Sunday, November 27, 2011

Anthony Quinn AKA Tony The Wine Guy On NBC4 Universal 9AM Saturday Morning 11/26/11 On Holiday Party Wines Under $20 A Bottle

This was absolutely a great event for me and I had a blast and enjoyed every moment as it unfolded for me from the first when I received my email from Angie Goff asking me if I would be interested in doing this segment on holiday party wines under $20 a bottle? I jumped at the chance of course and responded pretty much immediately that I would love to do it.

It's really quite an amazing set of circumstances and so I will relate them here quickly before telling you all what twenty-four wines I brought to the studio to talk about in three categories : 1 ) Wines In The Fridge, 2) Wines To Take To A Party , 3) Wines To Serve At Your Own Party : and all three categories including some wines that looked more expensive than they actually were.

Years ago at the Mayflower Wines & Spirits I met an American young woman teaching French and in a three female group ( her sister and herself and one other young woman ) called Betty. We would both speak in French and tell and listen to each other's stories back in the tasting room up the ramp and to the left. Those were some really fun and special times there at the wine-tasting station. Anyway I had not seen Amy ( Ziff, and have never met her sister Elizabeth ) since then and here she came into the store with her friend Anna Pagli. They were both with their backs to me looking at the wall of spirits and I noticed Amy's incredible dreadlocks. They fascinated me they were so bold and raw and authentic. I kept stealing glances at them.

Later in the Italian and French wine department Anna asked me a question about some Reserva LIBRANDI Ciro wine and if I had any and that started our conversation. I was looking there at them face-to-face and suddenly I realized that this might be the Amy that I had known so many years ago? I summoned my courage from my gut and told them that I thought that she might be the young woman I knew so many years ago in an all female rock group? They smiled and asked me the name of the female rock group? I said " Betty " of course and was right! Well, that all played a big roll in my getting to be on NBC4 Universal yesterday, Saturday morning at 9AM November 26th talking about holiday party wines at under $20 a bottle.

It's such a small world after all. I love it, really I do. So to continue now with this story above. Anna Pagli brought her friend Katy Adams to Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits one evening and Anna wanted to know if I recognized her? I said I knew who she was and we were off all over again. I was introduced to Katie at our tasting table and I drew everyone around and closer and started to taste everyone on what I had there from that Saturday's tasting. It was late and I had lots of great wine left-overs which included some of the excellent MARCHEI DI BAROLO 2004 single-vineyard Barolos ( the Canubi was one of them - that Vince Grande had brought and left as a treat for me ) as earlier it was Cleveland Park Day ( Saturday, October 1st, 2011 - I have already written about this here at chatwine ). Vice had done a long Italian wine-tasting with his wines from around Italy. Thanks Vince : it was a great day and a great success even with the crappy gray and wet weather.

Katy liked how I worked my tasting table and included everyone and explained and entertained as I poured for everyone. She told me that I should be doing this on t.v. or on the radio and that she knew people and did this and coordinated and arranged for people to come together and work together. Sounds a whole like what I do? I liked hearing all this of course, very flattering to my very tired ears and so I brought out the 2004 single-vineyard Barolos from 2004 and together at the very end the three of us polished them off. But before that Katy with her big smile and golden locks started texting her friend Angie Goff and I watched her do this by my side. I had my trusty camera there and even took pictures of all of this while it was happening. She showed me as she talked and texted and I learned a whole lot about Katy and we bonded really quite quickly right there in a very short space of time with Anna mostly observing the two of us. What did you think of all of this Anna as it was unfolding before all of our eyes? Pretty remarkable / pretty special, right? I thought so, it really did surprise me and I was hoping and wondering and scratching my head all the time.

After we three closed the store down with Ravinder Sharma we headed our own ways and I did reach out to both Anna and to Katy. I became " friends " with both Anna and Amy ( and her sister Elizabeth Ziff of the group " Betty " ) and I emailed Katy and thanked her and exchanged emails with her. Small world, really and then about two-three months later I got this email last week from Angie Goff asking me if I wanted to be on their NBC4 Universal segment of holiday wines under $20? Wow, blew me away. I love it, really I do.

I still have all the twenty-four wines to add here but I think I will stop here and make this a Two Part Blog on chatwine and include the twenty-four wines in Part Two. This is Part One. I like it : the Before and the After.

Cheers to one and all : happy holidays 2011 to one and to all and thanks for everything that you all did to get me to NBC4 Universal yesterday at 9AM talking about holiday party wines costing under $0 a bottle where I included the traditional and the old world ( VALDIPIATTA Chianti Colli Senesi, $16.99 , vegan ( TARIQUET Cote dry white blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc ) and organic ( ALTAMANTA of Menzoza, Argentina, I spoke about the Natal Chardonnay of owner Andrej ) and biodynamic, sparkling wines from clear ( the two CANTINA MONTELEANA Prosecco and the " Annalisa " Moscato ), to pink( the LEO HILLINGER 100% Pinot Noir Austrian that supports breast cancer awareness ), and to reds ( the DREI DONA Dolce Lambrusco ), from dry to sweet, all over the world including the dry red Saperavi grape variety of Georgia, the popular grapes like Malbec that come from Cahors, France and I mentioned the CEDRE Malbec. It was amazing : only four to five minutes, clearly not enough time. But I hear that I got more time than most. Thanks Andrew for that. You all : Elaine, Chuck, Chris were a whole lot of fun to work with. More about that in Part Two. Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So Many Lost Opportunities For Everyone With Wines Written Up In Washington Post Newspaper Food Wines Section! Not Working As A Team? My Big Beef

There are simply so many lost opportunities that I see weekly on Wednesday mornings when I pick up the Washington Post newspaper and go to the Food Section to read Dave McIntyre's wine articles. I read them, they generally are quite fine and enlightening with varied text and subject matter. Then I look at the specific wines recommended with the names listed of the distributors and where they may be found in local restaurants. hotels and wine retail shops in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. I am often appalled at how very few places are listed as carrying the wines. A great case in point is today's Sunday Holiday Food section article ( " What Do You Pair With Baloney " R5 , published today on Sunday because next Wednesday is the day before Thanksgiving and it would be cutting it really short to get the wines in time for our wonderful turkey meal!

I say " lost opportunities " because between the newspaper. writer of the articles and the wholesalers ( as well as the wholesale reps on the street and not in the office taking the messages about where the wines are available for purchase ? ) there does not seem to be much coordination from what I have learned talking to many of those concerned. It seems that many of the reps are not even alerted to these articles and the wines that are about to be written up? Why is that? Why doesn't the office wholesale person tell those calling from the Washington Post newspaper say that they will get back to them within a few hours? It would seem to be the best thing to immediately put out a call, email, call or text to all reps telling them the situation and asking them to call their accounts to see if they would like to sell and be mentioned for selling these wines about to be written up?

So many of my reps I have to call on Wednesday morning and ask them why we were not alerted or included once the article comes out? I have to call and ask to buy some for delivery the next day and wait all day long as people come through the store with the copy of the Washington Post Food section in search of one or more wines? I also have to hope that the wines are available for me to still buy some? AS in the case of the Cameron Hughes wines that were written up a couple of weeks ago the wines were not even in stock at the wholesalers yet. I do not have them even now? Are they finally available? Why has no one called to give me an update on that situation with the Cameron Hughes wines? Too busy I suppose. I will call soon myself.

" Lost opportunities " because the wines are usually recommended and customers do read these articles and they are interested in trying some of them? Why not, often they are real discoveries for many of our customers, not the usual choices you find everywhere but fun and exciting wines like today's " the 100% Partridge Foot - Pied De Perdrix " red grape varietal that they think is a cousin of the Malbec grape? And isn't the Malbec grape the " hottest grape variety " going today in red wines? I do believe so.

We were fortunately mentioned in this article as having the wine. I sold some over the weekend and told my customers that they would be reading about it in tomorrow's Washington Post Food section. Fortunately for me this is all true and the article with the wine came out as promised and we all look good. Now it's only a question of whether or not our customers that bought it like it or not? I will find out later. It was also mentioned as a " great value " by Dave.

Unfortunately I got a call from an old friend as well as a fine rep from another wholesale house ( this is the second time for this : with the Pedro Ximenez dry white FALERNIA Chilean wine it never got into the Washington Post newspaper. Not enough room according to my rep so it was only mentioned in the " online " piece. I never heard anyone ask for it off the online piece? ) and he mentioned that the Cavaletto Bricco Boschio Freisa 2008 ( $21 ) would be in the paper and would I like to buy some? I love indigenous grapes like this and I love the Piemonte region of Italy and I have carried other red Freisa wines at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 2020363-4265, anthony.quinn! , also on Facebook at : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and on Twitter at " cpwinespirits ) over the years. The one I remember best is Ugo Chiolo's Freisa from so many years ago when I met Ugo years ago at Wines Limited imports. The wine was mentioned to day and nowhere is there any mention of Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits?

What happened here? It only says that the Freisa is on the wine list at the Occidental Grill. No stores are listed as carrying the wines. " Lost opportunities " here if you ask me. Who dropped the ball? I got the call, I ordered the wine, the wine got delivered and is priced and on our shelves and ready for sale when people come in with their articles. Only they will not be asking for this wine as we were not mentioned and so they will assume that we do not have it?

I am thinking of calling the wholesaler now and asking for the wine to be picked up along with the French cremant which I bought for the same article and which is not even listed? Did they run out of room again and is it only on the online article from this morning? Are they trying to have people only see the full articles and reviews online? I thought they wanted to keep the actual newspaper alive and thriving? This does not send a good message for that?

SO : my BIG BEEF with this system as I see it these last few years is that it is certainly working rather inefficiently. I recommend more time and coordination and getting the wines placed in as many establishments as possible. This helps the consumer, this is certainly more efficient. Wholesalers in the offices where the calls are being made : PLEASE alert your reps so that they may do their jobs better. Such a waste, such " lost opportunities for so many of us. We all look bad, we all lose and who does that serve?

I wish I could be kinder, I wish I was not so mad that here while I am not feeling well on my one day-off from a busy holiday season I am typing this blog and getting ready to send and post it. I know many do not care, I know that many don't think it matters. I do, I want to see it changed, I want to see better for the reader of Dave McIntyre's articles on wines and giving them more chances to buy these wines he recommends. It can and should be done. There should be much better coordination amongst all those involved. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving to one and to all.

I feel good in the long run because Steven of Touton Selections did his job well on this ( he always does ) and so when people come in search of the Foot of the Partrige- Pied De Perdrix " dry French red I will be able to tell them that I also carry the Cavaletto Bricco Boschio Preisa 2008. Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

Friday, November 18, 2011

Jim Reeves Comete Wines/ Jean-Marie Garnier Selections French Small Burgundy & Maison GUYOT Rhone Wines @ Cleveland Park Wines Oct.-Nov. 2011

I should have already posted this about Jim Reeves that has a small and excellent selection of French wines mainly from Burgundy and the Rhone Valley called Comete Wines / Jean-Marie Garnier Burgundy Selections and Maison GUYOT Rhone wines. I will have to get all the information posted here. These pictures are from Jim's third visit I believe in October or November of 2011 to Cleveland Park Wines. For now this is simply a pictorial overview of our interaction with Jim over the last six months.

Theresa Morrison pictured above of her own import company with her husband John Morrison ( 34 South - Boutique Wines ) sells Jim's wines in Maryland and so was here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 , also now on Facebook at : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ) to taste Jim's selections that he was proposing for the store this end of 2011.

We sampled 1) a Ballorin 2005 Marsannay 2005 red, a 2) Bourgogne Hautes Cotes De Nuits 2007 , 3) a Bourgogne Ballarin Pinot Noir, a 4) Ladoix 1er Cru 2005, a 5) Cotes De Nuits-Villages Vieille Vignes 2006 and a 6) Bourgogne Haute Cotes De Beaune 2006. As I said more info to follow.

John, one of our good customers joined Ean and me in tasting these wines of Jim's with Theresa. It was a good selection. I am looking at one bottle now as I type : the Maison GUYOT Saint Joseph Grande Reserve northern Rhone Syrah dry red that I plan to enjoy this weekend at Christmas with family and friends. WE bought the Crozes-Hermitages 2007 and are already sold-out Jim so I will have to order more from you really soon. This Saint Joseph 2007 ( great French Rhone vintage ) will sell for around $25 a bottle. I may buy some of that, too once I try it this weekend JIm and will let you know after Christmas.

Look at that beautiful color above. On this visit to us Jim brought a selection of both red, white burgundies as well as a couple of red Rhones. It was plenty to absorb in a short period of time and from it and the previous two tastings/visits of Jim's we were able to jive Jim orders for both a regular Chablis as well as a Premier Cru producer ( both the same maison ), two or three red burgundies including an excellent Marsannay 100% Pinot Noir and the GUYOT Crozes-Hermitages.

I will fill-in the other details of names, prices and vintages really soon. It is our busy holiday season of 2011 with Honukkah starting at midnight tonight ( Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 ) and so I have very little time to do this now. I will complete it in January of 2012. In the meantime enjoy these pictures here of our last tasting with Jim Reeves at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits here in our nation's capitol.

I think the pictures themselves tell a fun and intriguing story that is a bit of a challenge to unravel when looking at the. Have a good time trying.

LOve looking at that red color of burgundy above as seen through the ceiling lights above. Nice. Being an artist myself this kind of thing appeals greatly to me as I search always for a new and fun and hopefully more interesting angle to capture moments.

I like seeing you above Jim as seen through one of your own wines in our Reidel glasses.

I think that both John and Theresa were happy to taste Jim's wines? They both seemed to have their favorites.

Thanks for all your time and efforts Jim : we/ I do appreciate it and we are happy to work with you.

The picture above shows some of the wines we tasted and gives a bit more information. Enlarge it on your monitor to see the details better. Cheers, and happy holidays 2011 and Happy New Year 2012 to one and to all! Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

Ricky " D " DeLauder of STONEMASON / STEEPLE JACK Aussie Fine-Value Wines Here @ Cleveland Park Wines & SpiritsOct-Nov. W/ Richard Of NDC , 2011

Ricky " D " Delauder's wines are in the store now of the STONEMASON and the STEEPLE JACK from Australia and selling well now and I wish during this busy holiday season of 2011 that I had time to write about them more but I do not! We are selling them well here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits (, 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265, , also now on Facebook at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and on Twitter, too at : cpwinespirits ) thanks to both Rick and to Richard my NDC rep ) and I want to share these pictures that I took when Rick tasted me on them three or so months ago here in our nation's capitol.

I have know Rick now for so many years, ever since he came to Burka's Fine Wines back in the 1980's ( he used to work for Central Liquors ) and he was peddling the LINDEMAN'S Australian wines that we started to buy and sell really well when practically anyone had ever heard of them before : imagine that?!? Seems like so long ago Rick.

Anyway, I was really impressed with these STONEMASON wines and I believe that this line really over-delivers for price and quality quite a bit. Bravo STONEMASON : and thanks Rick and Richard for showing them to me once again. Glad to have three of them now in the store ( Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and is the third a Shiraz? I believe so. ) . They all sell for $11.99 a bottle. What fine wine for such a reasonable price. Come on by and try them out for fit, feel and size. You're going to like them.

More to follow later. Stay tuned. Happy Holidays 2011 to one and to everyone and happy new year 2012, too. Cheers, ... G'day mate ... Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

You look ravishing in this picture above Rick! Cheers ... say a bit " hello " to Mary for me ... I miss her and her smile and good cheer.

I think I got some good pictures here. They in themselves tell a nice story. Being an artist I am very well of helping to tell a picture through my pictures that I take as I may not always have the time to write on myself. Cheers. TONY

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wine-Maker -Gardener of Monticello, Wine Owner Gabriele Rausse Visits Cleveland Park Wines / Making VA. Wines Since April 1976 : WOW, Impressive!

It was great to have Gabriele Rausse of his own Virginia wines visits Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and surprises me and everyone else at our Big-Theme American Holiday Wine-Apple Cider-Homemade Washington D.C. Chocolate Tasting ( 5:30-8:30PM ) Wednesday November 16th, 2011. Lots of people showed up even with all the rain and drizzle that started yesterday morning and continued into the night and throughout our 3-hour tasting. Thanks to you all for coming. Thanks to you Gabriele from driving all the way up from Monticello, Virginia to be with us.

Even though it was totally unexpected and I was completely caught off-guard with very little of Gabriele's wines in the store ( they had all sold and I needed to order more! ) Gabriele was the perfect guest and we tasted his current dry rose ( $14.99 ) and his special Reserve Chardonnay ( $22.99 ) and sold them well. He also tasted a half bottle of our NICOLIS 2000 Amarone Della Valpolicella ( On Special for $17.99 ) and his other wines in the store : his regular Chardonnay and his special-bottling of Nebbiolo. I've already ordered more of his wines to come to the store with our Margaux and Company rep. Dawana as some of our customers paid last night for these bottles that we were sold out of. All good, all fun, all instructive. What a great treat, too!

Gabriele is without a doubt one of the founding figures, grandfathers of the Virginia wine business that started was it in 1968 with the FARFELU VINEYARD and their wines. It has since been sold not to many years ago. We bought wines from the last owners of FARFELU VINEYARD : Caroline and John. Caroline used to come to the store and she tasted her wines with our customers years ago. What a fun memory that is. I blogged about that here many moons ago at chatwine. Check it out.

Gabriele started making wines all the way back in Virginia in April of 1976. That is when I graduated with a BA in English literature from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia where Country Vintner Imports is now based. Small world, really it is. Country Vintners represents many fine Virginia wineries like BOXWOOD Vineyard in Middleburg, Virginia ( Amanda poured those wines for us last night of the 2008 and 2009 vintages of the " Boxwood " and the " Topiary " of both the dry reds and the dry roses - thanks Amanda, you really helped us out when Rachel could not come at the last minute ).

Last night we also had Carol the owner of ELK RUN Vineyard ( 3rd oldest Maryland winery , Carol was back for her second time ) in Mount Airy, Maryland, Lawrence of BREAUX Vineyard in Purcerville, Virginia, Dawana of FOGGY RIDGE Dugspur Virginia apple ciders and sommelier Andrew Stover of Vino50 imports ( Hawaii, Michigan, New York State, southern Oregon, Idaho ) , as well as Chris of International ( California wines ) and Regis of Roanoke Imports ( Oregon Pinot Noirs and the FORIS Gewirztraminer ), and Bailey of her own Washington D.C. homemade chocolates pouring and tasting.

This was Gabriele's third visit to our store. I have already blogged about him now twice I believe. I just wanted to say that it was a treat to have him back at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel : 202-363-4265, also now on Facebook at : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ). I look forward to having him many more times to tell us about the wonderful history of Virginia wines. I did record him with my Flip camera recently and want to include that here sometime as well as get more footage of him speaking of his many years in Virginia. He has also been responsible for the Monticello Thomas Jefferson gardens I believe for years now? I want to hear more about that. We speak English and French together. Thats' really fun as Gabriele comes originally from the Veneto region of Italy.

Gabriele has told me that he would be pleased to come to our store anytime to taste his wines. I will have to look at our calendar and organize something quickly so that we can taste a number of his excellent wines with our customers.

We will have the unoaked/stainless-steel Cabernet Sauvignon, the Reserve Chardonnay and the dry rose in the store soon to sell and in time for Thanksgiving and the rest of our holidays of 2011. Give us a call or email me and let me know if you want anything specifically of his. Thanks Gabriele for tasting last night. You made our evening truly special. Bravo, grazie, merci, thanks, gracias ... Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tasting FABBIOLI CELLARS 2009 Leesburg, Virginia Tannat Dry Red Over Last Five Days/ Loving It Last NIght 11/14/2011

Doug that works for owner and winemaker Doug Fabbioli of FABBIOLI CELLARS in Leesburg, Virginia dropped this bottle off of an open FABBIOLI CELLARS 2009 dry red made from France's Tannat grape from Madiran, southern France. Tannat of all grapes is the highest in a natural substance called Resveratrol and since the articles started to break about this in 2006 there has been renewed interest in the Tannat grape variety.

In the past in France in the region of Madiran there almost at the border of France and Spain the old classic Tannats were really age-worthy wines and not to be touched for years later : cellared properly and for all intents and purposes forgotten till a really cold and rainy day many moons hence.

When Doug dropped this off last week I was too busy to focus on it. R=There simply was not time. He kindly left it for me and Eon to try along with three other wines to try together ( two Cabernet Franc wines as well as the red top-of-the-line blend Tre Sorels ). Thanks Doug, I have made it through so far the Tannat, the Tres Sorels and still have the two Cabernet Francs to go with Ean ).

I have seen the 2009 Tannat FABBIOLI CELLARS morph and change and readjust and offer up different parts of it's personality over the days it has been open. It has always stayed fresh and bright, a bit hard and dense, spicy, earthy and the fruit has always been masked to a great extent by the other components. I have tried it with my meals and drunk it will grilling outside this past Sunday and Monday nights as I like very much to grill.

Last night was the revelation : it blossomed, it came into full bloom : it softened and rounded and became utterly enjoyable. I am glad that I waited, that I tried it each and every night since it was open and that there was still enough in the bottle each time to do so. Otherwise I do not believe that I would have ever made this discovery? probably not.

I really enjoyed it last night - Monday night, November 14th, 2011 as I grilled our salmon fillet outside on our deck. It was unseasonably warm and balmy ( in the seventies for November? ) and it was a treat. The color has always been deep and thick and reflective like a calm lagoon on a starry evening. I like it. I have taken pictures of it a little while ago and will include them here later.

So, I am still always learning things. I like that, I need that : keeps me stimulated and in love with wine as much as ever before. Cheers and thanks for the samples Doug. This was a grand eye-opener and for that I am grateful. Take care, Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cameron Hughes California Wines Fiasco Averted With Quick-Thinking After Great Wash. Post Article 3-4 Weeks Ago! We Have 2007 Cab, Merlot & Chard!

I don't like to write this kind of article because no one looks good in it. The other Wednesday I woke up and read the Dave McIntyre wine review in the Washington Post's Food section. It was all about Cameron and how he has made a successful business buying up many lots of wine in California ( and now in other parts of the world like Spain ) and bottling them and selling them under his own name.

We at Cleveland Park have decided to work primarily with his California " discoveries " and leave the Spanish Tempranillos and the Argentina Malbecs to others as that is something he has added onto his base which has always been California.

They are excellent - the California ones - all with lot numbers. We did really well with his " Flying Wine-Maker " label of the old vines Zinfandel. Our customers loved it. That was perhaps two years ago that we did that one? I think so. Time rushes by.

Cameron Hughes has been by Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits himself and it was great to meet him. I liked him and I always love meeting the principles involved in any wine project/dream/love/adventure/art work. Yes, I'm a romantic, I still hold out for all of this and am happy to say so in a world of larger and larger corporations that are happy-delighted even now to start out with a concept and a label and then a bottle and then something to put into a bottle that tastes more like everything else jammed into it along with the fermented grape juice to appeal to a larger and larger and still even larger audience that will buy it. But what are they buying? All that is stuffed in with the fermented grape juice displaces it and makes it taste like a whole lot of " other " things and I have trouble finding or tasting the grape in the wines any more.

Cameron sells wine, I like this : it tastes like the grapes from which it started. Bravo, and the values are there. Thank you for that, too. I do not thank you, however for having a wine article come out in the Washington Post newspaper that I love to hold in my hands and read quickly each morning that is still not in stock with my local distributor ( that's an unprofessional fiasco in my humble opinion having been in the wine business now for more than thirty years ). How could you have let this happen?

I read Dave's article on Wednesday morning and wondered why I had not been called in advance to be ready with wine in the store? I had a few remaining bottles but not enough to supply a review of this magnitude. I was mad about this and confused. I called Jeffrey my rep and inquired and heard him out and ordered my wine for delivery next morning. I was still mad. People had already called wanting the wines and placing orders with me. Customers came to the store asking for the wines bringing their copies of the Washington Post Food section with them. I explained and said I would have the wines the next day and took their names and phone numbers.

The next day I was really busy and was waiting for the wines. They never came. I called and asked where they were? I was so busy I then forgot about it till Friday when I thought about it all over again as another customer came asking for some of the Cameron Hughes wines written up in Dave McIntyre's wine article. I called Jeffrey again and we spoke. I heard more of the story from his side then. I was still mad as there were still so many questions unanswered.

I averted this fiasco after about three days at my wine store in Washington D.C. : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 3423 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 Tel:202-363-4265 slaes@clevelandparkwine,com, also now on Facebook at : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and on Twitter at : cpwinespirits ). It took me awhile for I did not fully understand what was happening at the time. I had to make several calls to finally see the bigger picture. Once I did understand I asked my local rep Jeffrey : "well, what do you have in stock from Cameron Hughes? " A simple question. Glad I asked it because by the weekend after the article had come out that Wednesday I had three Cameron Hughes wines to sell that I had already been selling thanks to the hard work of their local sales manager Maureen Britti. I was delighted to have them : a Napa Merlot ( $14.99 ), an Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ( $16.99 ) and a Chardonnay ( $12.99 ) all from the great 2007 vintage and all selling for under $17 a bottle in our store. I called my customers once my local rep Jeffrey delivered them himself that Friday after the article, called my customers asking about them and they started to sell within minutes of arriving at the store. Fiasco, crisis averted with quick thinking and the help of Jeffrey and the understanding of my customers when I explained what had just happened.

No, I did not have the wines written up in the Washington Post. I had the earlier great vintage of 2007 that I had been selling and preferred to sell now instead of the current releases. I will sell them after the 18th of November when they finally arrive. Why has it taken so long for them to arrive?

I just got a second drop delivered by Monument Imports yesterday, Friday, November 5th, 2011 and again the three 2007 wines are selling like hot cakes. Bravo! Again everyone is happy. No, I do not yet have the current vintages written up ( where are they? ), and I do not have any of the Pinot Noir that got a great review yet? Oh well, I am told that they are coming and will be available after November 18th, 2011 when the article will be by then for all intents and purposes dead in the water so to speak. Harsh analysis from me, I know. Embarrassing for me to be writing it. I am not happy to be doing so. Irritating really but I was a bit mad. perhaps a lot mad. The one right thing that happened with all of this was that our name was put into the paper as carrying the wines - some of the wines from Cameron Hughes. Thank you for that. I do appreciate that. The rest needs to be evaluated, and remedied as it has been I suspect one big embarrassment and a lost opportunity to sell the wines successfully in and around Washington D.C. in all the stores and not in just one big chain like Coscto.

Discovering that the wines are now being sold in Costco in my opinion does nothing to make the Cameron Hughes wines more appealing as a retailer. In fact it makes me want to stop selling them almost immediately. I understand for money purposes why they sell to Costco but it diminishes the dream for me and makes it more simply a functioning, working horse kind of thing that pays the bills but does not fuel the fires of imagination, of dreams and of the creative endeavors it takes/ has taken Cameron to put this all together. Sorry to see it reduced to this Cameron. I will think carefully now how to proceed with the selling of your wines. Maureen really has done an excellent job promoting them for you and I have to think about that as well as I arrive at a final decision. Hard work should not be punished but rewarded.

For now we have some of the Cameron Hughes wines and I am very happy with all three. I have not as yet tried the new vintages I do not believe? I do look forward to that and getting the wines that were reviewed by Dave delivered to us and getting them to our customers that have asked for them. They have for now some of the excellent 2007 vintage of Cameron Hughes wines to enjoy. So for the moment considering the circumstances we at Cleveland Park Wines and Spirits have done our job. That pleases me. That's what we are here to do.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I have lots of other things going on like our Big-Theme American Wine-Tasting to continue planning. Maureen was going to be a big part of that until all of this happened. She asked me if she was still included and I was sorry to tell her that I had to make other arrangements once this all started and did not seem to have a clear plan or resolution.

You see our Big-Theme American Wine-Tasting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 ( 5:30-8:30PM ) and I need to have everything come early to be sure that there are no problems. Who knows, perhaps Maureen and I can still work something out? I will contact her and see this Tuesday when back at work. For the meantime things are on the back burner.

As I said I get no real pleasure writing this article blog of mine except to say thanks to those like Maureen and Jeffrey that got caught without much notice as I was and that have done what they can. I don't expect or want any thanks for any of this. As I said it makes us all look bad and ineffectual and as if none of us have done our jobs. I do not like that. I guess some truthful explanation of what happened might be nice but then again that's much too late and would not go very far to making anything better.

Why was nothing ever done : no one ever called? It's a big deal as far as I can see again from my humble experience being written up ( a whole article all about just one series of wines - Cameron Hughes in this instance - what I would give to have a whole article written up about us at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits?!? Wow, that would be nice ) in the Washington Post newspaper which I still love getting, holding in my hands as I did earlier. It's now Sunday, November 6th, 2011 at 11 AM and I took a break in writing this to go sit outside on our hill out back in the warming rays of sunshine reading about Andy Rooney ( we will miss you! ) and of the " new " David Lynch record of music and more : all in the Washington Post Sunday- weekend edition.

Cheers and come buy some of Cameron's excellent 2007 vintage wines from us at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits while we still have some. I do not know how much is left? I suspect that we will buy it all? Enjoy this beautiful Sunday in the meantime.

It would be nice to hear from you Cameron. Hope you are well. Anthony ( TONY ) Quinn