Saturday, December 27, 2008

R. Kacher's Wash. D.C. Portfolio Tasting 5/3/06 -GAUBERT/GOURNIER/MONTPEZAT + At Bistro Francais / Later That Night Afterwards Actually At Cafe Ole

This is the evening of Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006 , the Robert Kacher portfolio French wine-tasting ( we had the DOMAINE MONTPEZAT Pays D'Oc - we had just done an in-store tasting earlier & the DOMAINE DE GOURNIER - the owner/winemaker came by Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits the next day - Vin de Pays de Cevennes wines, and Dominique Haverland of CHATEAU GAUBERT Graves ( Benjamin de Vieux Chateau GAUBERT ), Bordeaux as well as other owner/winemakers at the Bistro Francais I believe. It was the last one held there if I am correct. 

     I also got to meet the owner of MURE in Alsace, Thomas Mure , brother of Veronique Mure who has already been here and tasted the MURE wines with our customers. Thomas has never been to the store but it was fun to meet him anyway at Cafe Ole. Thomas is the first pictured here in this blog with the blond/gold hair and  scruffy beard.

      I did not attend this portfolio tasting at Bistro Francais as it is always in the afternoon in the middle of our busy work weeks and I cannot always justify the time to get away. Oh well, you do what you can.
When I saw Bobby later this evening when I got off work at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue Wines & Spirits Washington D.C. 20008, Tel:202-363-4265 ) Bobby just shook his head and told me of some of the great wines opened that I did not taste. I agree, I missed out! However, I am not paid just to taste wine. I am paid to sell them and I do that. I wish that I had the luxury of time and money to step out of Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and go off and taste, evaluate, converse and catch-up with others in the industry. Alas, it just is not so!

Besides, I have become a bit selfish. I'd rather be able to sit down somewhere and get to meet and speak with the wine owners / makes and get to know them and their wines better. That's what I like. To be able to sit next to them and have a meal, hopefully in a restaurant that I do not know. Selfish, this was a kill more than two birds with one stone and that just suits me better.

I knew that a number of Bobby's wine owners and winemakers would be there at the tasting earlier. I knew I would miss the " goodies/ cherries " so to speak. Drat! Oh well, I also knew that they would be more relaxed and willing/able to speak a bit more with me afterwards at the Cafe Ole on Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. and I was correct.

Funny, on this particular evening things were just evolving and unfolding in a nice fashion and I was in my own preferred way picking the pieces and joining them together. Anticipating some possible resistance I called Ronnie my rep and asked him if I could bring some of our favorite Cleveland Park customers to Cafe Ole when I left the store. Somehow Bill was there, so were Mike and Nadia and somewhere along the way Jennifer was also there in the store at the same time. I simply felt the urge to invite them all to this casual event after the big Robert Kacher portfolio tasting. Should I, dare ?!? So I called Ronnie Miller and he said " okay ".

It was a cool evening and quite dark outside. I told them to meet me there and they all did. Jennifer came with her boyfriend John ( they are recently married now ! ) and were all waiting when I arrived. It was good to be out of the store. I was ready to relax and enjoy and see what the evening had in store for me as well as for my customers.

I found Ronnie and Craig, Antoine Songy and Kelly. I saw some of the winemakers and owners and was looking forward to seeing again those that I knew/meeting those that I did not know already. It was all pretty heady, fun stuff for me and I began to relax and feel again in my element as host.

This is where I get into trouble sometimes. I turn into a host and of course it is really not my event! Oh well, I'm incorrigible this way and it's hard to stop/thwart me when I get going.

I saw the owner busy and bustling around of Cafe Ole. We had already met on two occasions : once before like this and once at a Bobby Kacher dinner that Bobby and Kelly themselves hosted along with me and Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and owner Herve Gantier of DOMAINE SAINTE-EUGENIE Corbieres, southwest, France.

I asked about the wines available to taste, about food? I began to marshal and corral and put the various pieces together here for my customers to get a real experience of wine. food and winemaker and owner, too. It was all flowing smoothly.

When I caught up with Bobby and he saw what I was doing he was not very pleased. He said that he had invited me. I said that I had checked before with Ronnie but that did not seem to appease him. Oh well Bobby, look at it as if you were doing it all for me : thanking me for all the business that I have given you over the years. No one else ( Antoine, Ronnie or Kelly ) seemed to mind. It bothered me, however Bobby and I did not return the following year because of it. Some things stick even though perhaps they should not. C'est la vie, c'est comme ca, dommage, peut-etre la prochaine, peut-etre pas. On ne peut pas toujours recouperer nos paroles, meme si on les veut. Quand-meme, c'etais une soirree merveilleux pour moi et mes clients et nous avons profiter beaucoup. Nous gardons aussi des grands souvenirs de ce soir-la, grace a ton equip et tous les vignerons.

It was great : many of the wine owners and winemakers made a real point to come to our table and pour us some of their wines. They were smiling, helpful and welcoming and it was a great pleasure to taste their wines and put a face with a label. What more can you ask? Not much. The food was also really tasty and helped warm and fill us a bit on this dark, cool Washington D.C. evening here in our nation's capitol.

The pictures you see first are of all the vignerons/ winemakers and owners. I also got Bobby in the last two group pictures. He's the one with the glasses, second from our left. It was really dark and my camera lens was dulled and the flash did not always work. Sorry for all of that. However, I still managed to capture here in these pictures some of the real magic and charm of the evening at Cafe Ole.

The pictures that I end with are of my Cleveland Park customers : Bill, Jennifer, John, Mike and Nadia. You can see I like taking more pictures of the women : so shoot me!

I want to post this tonight, Monday evening at 8:21 PM from my home here in northern Virginia on December 29th, 2008. I know I have many more details and names and wines to mention and I will do that shortly.

In the meantime cheers and Happy New Year 2009 to One and to All of Us ! TONY

P.S. That Friday, May 5th, 2006 from 5-8 PM the owner Dominic Haverland of CHATEAU GAUBERT, Graves Bordeaux was due to come to Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits to do an in-store wine tasting of both his red and white Graves, Bordeaux wines. TONY

     PPS : I'm looking at an empty bottle here on our shelf signed by Dominique " the Benjamin de Vieux Chateau GAUBERT 2003 Graves white ) and he wrote from his tasting here in the store : " Tony, mercipour ta passion ". signed Dominique. Thanks Dominique et merci aussi pour ta passion. ( I added this on Friday 6 PM at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits on January, 2nd, 2009 - a brand new spanking shiny glorious, uproarious. cheerful, virgin white slate year. Yes!  TONY

     PPPS: I can't believe it! I'm dusting the bottles on the shelf and see buried another Benjamin de Vieux Chateau GAUBERT 2004  white Graves ( $15.49 ) and Dominique writes : " A la sante de Tony " signed Dominique. We really bonded this evening. Great memories, je gards des tres bons souvenirs de ta visite  Dominique!  TONY

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