|"I kid you not, I love Jenna Talia."|
I have a really interesting question for you, Rog. What do you think will be the next trend in wine? I thought of that question myself. I can’t stop thinking about you.
I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to make the next trend in wine, Jenna Talia. Orange wines are already so yesterday. You can tell, even Steve Heimoff knows what they are now. However, orange wines were a fabulous trend. Average wine consumers hated them! This is the very definition of a successful wine trend. I hated them too, but, as a famous sommelier, I felt the obligation of my calling—educating people what to like while ignoring what they have to say. It’s so rewarding to recommend a wine using the influence of the sommelier position and then watch the person struggle to understand why the hell you’d drink a wine that smelled like the underside of man boobs.
But to answer your brilliant and probing question, Jenna Talia, the next trend is going to be adding your own alcohol to wine. My colleague over at San Francisco’s hottest new wine bar Dick is already doing it. It’s simple, really. You convince a few winemakers to have a few cases of their wines de-alked. You offer those de-alked wines by-the-glass—Dick has wines from wineries like Kosta Browne, Littorai and Siduri, as well as three de-alked Jura wines—and then, on the side, you give the customer his own glass of alcohol to add. It’s cool. One person in the party likes really low-alcohol wines, so he just adds a splash. Another wants 16.5 ABV and adds a huge dose. It’s very democratic. Sure, wineries always preach to drink what you like, but then they dictate the alcohol level. And you’d be surprised what you learn. Like when you taste the Jura wines without alcohol they taste surprisingly like Super Balls.
Again, this will be the hot new trend, and your average wine lover will hate it and generally ignore it. I’m the master of that.
I like how you give really long answers to my questions that I made up without anyone else’s help. I could listen to you talk all night. You have the cutest lips. What wine region has you really excited right now?
Well, Jenna Talia, I love off-wines from interesting regions. Wines that even the locals don’t really want to drink. I’m compiling a long list of German red wines for my new restaurant client Mein Kampfo Fina—it’s an Italian-influenced German restaurant. I love their steamed mussels with pasta dish, the Musselini. I pair it with another one of the wines I’m excited about lately, white wine from Uruguay. It’s a white made from a relative of their black grape. It’s called Tannat King Cole. I’m telling you, Uruguay will be the next big thing in wines from places you’d never visit, replacing Lodi.
Oh, there is just so much obscure wine in the world, it seems foolish to spend any time at all on the boring old great wines. Who wants to spend a lifetime tasting Bordeaux and Barolo and Rioja? It’s like only having sex with three beautiful women when there are all these needy homely women out there. And, you see, it’s what we do when we become wine experts. We put down the classics and celebrate the plonk. Who needs Alsace when you can get wine from the Canary Islands for a song. Get it? Canary Island? Song? Never mind. And the upside for us wine experts, whether we own a wine shop or run a wine list, is that no one knows the difference between crappy wine from Irouleguy and great wine from Irouleguy! Is there a difference? There is if I tell you there is.
Of course, I’m also making my own wines under the Subparr Cellars label. You know when you taste a wine made by a famous sommelier, it’s going to be Subparr. I have a Subparr Assyrtiko/Vignoles blend called “Assgnoles.” It’s on the list at Dick, the Dick List. I’m often featured on the Dick List. And I’m about to release a Subparr Red from Cabernet Pfeffer—the “p” is silent, like in swimming pool.
I really like how you talk down to me. I feel it’s only appropriate. Do you like my questions? I wrote them for you. Here’s another one. What’s the biggest change in the wine scene you’ve noticed since you became the most famous sommelier in the world?
That’s a very good question, Jenna Talia. I love that you’re smart, and not just a face. What’s changed is how many more people want to be sommeliers. There used to be hardly any, now they’re like cockroaches. “Hello, I’m Gregor Samsa and I’ll be your sommelier this evening. Oh, crap, who turned the lights on? Gotta go.” Sommelier isn’t a job, really, it’s a title. Like Prince, or Ambassador, or President. You’re not an average person any more, you’re a title. And carrying that title obligates you to certain things. Mention it at every opportunity. Never admit you like Zinfandel. Never, never win a Wine Spectator Award for your wine list unless you work in some hillbilly state. And always come off as pompous in interviews.
Promise me that you’ll always remember our time together.
I promise, Lettie.