So by now, dear reader, you probably know that I work for Rudi Wiest Selections, an exclusively German wine importer. My day consists of calling up restaurants and occasionally stores and making appointments with them to bring them things to taste. Many restaurants say "no thank you" or try not to talk to me, but the occasional good ones say "Okay, why don't you come in Wednesday at 3pm?" Those places I like!
Anyway, I do get into a number of good doors. Perseverence really does pay off, like founder Rudi Wiest says. He is a big fan of perseverence and I get where he is coming from in this regard. Show you are committed and in it for the long haul, and people will come around and get to trusting you. Someday.
So when I finally get that all-important tasting meeting, what is that like? Well, it is great. I get to show wines that I really like, and this reminds me of my experience in the wine store The Wine Country, where I get to see people's faces light up when they taste a great German Riesling for the first time. And they get hooked. And they buy that wine forever and ever. Awesome.
This is similar to what happens with a buyer, especially a buyer who has tasted a few wines in his or her day. Generally, the more experienced the buyer, the more likely he or she has an appreciation for German Riesling and other German wines.
Now, back to the premise of this post: wine I like to take out. These are the wines I personally love and I personally like to show to my customers:
2006 Becker Pinot Noir This wine used to be called 2006 Becker Spatburgunder, but a quick change to the English language (or rather, the French language that the American public can get with) on the label has changed this to Becker Pinot Noir. But same great fox on the label, love that. This wine is food friendly AND appeals to the American taste and desire for fruit, so for me this is a winner. There's actually some subtle earth and dirt in this wine which makes it appealing also for me. And not a stitch of oak.
2007 Von Hovel Balduin Estate Riesling I think this is a perfect Estate Riesling. Less residual sugar and more acid than the other favorite Estate Riesling from Monchhof. The wine is just perfect for the fruity style without being too sweet. I think every restaurant should have this for their wine by the glass Riesling. Just my opinion.
2007 Monchhof Anything Anything from Monchhof Estate sells for me, be it the basic Estate Riesling, or the Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett or Spatlese, or the Monchhof Mosel Slate. This estate has great marketing with their awesome pictures of their estate and hillside vineyards. And the wines are so easy to drink, even if they do have a bit more residual sugar in them then others in their class. Great minerality is what we're talking about here.
2007 Von Buhl Armand Riesling Kabinett Sweet and full, this is a perfect Riesling for those who are not afraid of residual sugar, especially when it is well-balanced. This is a great wine for Asian styled meals.
2007 Gunderloch Jean Baptiste Kabinett This is a fabulous wine. Medium-dry if anything, but round and full and delicious. I had this in Vegas at Lotus of Siam and enjoyed it fully with my dinner companions. This is a great food wine and is a must-have at any restaurant!
That's it. From this list you can tell I like to take out Kabinetts more than any other Pradikat level of Riesling. I also like to take out a Pinot Noir so I don't hear from people "Does Germany only make white wine?" Ideally I should take out more than just Riesling, like Pinot Blanc, for instance, but for me, Riesling from Germany is it. Pinot Blanc is interesting, but usually more expensive, and Riesling is just where it is at.
I'd like to sell more dry Riesling, and I will, but for now, the above list are my winners. Not too obscure, and not too edgy, but hey, most of my customers.... aren't. And in this economy, they really shouldn't be. We need to be as mainstream as we can get!