The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

A Lucky Man

Posted on | November 23, 2009 | Written by Rob Allen | 2 Comments

Most people have a part of their job that they don’t like or, at the very least, find frustrating. Many people have something about their job that they like enough to keep on going back day after day. But not everybody has some part of their job that they love passionately. I’m a lucky man: I have job  that I love, and that’s talking to people about wine.  And what is even luckier is that it’s not very hard to find people to talk to, because it seems like everybody else also loves to talk about wine.

When I meet friends of friends, I often hear upon introduction, “Oh, you’re Rob, the wine guy!” as if I’m some kind of minor celebrity. If my reputation hasn’t preceded me, I announce my occupation and I hear, “You’re in the wine business?  That’s awesome!” And then I spend the majority of the evening spinning like Jeter and fielding questions about wine.  I certainly don’t mind, since I love talking about wine.  But I also love learning about people and would like to hear about their jobs as city planner, NFL coach, explosive demolition manager, CGI animator, or bank CEO. However, any questions about them are waved away, and the topic is steered back to wine.

Living in New York City, I cross paths with a multiplicity of people, but wine so often offers a meaningful connection between disparate individuals. I should stop being surprised. The skinny, grease-covered bike mechanic with dreadlocks down to the middle of his back laughs as he tells me how he broke his bike’s water bottle cage trying to fit one of his favorite Barolos in it.  The Chinese acupuncturist working on my back doesn’t speak much English, but she lights up when discussing the Chianti she brought to dinner with friends. The IT consultant takes a break from project work and speaks passionately about making wine in his Tribeca apartment and how it compares to the Cabernet Franc wines of Friuli.

There are plenty of mythological, mystical, and religious explanations that circulate like incense about how we are all interconnected. But I like to keep it simple, and just offer up a bottle of wine. Wine—or love of it—may be the universal language.


2 Responses to “A Lucky Man”

  1. Christy A. Canterbury
    November 24th, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

    Mr. Wine Guy – Thanks for introducing me to Arnaud Ente white Burgundies. A blind study tasting (for the MW title) on Sunday turned up his 2004 Meursault. I drank it with great relish at dinner last night! It was voluptuous and dense enough to be a 1er Cru, with the finish to prove it.

  2. Rob
    November 25th, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    Ahh Arnaud Ente! Could be the best gem that I have found in a long while! If we could only drink such pure stuff all the time. I all ears if others turn up in your tastings that you think I would enjoy.

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