Hello wine lovers, it has been a very busy week –moving wine days and attending corporate meetings at the Century Plaza have occupied my time more than normal. Saturday we served Beer from5 pm to 8pm, featuring Belgian beers and Lambics, Fruit style beers that have been top fermented with fruit pulp and natural juice. These Belgian beers are popular among women and men across the world. These French and Belgian beers are sweet in flavor and have champagne like character in carbonation. Deep rich colors are common in this style of beer. Mainly from the fruit juice and red extract of the juice from the berries used. Belgian Lambics are sweetened by natural fruit sugar called fructose. This natural sugar is perfect for creating two things, when yeast is added alcohol and co2 are produced in the beer and this gives it the carbonation needed for balance and flavor when bottled. Belgium is divided into two sections of the country, French and Flemish (they don’t like one another so much!).
Many have noticed and commented on the lack of selection of wines and spirits in Ralphs. Change is the only thing constant in this business it seems. With the advent of a new buyer in Corporate and changes in economic climate it seems everyone is scattering for a new way to increase sales—our marketing structure is changing. The reaction of slumping sales and sluggish buying trends has caught up to the grocery stores. Changes are happening quickly to try and hold on during the economic down turn. We will be offering some of the variety we had before but on a special order basis or on a case purchase offer. Inventory and profit margin is a direct result of Wall Street. Our inventories are reduced in times of economic downturn resulting in less selection of little obscure brands. I have limited power as to what I can bring in at the store. The office has limited me to 12 items that are UN authorized at the store. I am trying to work within these guidelines as to be compliant to the requests of my superiors. The regular brands are not changing perhaps not as interesting as some in the past, I will do my best to keep an interesting selection of my personal favorites. Look to the wine tasting to see what is being served to keep up to date.
Friday night we served Mondovi wines and had a nice turnout. A big Thank You to Ezra Henson from Icon estates who poured excellent wine for us last night. The customers who attended were treated with a great selection of Mondavi Napa wines for only 7 dollars. Some made it a point of interest before the Brittany Spears concert. I do not think there is any amount of wine that would get me to go to see that chick sing and dance. Clearly she has a niche!
The tasting at the Century Plaza Hotel was unwrapped! It is the Best of the Best from Southern Wine and Spirits company. Sorry friends it is trade only! Meaning wine industry people only. At 1:00pm the doors opened to the barrel tasting on the second floor. Producers from all around Napa had unlabeled bottles of racy potent wild and flavorful juice not yet refined by barrel or time. After a few samples of wines tannic as a fresh bottle of aspirin I found the pate table! What an amazing spread of tureens and forced meats and confits to choose from just the right amount of protein to pad the palate and tame the acidic new wines. My partner in crime this day was a new wine tasting customer who has been frequenting the wine tasting nights. He is an aspiring model and wine enthusiast, yes we hit it off quickly. After a few laps around the room we were ready for the main event of the day. Promptly at 3:30pm the doors opened to the Grand Ballroom of the Century Plaza Hotel. 5,000 wines filled the room with a few hundred tables of wines the best of what Southern offers. One corner was a baron of carved beef another offered a smoked salmon and what wine event would not be complete without a cheese of the world display. 20 or more kinds of selected cheese from around the world all served with a fruit compote with a glaze to bind the compote. One wine in the room stood out and I have made plans to acquire it! Look for it on my A- frame shelves it will retail for around $70.00 dollars a bottle and it is the best I’ve tasted. I have many other stories about the tasting join me a the tasting bar to hear them this week. Cheers!
Mike the wine guy