On Wednesday, I had lunch with St. Supéry CEO Michaela Rodeno and her winemaker, Michael Beaulac.
They poured a couple of new wines, the 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc and the 2003 Rutherford Cabernet, both of which were fruity, supple, balanced and complex.
But the big surprise was a 1996 Napa Valley Meritage, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. At age 10, it remains refreshingly youthful, with a mix of citrus, honey and subtle butterscotch notes.
We talked about the wine business, their business and the growth of their wine club, which sells specially bottled wines not available to the broader market directly to its members. Wine clubs are becoming a bigger part of many wineries’ business, Rodeno said.
We had a playful discussion about the differences between men and women when it comes to wine, a subject that I blogged about last month.
And we talked about wine reviews, ratings, the importance of blind tastings and the fact that any of us can easily be humbled by a blind tasting.
Even winemakers who should know their wines intimately often are unable to pick theirs out of a blind flight, and worse, there are times when they can't identify a flight of several of their wines.
That led us into a conversation about how uncomfortable blind tastings can be with those who think they know a lot about wine, and are more than willing to share their knowledge and views—even when they're wrong. Rodeno offered a phrase to describe these people that I wrote down and plan to use: “Often wrong, but never in doubt.”
Not bad. A slogan for wine geeks who think they know everything.
You might want to remember it for the next time you find yourself in a debate with a wine geek who won't let go.