Stolpman Vineyards 2012 Viognier Santa Ynez Valley $22
Stolpman Vineyards 2009 Sangiovese Santa Ynez Valley $36
Stolpman Vineyards 2011 La Cuadrilla Santa Ynez Valley $22
Working as a sommelier is more about handling customers and awkward restaurant situations than it is about selecting the wines for the list and successfully selling them. Assembling a couple of hundred wines from the tens of thousands available isn’t really that challenging. However, there’s a reason so many wine lists seem random—they are. Thoughtfully conceived wine lists are rare, and there are lots of reasons for that. In a restaurant that’s been around awhile but is struggling to stay open, the list is often made up of wines from suppliers to whom the restaurant doesn’t owe any money yet. I smell those lists all the time when I’m dining out. Also, these days, it’s often the case that the sommelier takes himself too seriously and sees the list as a way to educate people to his own palate, teach them the wonders of natural wines, of wines from obscure regions, or of wines made from grape varieties that score a lot of points in Scrabble. I’ve often laughed out loud at that sort of pretentious and self-glamorizing wine list. Yet the real challenge of being a sommelier is dealing with the unexpected. An M.S. exam cannot teach any of that.
The Stolpman 2011 La Cuadrilla is a wine you should buy for a number of reasons, not the least of which
|And a cool label, too!|