I feel a little conflicted right now. Inner turmoil. I’m sitting here and staring at a blank screen and thinking of what to write in my first wine blog, and yet I am drinking a German Pilsner. I feel like a charlatan already.
I often get asked in our restaurant, “what is your favorite wine?” … how can I answer this question gracefully and succinctly, without going into a dissertation and putting my guests into a deep slumber?? I usually just muster up a smart-alec comment like “they are all just OK” or I will avoid answering altogether by refocusing the discussion on what the guest likes. How do you choose a favorite child? Which puppy is cuter? Don’t get me wrong, of course there are wines that pull on my heart strings and fill my mind with prose and thoughts of divinity… but who cares? I’m here to please you, and wine is an extremely subjective taste, so my favorite wines are the ones that my guests enjoy the most.
I have a friend with a cellar that would impress the wealthiest of collectors. From rare barbaresco and verticals of chateaneuf to the most sought after Burgundies, he has a cellar that even bewilders people like me, who are surrounded by the stuff every day. What is his favorite type of wine? Cotes Du Rhone! If given the choice, he would enjoy the twenty-dollar rhone blend more than his prized collection of aged Bordeaux. He found four different artisan/boutique producers and always has a case of each on hand while the ‘good stuff’ just collects more dust.
We often feel that the best wines are the ones that garner the most accolades, or the ones that are the hardest and most sought after… but the best wines are really the ones that you enjoy the most. If my friend had figured that out before spending a small fortune, maybe he wouldn’t have devoted an entire room in his house to wine, and spent more time enjoying wine than making an impressive collection of it.
The trick is really to find the little artisan producers that make the wine you love in the most interesting way, regardless of price or perceived prestige. Do you like the oaky and buttery chardonnays like Rombauer? Great! Rombauer makes over 40,000 cases per year of their Carneros Chardonnay. Lafond only makes just over 1,600 cases of their SRH appellation chardonnay, and Miner only made 2,000 of their Wild Yeast Chardonnay… Give the smaller guys a try, and you will likely find some interesting differences and complexities that will surprise you.
… so maybe I’m not that far off. I will look at my pilsner as a glass that is half-full, and say that I am following my desires. The question is, what will I desire with my dinner of salmon in a caper and cream sauce tonight? What would you pair with it?
EDGAR POURESHAGH is a Certified Sommelier and the General Manager of the new wine bar 320 South on LaBrea (just south of the Yougurtland). 320 South is open for lunch and dinner every day with a tapas style/small plate menu designed for sharing. Wines can be experienced using the Enomatic Wine dispensing machines – designed to encourage wine exploration. 320 South at 320 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles 323-327-6146 www.320southwine.com
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4 thoughts on “Sommelier Edgar Poureshagh Begins a Conversation About Wine”
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much. If you have any wine questions, you can always email me at [email protected].
Have a great day!
Discovered 3Twenty (320?) tonight for the first time and am totally in love with the concept and Edgard! (In a non-romantic, happily married kinda way.) Those of us who like to drink wine but are kinda clueless about the nuances will have a happy home at this place — who wouldn’t want 40 amazing wines on tap to taste for insanely reasonable prices, all with an electronic self-serve tab?! Yogurtland for grown-ups indeed.
The post here describes his style beautifully: “my favorite wines are the ones that please my guests the most.” I didn’t get past the whites tonight, but each one I tried (I tried five) were awesome.
And the food was top-notch too, AND a super cute room. I’m about to become a regular.
Thank you so much for your kind comments Tara! It was great to have you forward, and I totally look forward to becoming more and more involved with our community! 🙂