Thurs., 2/15, Perryville & Little Rock, AR
Well if you've never been to Perryville and Perry County, Arkansas, let me tell you something. They don't call it the only county in Arkansas without a red light for nothing! On top of that it is a big, land-wise, county so you would think by now they would have gotten a red light but alas it hasn't happened yet. Beautiful country but didn't appear that there is a whole lot going on there. But I digress and the only reason I mentioned it was to illustrate my need for a nice glass of wine after driving all over the countryside on a cold, winters day.
I chose the 2005 Sebastiani Pinot Noir as it came with a good recommendation, was selling for around $16.00/bottle and I just had a taste for a nice Pinot. This wine had a very dark garnet/ruby color that had me looking forward to it and the nose was filled with just the right amount of cherry, a slight hint of oak and a little bit of spice that I couldn't identify at first. As I tasted it the subtle cherry flavors filled my mouth as did hints of strawberry and it finished with an extremely soft tannin. Although this is a good tasting wine I really expected a little more at that price point. It didn't have the body I expected when I first poured it and really didn't have any "wow" factor at all. I think this is a wine that will get better with age and if I opened it a year or two from now I wouldn't be surprised if I had a much higher rating. I may grab a bottle and put it away just to test my theory. Based on the price I paid for this one I gave it 3 corkscrews as it would probably be a good value a year or two from now, is okay to drink right now but I expect will get better, and I wouldn't hesitate to drink it again. Maybe it will even get up to 4 corkscrews down the road but only time will tell.
On the retail wine store planning front I been trying to decide what the best way to display wine is. I've been to Wineracks.com and they have a host of configurations to choose from and whenever I go into a wine store I take careful note of what I like and dislike regarding their displays. Another item I'm considering would be to add an Enoround to my location. The only hold-up at this point is the cost as I don't see how it would pay for itself in the short-term. Several of the bigger wine stores in Chicago were starting to put these in right before we moved but I don't know how well they have been received and Chicago has much more liberal liquor laws than Arkansas. We're in the Bible Belt here and it wasn't until a year or two ago that you could even hold wine tastings in a store. Even now you have to pay a $1,000.00 annual fee for the privilege. Hopefully with the Supreme Court decision regarding interstate wine shipments coming down, Arkansas will finally enter the 21st century. At least one can hope! Let me know your thoughts on displaying, both good and bad as I really want to have a store set-up that makes it easier for my customers to explore and identify new wines to try and who better to suggest ideas then fellow wine lovers? Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often!

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