In the mid-nineties I was writing a piece for Diversion magazine on Bandol. I called wine importer Victor Schwartz for a sample of his Domaine Le Galatin.
He gave me a really hard time, he didn't like giving wine samples to journalists. Anyway, wasn't I tired of the business of wine writing? Why don't I consider selling wine for him?
I knew enough about myself to know I was a horrible sales person, but
the stupid reality of being a wine writer smacked me in the face like a wet mackerel and I didn't know what else to do. So I gave it a shot.
In the end, I was probably the worst salesperson in VOS history. I couldn’t sell wine to a wino. Yet, my very few customers loved me and knew that I would always bring them something very good to taste. Yet, because I am as aggressive as a salamander, they bought wine from Michael Skurnik--the hot importer of the day--instead. But even though at most I made 4k a year from my efforts, my wine knowledge took a flying leap foward.
One day, Victor asked me to taste some wine he was considering importing; Clos du Tue Boeuf. There was a white and a red. It was a chenin and (I have no idea what the red was back then) perhaps it was gamay?
I loved them. The wines were really cheap and even better they were delicious and cheap.
A few weeks ago on my Fez/France tour, the Puzelat Brothers (great name for rock band) were the next stop after Clos Roche Blanche. ………..(TBC)