. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: What was the name of that wine...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What was the name of that wine...

Often, my memory skills are challenged by my costumers; just few minutes ago, two girls came in and told me: "I bought a white wine some time ago that was very good - it had a pear taste, it was around $21, and I'm sure you were the one that recommended it."
I was reminded of when I used to DJ, and I would go to my local record shop and try to sing the song I wanted, something I had heard somewhere, and I usually received, as consequence, a puzzled look from the shop's owner.
It happens quite often that someone purchases a bottle of wine and likes it - I usually do too. But when they return to pick up the same bottle some time later, they can't remember the name, grape, appelation, or even the color of the label - all things that might help me to figure out which bottle they are talking about.
Sometimes after few minutes of asking questions and pointing at bottles I do find the wine they loved, and they leave happy to have picked up something they know they will like. But other times, finding the right bottle is a task for Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible).
I used to tell people to write down the name of the wine or producer, or to bookmark it on the De Vino website. But notes with wine names on them get misplaced and mixed up, and people aren't always coming from home, where they can check the website. Then, all of a sudden one day, a brilliant idea struck me like lightning, and I asked a costumer: "do you have a camera in your phone?"
Most of the time the answer is yes, and I always suggest taking a picture of the wine you like. Considering that you will always carry your phone with you, it will be the easiest way to create a wine database.
And now, you can also download your pictures onto your computer and create word documents with pictures, notes and anything else you like to include in your archive.
I've been suggesting that to a lot of people and it looks like it works and is a pretty accessible system for the majority. I now have a few costumers that send me email with pictures of wine they had, and want me to look for.
It's also helpful when I select a mixed case for my out-of-town costumers - they can send me emails with pictures and feedback on what they liked (or didn't like, which it doesn't happen very often thank god).
So remember - if you find something you really like, and you'd like to have it again, take a moment to snap a photo on your cell phone. It'll almost certainly save you time and puzzled looks.
Buona Bevuta a Tutti


Tracie B. said...

i never forget a good wine!

De Vino said...

Like you can't forget a person once you loved them...

De Vino said...

These are two emails send by my costumer in response of this post.

First one:
Dear...Who, exactly?

Sorry about that slightly confused greeting...My memory doesn't always serve me either, and I cannot remember the name (or names) of the charming person who composes and sends the delightful newsletter. May I respectfully suggest that you sign these documents, whoever sends them...Please, this is NOT a criticism, merely intended as a constructive suggestion. I always enjoy reading your very fine letters...please keep 'em coming!

My original intent was simply to say, "THANK YOU VERY MUCH", for the very fine suggestion of getting out my always handy cell phone to photograph my favorite bottles...BRILLIANT! And brilliantly illustrated with the visual depiction of some fine looking cell phones...now that's what I call excellent communication...That's all, just wanted to say thank you! I will introduce myself next time I'm in your shop... (but you will NOT mistake me for Tom Cruise - THAT would be Mission Impossible!)

De Vino said...

And this is the second one:
hey gab, good idea! right now our camera needs to be fixed, but i was thinking of taking pictures of dinner meals, and of course that means the wine too!
tonite that snapshot would have included the singularis blanco, which i thought was very good. in fact, i just checked your website to see if my memory was correct since i thought the wine was inexpensive but it tasted like it costs much more!

JT said...

On a two week trip to Sicily last year, my wife and I knew we would be drinking too many wines, mostly unfamiliar, to be able to remember them. So we took snapshots of every one we drank.

Later, when I looked at a picture and saw the bottle and the label, it brought back the mood of the occasion along with the taste of the wine! After all, the bottle was right there on the table for the entire meal, in sight even when we weren't looking directly at it. I guess the label was signaling my memory at some subconscious level.

On the other hand, if you were to tell me the name of the wine, in well pronounced Italian, give the year, the region, and so on, I'd probably draw a complete blank.

The only problem was the one amazing Passito we drank while meditating over the very long and excellent dinner we had just finished. The picture of that wine turned out too fuzzy to read the label (it was at the end of a long meal and a couple bottles of wine, after all!) Well, the label written by hand and the wine was made by a friend of the chef, so it probably wasn't something that could be obtained anywhere but at that particular restaurant. Now, if we had only taken snapshots of the restaurants we ate at too...

DiNitro said...

Its funny but I agree with the first responder here "tracie b" in that I almost always remember every wine I drink in every restaurant for the past 30 years. It is sort of a vinographic memory thing. The combination of the wine label, the restaurant and food, and the taste, all combine to provide me with an experience I never forget -almost never.

Gab - you can ask me in one year from now what 2 wines we had at Balthazar and I will remember them, including the vintage - from memory.

De Vino said...

I'm with you on that I can remenber a wine like I used to remember a record when I used to dj or like most of baseball fans can tell you about the stats of a particular player during the 1966 season.
I guess we remember what we are intersted in.

PS Your choice of wine at Balthazar was impeccable.

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