When I came in this morning, I had a wide variety of thoughts to write about, but couldn’t quite tie them together. I am as curious as anyone as to where this is going to go …I didn’t want to talk about the economy per se, but many of us have reigned it in a bit, and have become more careful as to where our money is spent. There has been much ado aboutinexpensive bulk wine lately, and that instigated a conversation this morning with my colleague Anya. The gist of our conversation was about current wine consumption and price points. These corporate entities offering passable wine at rock bottom prices are seeing a pretty fair increase in sales. Not to diss them, as they have good marketing and better timing, but they are corporations. Better to patronize the little, you know, family operations and such. How about a mother of five girls who raises money from her friends and relatives, and pours every drop of her strength into her wines? Yes, I am talking about Diane Puymorin, again.


I didn’t want to talk about Diane Puymorin yet again, but I can’t help myself. First off, it was with much regret that I missed my chance to meet her and join those lucky people who made it to the dinner featuring Diane and her wines at Nopa back in the beginning of May. I was unlucky that I had a scheduling conflict. Anyway, if I can dictate (and I can) to whom my wine-buying dollars are directed, I want them to go to folks just like Diane. Yes, she has five daughters! In their honor she has crafted a tank-fermented, 100% Syrah she calls Only Girls, and she proudly lists their names right on the label. I would be hard pressed to find, in fact, I don’t believe I can find, a sub $10 wine that I like more than this one. It’s got everything I like. Aromatics of forest floor, Kalamata olives, purple fruit, a hint of smokiness, and black tea. The mouthfeel is bright, then deepens with fine tannins, a plummy middle, and finishes with bright acidity that frames the harmonic convergence with an exclamation point! All that with the distinctive savory quality that I only get from her wines. No sweet, jammy, extracted juice here; we’re talking elegance and harmony. No coincidence this one is wearing the “Peter’s Pick” sign in our shop right now!

I didn’t want to talk about the ceiling vent whose squeaking is causing mental trauma to staff and customers alike, and something must be done about it soon for fear of mass insanity. If you have been tormented by it, we sincerely apologize. If not, consider yourself lucky.What I wanted to talk about when I came in this morning was the FA Cup Final at Wembley played earlier today. I won’t go on about it as footy hasn’t caught on so much here yet. But it’s been a good day for the Blues.


And, of course, I also (read always) wanted to talk about wine today. To our friend and customer Tom who walked out with a case of this very wine earlier this morning: Thank you for your kind words recognizing my passion (and long windedness) in regard to describing a wine. For my colleagues’ sake, I probably don’t need too much encouragement, but I do appreciate it. Wow. How did I get here? Anyway, try this wine, you won’t be sorry. In fact, I think I will pour this for my friends at Picco on Monday evening, and see what they think. Peter Zavialoff

Feel free to email me with any questions or comments regarding Chateau d’Or et de Gueules, family winemakers, or the English Premiership: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net