Yesterday I found a file on my computer - "Wines to try" . Apparently it's a list I compiles in February 2007 little knowing that in 3 months time I'd be working in the wine trade. What is interesting is not that I've now tasted a lot of the wines on the list - which were probably lifted from one of the many wine buying guides I used to buy / ask for Christmas but those wines I haven't yet got around to. Three were from Western Australia, Suckfizzle Shiraz and both Cabernet and Chardonnay from Moss Wood.
I've tasted things like Musar, Condado de Haza and Pesquera Tinto which were on the list along with Chateauneuf du Papes and Claret that I fancied but those few things I'm not sure now that I would get all that excited about trying - I doubt it's because I have changed what I like particularly and I doubt it's because I think the wine isn't that good. I suspect that it comes down to a couple of things, the first is that I've tasted a lot of things like them and the other is that I don't read as many wine reviews now, and instead tend to take things as I find them at tastings and get excited when something special comes along. The essence is probably that I know more now and have more experience and so what someone else tells me to buy is less interesting - I'd rather discover myself.
This of course means as a merchant I have to ask whether customers are looking at books, newspapers or would they rather have a recommendation from a merchant who knows all their wines well? A book may tell me to a particular wine sold by my local merchant - but the merchant may know that there is more value to be had from another producer or indeed another wine by the same producer.