There is a lot of great wine in the world. In a way, you would think that makes my job easier, but actually, it doesn’t.Â Not only do I have to carefully choose which wines we are going to put on the shelf, each week, I must also select wines with a story to share at our in-store tastings.Â This means hours of research and reading, trips to trade events, travel to wine country and of course, frequent visits to fabulous restaurants in Nantucket, New York and beyond.
The emphasis at currentVintage is on boutique wineries.Â To us, that means small-production, hand-crafted wines with a sense of place.Â If 300,000-case Yellowtail is your thing, no problem, but my high is from meeting a winemaker who is also the viticulturist, who eats, breathes and sleeps in the vineyard to create a coupleÂ hundred cases of a wine that deftly expresses the terroir.Â Think Wes Hagen of Clos Pepe:
Of course, there are a couple of problems with using exclusively these criteria:
A Small production wines are often expensive
BÂ There are a lot of great wines from big(ger) wineries
So, I make sure that the selection at cV is a thoughtful mix–our only hard and fast rule is that the wine taste more expensive than it is.Â With a mere 150-175 facings, editing the perfect mix is not easy.Â It requires constant updating and rotations; the process is actually a way of life.
I found this bit on the Hahn Estate SLH website:
â€œWhat makes up the soul of a wine? Or a specific vineyard site? Or a wine region? Itâ€™s more than â€œterroirâ€â€”technically, the soil and climate; itâ€™s that plus the sum total of the perseverance, dedication, commitment and simple trial and error of the people who came together at a specific place and time, with a vision to plant the vineyard and create the wine.â€
And so, I realized, we actually have two rules, the second being:
the wine must have soul.