Entertainment | Restaurants & Dining | October 2009
|Soused of the Border|
Ed Schwartz - PVNN
October 21, 2009
I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy task and it wasn’t. I had some basic directions, but it was at night and I was in a new town and might get lost. The thought kept coming back to me — what will I do when I get there? Will I blow it and come back empty handed? Will I be a flop at what I know best? Will I humiliate myself? I was starting to get nervous but I tried to reassure myself that it would all work out. Or, maybe not.
|Santa Digna reserve Sauvignon Blanc from Chile - nice intense flavor, fresh, fruity, aromatic and very clean.|
Finally after a few wrong turns I arrived. The place was open; that was a break. I stepped through the door and a soon wave of panic swept over me. The moment of truth.
Oh, I should tell you where I am — in a wine shop in Sayulita. We have a house there and we’ve invited some people for dinner the next night. I know they like wine, so I am getting some bottles.
The store is new and it is lined with many bottles of wine. I walk up and down the aisles and soon come to the conclusion that I have never seen or heard about any bottle of wines in the shop. Nada. Still, no problema — I’ll get some help from the nice salesman over there at the register, reading a book and totally ignoring me.
I walk up to the salesman and ask him in my halting Spanish if he speaks English. He says he does. No problema. Now I ask him the 64 peso question. Does he know anything about wines and if so, could he make recommendations? He gives me a very blank stare and tells me he doesn’t know anything about wine; he drinks beer and, on top of that, he just started working there two days ago, but his boss, who does know about wine, will be there in a few days.
Si, problema - now, I am panicked. Hopeless, hapless, helpless. I need the wine now, as in for tomorrow. What to do? Suddenly, it comes to me. Take my own advice. Stop sweating and start sipping.
And that, dear sippers, is what I did. I know I like Sauvignon Blanc, so I bought five different bottles, none of which I ever heard of before. I would open all five bottles and see which one I’d like the best.
And, like all good wine stories, this one had a happy ending. Four of the bottles were good, but one was great! It was a Santa Digna reserve Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. Nice intense flavor, fresh, fruity, aromatic and very clean. It’s from the Torres Vineyard, grown near the banks of the Guaiquillo River. $9 bucks for this beauty.
The next day, I bought six bottles of the Santa Digna. My guests thought I had picked the perfect wines. Once again, I had saved my shaky reputation as a wine writer, even south of the border.
Ed Schwartz has been involved in many aspects of fine wine for 30 years and has worked with top wineries in California, Italy and France. His writings on wine, food and travel have appeared in the SF Chronicle, LA Times and Image magazine.
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