We have a wine shop. It’s not a big wine shop. The floors are uneven, the racks are mismatched; there’s wainscoting in some places, 1970’s paneling in others. There are cracks in the linoleum, cracks in the concrete. Doorknobs have been known to fall off. But in the end it gets back to this: we have a wine shop! We’re new enough at this to still be in awe of our situation and our good fortune. We are damned lucky that we can stamp “dream achieved” on this portion of our lives. Because we’ve been in the biz for a while, and because we’ve been known to be a tad passionate about this stuff, we’re making it our mission to fill our store with the best, not the most. Our space is limited, we’re not a warehouse, so we have to be crazy selective about what ends up on our shelves. This is where it gets fun. We made another trip to NY this week, this time to taste through a Terry Theise line-up of grower Champagnes at Tribeca Grill. If you’re not familiar with the Terry Theise portfolio, then your world is about to be rocked (pun intended, there’s lots of mineral action!). Elegant, focused, evocative of vineyard & vintage – less about the grape, more about the place. When we tasted through these Champagnes, we were tasting true fruits of labor, not a brand manager’s plan for his next house in Belize. This is just one difference between growers and behemoth Houses & negociants. Another difference is 3 million cases produced per year versus a couple thousand cases produced. Which would you rather drink? Our money is with the grower. Speaking of money, most of these Champagnes sell for less than the big brands, so you win there, too!
So with this in mind, we will add our footsteps to the paths first trod by the likes of Theise, Rosenthal, Dressner, Lynch (to name just a few) and we’ll bring to you the truest expressions of wine available to us. This isn’t just a job for us, it’s a journey; grab a glass, come with us!
Should you care to read more by & about Terry Theise & his portfolio, check out his catalogs, available on the Michael Skurnik website. To whet your appetite, here’s the Theise Manifesto:
Beauty is more important than impact. // Harmony is more important than intensity. // The whole of any wine must always be more than the sum of its parts. // Distinctiveness is more important than conventional prettiness. // Soul is more important than anything, and soul is expressed as a trinity of family, soil and artisanality. // Lots of wines, many of them good wines, let you taste the noise. But only the best let you taste the silence.
Damn, that’s good.