Hot for Teacher

October 19, 2011 · 9 comments

Dear young and overly enthusiastic Winebuyer,

Yes my import book is chock full of weird wonderments of the wine kind… It’s like a playground for you, I know. And I have to admit that I’m very proud of the quality, regional varietal typicity and overall diversity of the wines that I sell. I like being a champion of all things geek.

A few months back, you mentioned that you were preparing for the next level of somm certification through the Court of Masters program, and bravo to you on that… I have to admit that it’s never been high on my list of priorities, and perhaps I will express at greater length my views on the various certification programs in a later post… but regardless of my opinions, I do understand that it can be a very helpful tool for you to climb through the ranks of the restaurant world. And I am very glad that you are open to wines from around the globe for your personal wine consumption. You and I have logged countless hours tasting through wines from Portugal to Georgia, and I sit patiently and feed you information on soil type, regional trellising tendencies, and overall climates and elevations that correspond to each wine as you take diligent notes that you will most likely later translate to flash cards. In the past, with your last employer, you have rewarded my time and teaching with ambitious glass pour selections and monthly regional wine flights from Jura or Sardinia featuring my wines.

But now you buy for an Italian restaurant. And still, in true form, your most recent sample request was a dizzying list of the obscure reaches of my book. You and I both know that while that Fiano di Avollino and the Grüner Veltliner from Alto Adige may stand a good chance at making their way on the somewhat mundane list you recently inherited from your predecessor, there is no way you’ll be bringing in the Loire Valley Fié Gris or the Albillo from Ribera del Duero. Don’t even try to defend yourself on that one.

You’ve always been one of my faves, and you know that… But this has got to stop. I’m not your study buddy. And I’m not your tutor. My samples are not meant to benefit or further your wine education. I am your wine rep, and the primary function of our relationship should be wine sales. You look for wines to buy from me, I look for wines to sell to you. We can still geek out on whatever Italian wines you want, really… I’m happy to pull all kinds of fun and interesting wines from all of the varying regions of the boot. I mean, let’s face it… That list you’ve got needs some help… But no more Georgia, no more Portugal, no more Greece… You get the picture.

Best of luck in your upcoming exam,

Wine Rep

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

John Kafarski October 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm

1 case minimum for educational samples!



Amy Gardner October 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Wine Rep–great post. And I can’t wait to see your thoughts on certification programs.


SecretLover October 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I love this post, but I think you’re going a little soft here. There are so many Court of MS jabs just waiting in the folds of your prose. Give it to ‘em.

Still love reading your words though!


Caitypants October 22, 2011 at 2:39 am

Amazing. I AM this young, hot for teacher wine buyin’ gal. And I love that you love/hate it because, at times, it truly is counterproductive and disconnected to the true meaning of your visits with each other: to buy and sell wine. No more, no less, really.

Well done!


Ducatibabe October 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I’m a winebuyer who has also owned a bar, worked as a rep for a small wholesaler and covered New England for an importer so I understand what it’s like to be on every side. So I’m not one of “those” winebuyers and I love this post. I’m also a little older than the young pups who are after certification and think the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous. Please post your thoughts on the certification programs because I can’t wait to read them!


Caitypants November 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm

P.S. Certification programs ARE the most ridiculous options in the educational world of wine. They are meritless, pointless and generally a waste of time and money. No interested, young wine professional should utter a word of such nonsense. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about the wine certification programs, either!


Gut Microflora November 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Fiano di Avellino.


Jaded importer November 21, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Trust you palate, Padawan. Finding a good wine is easy. Finding a great wine for the money is an art form.


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