This afternoon I'm going over to my friend Deborah's. She's chef/owner at www.BlackCatBistro.com which is a real, and superb, restaurant up the coast in Cambria. We're going to taste wines together, including some new releases by wineries I like, such as Eberle and Denner, both of which are over the hill in Paso Robles. That is to say, on the other side of the hill and not on the coast; I've no reason to assume the wineries themselves have seen better days, at least not until I try their new releases. But I'm sympathetically inclined as I like the owners.
I hate to describe a wine glowingly, only to discover at some point that the winery owner, or worse yet the winemaker, is an unpleasant person. (Rather how I feel about praising my own swill.) I also don't care to trash plonk made by a friend, preferring to slip it to a hardy plant unaware. But I rarely give a lengthy description of a wine for other reasons. First, to keep the allure of mystery for those who might want to try it themselves; second, because as a professional I tend to focus more on the wine's origin and structure, and less on effusive babble about the aromas, flavors and food matches (the province of amateurs, Bacchus bless them) and third, because I can't remember that many descriptors. Tell me twenty marvelous things about a wine, and I may recall two of them. I may even recall you, though you've given me your card twice before.