December is a whirling dervish in this business. The holidays are enormously chaotic, and time is a luxury most retailers cannot afford. In a few weeks, I take over from one of the most successful retailers in this industry, Ken Lewis. I am assuming his duties as commodity wine buyer for the Party Source as of the first of the year, and it’s a pretty daunting task ahead. I go in knowing full well I will never “replace” the man. I know I just need to do my level best and not screw up too bad.
Ken Lewis, in my short tenure here at The Party Source, has been a pretty remarkable boss. Cool as a cucumber, he inspires you to do your best, and his criticisms are succinct, informative and stern, without being condescending or mean-spirited. I’ve only worked with one other boss like this, Chef Jean-Robert de Cavel. Most of my other bosses have had some form of megalomania or another, and working for them was always more of dying-a-slow-death than a learning experience. Here at TPS, working for Ken the past year-and-a-half has been profoundly liberating, though not without some difficulties.
I spent a decade down the road working for a competitor, and the methods I employed there tend to run contrary to how things are done here. I’ve been relearning how to do the job, slowly getting back to a level of confidence I had not had in a long, long time.
I am excited about my new post, and hope to infuse a little bit of the Whino into TPS’ future.
In the meantime, I haven’t been posting much lately. Swamped at work. The homefront has been a bit tumultuous as well. Sorting things out. My wife has been pretty miserable and I have been a miserable S.O.B. I don’t know what the future holds for us right now; we’re in a pretty lousy place, and it’s been my doing. I look around at my personal life and wonder what the fuck happened. Professionally I haven’t had too much upheaval (with the exception of being cast out of Mordor), yet at home, my wife and I have never really had an easy go of it. At the end of the day, I love her more than anything, and will find a way to make things right, even if it kills me.
Back to the post, I just decided to put up the collection of wines I’ve had over the past two weeks right here:
Seven Daughters Pinot Noir California 2011. Grade=Good. Soft, fruity style of Pinot Noir, light-bodied with ripe red cherries, white pepper and hints of mulberry and light-roasted coffee beans.
19 Crimes Red South Australia 2012. Grade=Very Good. Juicy fruit, medium-bodied and sweet notes of cinnamon, paprika and chocolate-covered strawberries.
Cozzo Mario Barbera d’Alba Rosa 2009. Grade=Very Good. Lots of body for this Barbera, sultry ad smooth, with dark fruits, dried herbs and stout spices.
Domaine des Rozets Grignan Les Adhemar Rouge 2010. Grade=Very Good. This uncommon Rhone appellation yields a red blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault that is smoky, fruity and quite pleasing on the palate.
Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Lot 500 2011. Grade=Outstanding. Bold, firm red with voluminous notes of black fruits, mocha, espresso, pepper and creamy oak. Impressive.