Sometime people ask me what got me into this business. I usually start by saying that I was fresh out of school and needed to pay the rent, so I found a listing on Craigslist for a job working in the wine department at Marty’s in Newton. Initially, I spent most of my time throwing boxes around in the basement. As more opportunities arose to taste wine, I slowly made my way up the stairs.
One night, after a particularly long day of taking in deliveries, a slew of tattered boxes of already opened wines appeared in one of the back rooms of the store. My manager told me that these were the remnants of that day’s Terry Theise German portfolio tasting, and that whatever dregs were left in the bottles were fair game. I had only ever tasted a few of these wines before, and this was surely the most wine I’d ever seen open at once. I had begun to learn how to spit when tasting wine, but it was the end of a hard day, and I wasn’t driving home, so I dove right in. Every wine was delicious and completely different from the last. Mosel, Pfalz, Rheingau; Muller-Catoir, Donnhoff, Christoffel-Erben, Merkelbach, Leitz; kabinett, spatlese, auslese…! Places, growers, and flavors that were all new to me. I quickly lost the ambition to try to form judgements in my mind about any of the wines for later recall, and allowed myself to be consumed by this new, ecstatic, sensory event. This was my introduction to German riesling; and it was the crystalline moment when I knew I’d be in the wine business for a very long time.
So, YES, I am truly thrilled and humbled to have Terry Theise visit the store this Friday, to taste a handful of his imports from Germany, Austria, and Champagne. Signed copies of his book Reading Between the Vines will available for sale. We will also show some clips from his most recent project, Leading Between the Vines, a film featuring a personal glimpse of the gang of Terry’s German winegrowers. Copies of the film will also be available.