I remember customer wine ordering patterns a decade ago, around the turn of the century to a little after:
"I'll have a glass of Merlot." and "Please bring me a glass of Chardonnay."
Then for a short while during the summer of 2004 thanks to the movie Sideways, we couldn't give away a glass of Merlot. Miles seemingly singlehandedly put the words "Pinot Noir" on everyone's lips. The mantra was then:
"Oh, I'll have a Pinot please." Yet Chard still held sway in the white world. But by the spring of 2005, Merlot was back on top. That run wouldn't last forever, though.
Sometime in the last three or four years, customers moved on, in response to what stimuli, I don't know. Today, it's:
"I'll have a Malbec, please." and "Please bring me a Pinot Grigio."
This all strikes me as rather boring and, well, frankly, as an abdication of one's responsibility to continue to learn. Never mind that learning can be fun—seriously, how distressing is it to have to drink a glass of wine?—I always thought that it was one of the delights of growing up: learning for the sheer fun of it when nobody, not a parent or a teacher, is breathing down your neck.
We have a wine list here at the restaurant that is 70-plus in number of wines on offer by the glass (and this doesn't count many more than that by the bottle). Why is that? Because we love to learn about wines ourselves and we have fun sharing what we have learned with others.
So, know that we cringe a little bit each time you blindly call for a glass or bottle of the same old-same old.
Know that we spend a lot of time in finding really neat wines from lesser-known grapes such as Asprinio, Furmint, Robola, Melon de Bourgogne, Lagrein, Mencía, and Gamay Noir.
And know that we'd love to share them with you.
Will you dare to be different? Will you try something new?