wine merchant myself, I could not imagine that such a phobia could exist. And yet, since I started to write this blog, I realize that most wine lovers do not dare to go to the cellar because they imagine not knowing enough wine jargon to interact with a wine seller. They are afraid of being ridiculous, of paying too much, of having too technical wines … or a thousand other reasons. I do not judge because I do not know anything about mechanics and I always have apprehension when I have to send my car to the garage!
There are hundreds of thousands of estates, bottles and every wine merchant has one that suits you.
If you are in this situation, this article is for you. If this is not the case, share with those around you because the world would be better if everyone had their cellar!
WHO IS THE GENTLEMAN ?
The big man with a dirty apron, red cheeks and a puffy air? It is a wine merchant my child! Although there are still some models like this one, the cavistus-grumpyus is thankfully endangered. I still propose to keep one or two for archives and museums.
For starters, I’m among those who think that any trader (whoever he is), who does not know how to be welcoming, deserves neither our time nor our money.
This is the difference between a wine merchant and a wineshop keeper. The wineshop keeper sells wine (and if possible only great wines) and decides who is worthy to buy him his fine bottles (I despise him! ;-p). The wine cellar is a person (man or woman: it is always good to remember) passionate about wine and spirits and who likes to share his knowledge and know-how with his customers.
I think a wine shop sells advice before selling wine. Moreover, the wine, in France, is available everywhere so if one goes to the cellar, it is for the discovery and the advice.
YES BUT THE CAVIST AT THE BOTTOM OF MY HOME IS NOT AIMABLE!
As with any shopkeeper, there are some nice models and some much less. You should never stop at a bad experience because you deprive yourself of the best way to discover and appreciate the wine. Find a wine shop that suits you is exactly like finding a good butcher or a good hairdresser. You have to try, let one see two chances and change it if you are not convinced.
What an incredible experience to have a wine cellar that knows your tastes and who can guess your desires for each meal with wine. My biggest pleasure, as a wine merchant, was seeing my customers the day after a tasting just to walk in the door and tell me how much they appreciated one of my tips.
If you are not satisfied with the advice of your wine merchant, change it. If you live in a small town, I understand that the supply of wine merchants will not necessarily be huge, but in big cities, there are now wine shops on every corner.
I CAN NOT SAY WHAT I LOVE!
This is the most difficult part because actually the wine is still quite subjective.
At first, give it a try. Go see your local wine merchant and ask him for a wine for a dish with your budget (when I ask for a wine between 10$ and 15$, I hate that it is proposed to me to 16$ !). Come back to see your wine merchant even if you do not have a purchase to tell him if you liked it or not.
Feel free to rate your appreciation, to take a picture of the bottles you liked. And the more you give indication to your wine merchant about your past tastings, the more he will be able to specify his advice based on your comments.
NO NEED TECHNICAL JARGON!
Speak with simple words. Confirm your request to be sure to be on the same wavelength. Generally, if you try to use jargon that you do not master, your cellar may steer you towards wines more typical, more technical and it is not necessarily the ideal to start.
Use your words, your wine merchant will translate and confirm that he has understood you.
Golden rule: a wine merchant will always be aware of your wine level. He is here first to guide you and not to judge you.
THIS WINE IS HORRIBLE, I WILL NEVER RETURN TO THIS CAVIST!
I still have to put a damper on my comments because if indeed, a wineseller must be able to understand your desires and your needs. It happens to everyone to make mistakes.
Similarly, it may be that the wine you buy has a bad taste (corked, pique, …) if you bring the full bottle at your cellar, it will change and you will surely be able to explain what happened. You will see thereafter, by knowing your cellar, you will only have to announce your dish. He will already know your tastes, your budget and will be able to accompany you to the discovery of new products, new food and wine pairings.
I ALWAYS TAKEN THE SAME WINE BUT HE CHANGED!
We must not forget that the wine merchant is not necessarily responsible for all the misfortunes of the world. If you have taken the habit of always buying the same wine at your wine shop, there are several risks to take into account and keep in mind.
The wine comes from agriculture, it is not an industrialized product:
- There can be ruptures! The quantity of grapes varies each year.
- Each vintage is not necessarily identical (this difference can be cultivated).
- Bad taste happens sometimes. It’s better to bring two bottles!
- Wine is a living product!
- The more you let go, the more beautiful discoveries you will make.
VOILÀ ! YOU’RE HEALED!
I hope that you will try to push the door of your wine merchant and open you to a new world of emotions and pleasures. Feel free to tell me about your first tests and ask me your questions if it’s still a little fuzzy for you!
Don’t forget that wine must remain pleasure and sharing in the bottle. I myself flee the”expert” wine merchants who crush you with their concupiscence! Fortunately, this phenomenon is often very Parisian and exists less and less.