Pet Peeves . . .


As many of you know, I wear multiple shirts every day – yep, I do work out and therefore need to change them often 🙂  No, no, I not only have this blog but do have a wine label, tercero wines, and absolutely LOVE pouring my wines for others to experience and hopefully enjoy.

I’ve now had a tasting room for nearly 3 years, and have been pouring at events for about twice that long, and I’ve compiled a list of words or phrases that should be considered ‘off limits’ in tasting rooms:

‘Pour Me Your Best Wine’

‘Pour Me Your Most Popular Wine’

‘I Don’t Like (fill in variety)’

‘I Don’t Enjoy Whites’

‘I Don’t Drink Rose’

Let’s discuss a few of these, if you don’t mind, and hopefully you’ll understand where I’m going with this!

I often times am faced with folks in my tasting room or at a tasting ask me which is my ‘best’ wine. My normal comeback – Do you have kids and, if so, which one is your ‘best’?!?!?

Does it or should it really matter what my (as the winemaker/owner) thoughts are on my ‘best’ wine? I could be like many others and say that it is the one I am trying my hardest to get rid of (and don’t think this doesn’t happen, folks). Or I could say that it’s the most tannic one because I like tannins – but if the customer doesn’t, does that really help?!?!?

Now for the second statement – what in the heck does ‘popularity’ have to do with ‘good’ or ‘meets what you are looking for’?!?!?!? Do you think the ‘NY Times Best Sellers’ are best sellers because they are ‘good’? No – in general, consumers are lemmings and like to be told what to buy and what to like. Well, not in my place – not gonna happen!

In order to not be verbose (!), I’ll only cover one more. I have folks who come in and state that they don’t like a certain variety. My comeback is usually to first ask why? For instance, I am amazed how many folks come in and say that they do not like syrah.  I politely ask them why and the answer is usually that they either don’t like the ‘cherry robitussin’ qualities of a warmer climate syrah or shiraz or they don’t like the pepper associated with a cooler climate syrah – but they only state one or the other. My favorite comeback – I ask them if they like cheese. Who doesn’t like cheese?!?!? But then I ask if they like EVERY single type of cheese they’ve ever had – because by saying you don’t like a variety, to me, is kinda like saying you don’t like cheese as a category at all. This usually works 😉

I’m wondering what some of your ‘pet peeves’ are when it comes to wine and how you ‘handle’ them without being derogatory or condescending. To me, it’s very important not to be, for that’s the ‘usual’ and easy way out – and because of this, our industry is known as ‘pompous’ with too many ‘know-it-alls’ . . .



6 comments on “Pet Peeves . . .

  1. I am always annoyed by women who wear perfume to a tasting room or tasting event. The only way to handle I guess is just to move away if possible if in public. If it’s a repeat offender in a group, I would just politely explain why that’s inappropriate.

  2. dakasim32 says:

    There are sometimes valid reasons for not liking/not trying a certain varietal or type of blend.  My wife has a severe strawberry allergy, and MOST Rose’ have a nose of strawberry.  Even though there is no strawberry in the wine, psychologically, she cannot get force herself to even try them.

    This being said, I, too, find it rude to blow off a wine without an explanation.

  3. Doug Levin says:

    I am often amazed by human nature and what I like to call the “Sideways”, or “Cristal” effect. You know what I mean. The influence of pop culture on perceptions of what is “good” and “bad”. Larry, your mission (should you choose to accept it) – use your tasting room to open people’s minds to trying everything and making their own judgements!

  4. Doug,

    Mission accepted! I use my tasting room as a place of conversation and information. I don’t ‘force’ anyone to try something they don’t want to – well, at times I do, though. I’ll have folks come in and say they don’t like roses, and I’ll ‘make them’ try the rose. It’s fun – and a way to make them realize sometimes ‘likes and dislikes’ are not absolutes.


  5. That’s a great point indeed – and one that should be taken seriously. Even then, as you point out, there are many roses that do not fit that description.


  6. Yep, that perfume thing is a biggie in my mind as well. I just don’t think some people think about this and truly need to be educated about it. Luckily, there is no ‘formal dress code’ in my tasting room, so folks tend to be a bit more casual – and not have on as much cologne or perfume 🙂

    I too would probably explain to them, in a polite way, why not to do this again – this would be a great educational moment, if you can find a way to do it without offending the perfume-laden party.


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