Saturday, March 18, 2006

Getting Assistance

As I have said in an earlier post, I was fortunate to have friends to help introduce me to various aspects of wine enjoyment. I think it is important to have a wide variety of viewpoints when it comes to wine but it is also important to have some contacts with people that are not just enthusiastic about wine but are also very knowledgeable.

When I first started there were some very good people working in some of The Grape stores and Vintage Cellars in Brisbane. Also there was a Cellar Manager at the Gap Tavern (I can't recall her name) who was excellent. However, in recent times it appears that The Grape and Gap Tavern have gone down-market (the Cellar Manager moved to Mr Corks at Jindalee - I believe) as the two big retailers (Coles-Myer and Woolworths) fight each other for market share.

I have recently discovered a new place at New Farm (Fortitude Valley??) called The Wine Emporium. They are INDEPENDENT of the major retailers and I have met two of the guys there (Tony Harper & Stewart Plant) who are extremely enthusiastic and very knowledgable about wines - not just Australian Wines but French, Italian, Spanish etc. They both conduct courses (I did one one recently on wines from Bordeaux - fantastic!!!) and write articles and appear on radio. I believe they may be part of the ownership of the store but I have thought it rude to ask them. They have always been keen to serve and ensure that your experience, not just in the store, but later drinking the wine you have selected is as good as it possibly can be.

Compared to the 'salespeople' that the other stores trot out, the guys at the Wine Emporium are almost 'Gods'!! I have been so impressed with their service, knowledge and range that I have included a link on the blog.

Sorry to be so effusive but I am extremely happy with this 'find'. The excitement of finding a good wine store with good staff is akin to the excitement you feel when you find a super-enjoyable wine for a ridiculously reasonable price and you are on your way back to the store buy a couple of cases! I really am a hopeless case - wine does that to you - it is very seductive! YUM!

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