Founded by the late Daniel Rogov, focusing primarily on wines that are either kosher or Israeli.

Recommendations

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Stephen Weil

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Recommendations

by Stephen Weil » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:27 am

Recently I visited a boutique wine store and wanted to purchase wines that that were recommended and wines that by and large I had not come in to contact with.
Whereas I usually purchase from certain wineries it is part of the passion to expand ones horizons and discover new wines.
Can one rely on the recommendations of the wine stores?
What is your opinion? It's playing on my mind as not long ago one of my kids asked a store owner to recommend a good wine and explained that I am a collector and she wanted something different that I did not know but it had to be good. She landed up paying about NIS200.00 for a bottle that was clearly drink up and was probabably clogging up the shelves. So should we return the bottle?
Here it was clearly not a question of taste.
Are wine shop owners objective?

Thoughts to ponder
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Gabriel Geller

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Re: Recommendations

by Gabriel Geller » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:41 am

Hi Steve,

I can't speak for others but personally I strive to be objective as I want my customers to enjoy what I sell them and then return. Satisfaction is key.

This is why I'm selling almost exclusively wines that I enjoy myself and have tasted but I admit that I also carry a very small selection of wines that I don't like very much as there is a high demand from the customers themselves. E.g. GHW Yarden Mount Hermon or the Binyamina Yogev Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot. I'm not a big fan of these wines, but that's my personal taste. However there are people looking for those and the customer is king.

Now of course it's not only a matter of objectivity. I am a wine shop owner indeed, and I have some experience and knowledge yet I am a human being first and foremost so even if there's something that I like or dislike it doesn't necessarily mean that all my customers should also like the same wines that I do. Which is also why I usually try to figure out everyone's preferences so I may express a recommendation upon that.

Now back to that wine that was over the hill: IMHO the least a wine shop should do is to give a refund on a wine that shouldn't have been sold in the first place anyway.

Best,

GG
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Adam M

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Re: Recommendations

by Adam M » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:22 am

Stephen - I don't doubt Gabriel's bona fides, but I am very skeptical about recommendations from wine shop owners. They are salesman and have acute incentives. There always seems to be a small handful of wines that the owner purchased on a deal that needs to be pushed. There ain't no way that a sho power is going to commit to an investment in a large amount of wine and then discourage his customers from buying it. The only way I would trust the owner is if he offered me to taste it. That's putting your money where your mouth is. 8)
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Isaac Chavel

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Re: Recommendations

by Isaac Chavel » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:14 pm

It may depend on whether you indicate to the salesman that you live in the neighborhood, are looking for a store in which to shop regularly.

If you just pop in and ask for a suggestion, all bets are off. Wine stores/salespeople are like any others; they have the same variety of service, in the sense of steering the customer to what is appropriate, as any other retail business. Yes, if someone seems a stranger and "wine-innocent," the temptation is out there to unload on him/her a subpar wine (subpar for whatever reason). That is when the store and its salespeople are truly tested.

It's playing on my mind as not long ago one of my kids asked a store owner to recommend a good wine and explained that I am a collector and she wanted something different that I did not know but it had to be good. She landed up paying about NIS200.00 for a bottle that was clearly drink up and was probabably clogging up the shelves. So should we return the bottle?


By all means return it. You'll find out very quickly if the guy wants your future business, especially since he has been told you are a collector.
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Gabriel Geller

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Re: Recommendations

by Gabriel Geller » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:29 pm

We indeed sometimes push a wine on which we got a deal but that doesn't mean that the wine is not good, quite on the contrary. And I would certainly not push a subpar wine as the customer would then probably not return. I focus on the service as it is also what brings people back.
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Gedalya P

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Re: Recommendations

by Gedalya P » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:33 pm

As a wine shop owner, I have 2 observations:
1. People who are not wine shop owners are, according to their comments here, not very trusting of the places where they shop. These places may deserve this.
2. A good wine shop needs to be a place you can trust. A single visit cannot tell you that. We taste 2 wines each week for free, get everyone's opinion, and post the conclusions the following week. We store our wines well and coolly and want return customers. That means people need to enjoy shopping here, and I have to get to know their preferences over time. I keep a book so that guests asking what they like will know what to give them. They have to trust me. I can't go around "dumping" things they won't like on them. I have to have fun, and they have to have fun. When they're here and when they drink their wine at home. Is this so rare? I know Gabriel works the same way. Adam?
From Cellar 18 in Ramat Beit Shemesh
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Yehoshua Werth

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Re: Recommendations

by Yehoshua Werth » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:20 pm

Stephen,

Wow.. So sorry you had a bad experience. Or shall I say your kids had a bad experience and you caught most of the weight. I hope this owner gave your child the respect they deserve because if the word collector was used; they should have sent home a bottle that could age a while.. Sad:(

You being the knowledge bank and collector can send the best messenger but the results will be rare to come out for you as you wish. Some people come into the store here and say they are buying for someone and comes out, "He or She wants the best Cabernet you have?" or "What is your best bottle?" or "What is new and interesting that the person I am buying for may never have seen that's good?" These questions can be taken in many different ways; IF we don't know the people and what they had previous or some basic taste bud gauge; it is tough to get it perfect on delivery.

On the other side of the coin..
Long Aging and Big name bottles:

Top bottles to age from Israel =
Yarden Rom & Single Vineyards
Tzuba Hametzuda
Yatir Forest, Cabernet & Shiraz
Tanya Enosh
Adir Plato
Recanati - Special Reserve
Recanati - Special Reserve
Castel Grand Vin
Ella "E"
Dalton Matatia
Alexander The Great
Gvaot Masada
Flam Reserve Cabernet
Tishbi Sde Boker
Segals Unfiltered
Binyamin Choshen Series Reds
Carmel Limited & Med

Funky, Fun, different & Top notch:
Har Bracha Merlot
Recanati Wild Carignan
Gush Etzion Petite Verdot
Dalton Zinfandel
Odem Volcanic Chardonnay
Barkan Superior Pinotage
Hevron Heights Elon Mamre'
Alexander Amarolo
Or Haganuz Har Sinai
Agur - Kessem
Teperberg Terra Malbec

With these basics in mind maybe some one had something to dump, maybe some one loved a label on a bottle that will not age more, maybe its just time to develope a relationship with a store and grow that so they can take care of all you need over time not just in one moment.(With that you could send another person for you and they could get it right.)

May you find the great wine in a great store with the best help NOW!
Love be with your day
Yehoshua Werth, Manager
The GrapeVine Wines & Spirits
Monsey, NY USA
http://www.youtube.com/TheGrapevineWines
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Gabriel Geller

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Re: Recommendations

by Gabriel Geller » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:35 pm

Very nice selection Yehoshua! :D
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Stephen Weil

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Re: Recommendations

by Stephen Weil » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:56 am

Yehoshua Hi
Some of the wines you list are just expensive and gimicks and are no better than the regular wines produced.
I dont want to go into it as its another topic.
I am finding it interesting to follow the trends of thought from shop owners.
Could one divide the clientel. Specialists, regulars and anything will do clients which are probably 75%

Regards
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Re: Recommendations

by Mike_F » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:07 am

Indeed, the clientele can be varied. I am reminded of the time I was in my favorite wine shop, and a lady came in and asked the owner for a wine with an impressive label and high price, since she needed it as a gift for her lawyer... .
Of course we must be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.”
Richard Dawkins
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Gabriel Geller

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Re: Recommendations

by Gabriel Geller » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:59 am

Stephen Weil wrote:Yehoshua Hi
Some of the wines you list are just expensive and gimicks and are no better than the regular wines produced.

Hi Steve, could you name some specifics? I may agree with you on 3 or 4 of the wines listed by Yehoshua but my own opinions in this case must stay off the record.
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Stephen Weil

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Re: Recommendations

by Stephen Weil » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:19 am

off line. I dont want to get involved in arguments.
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Adam M

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Re: Recommendations

by Adam M » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:19 pm

jgpersky wrote:As a wine shop owner, I have 2 observations:
1. People who are not wine shop owners are, according to their comments here, not very trusting of the places where they shop. These places may deserve this.
2. A good wine shop needs to be a place you can trust. A single visit cannot tell you that. We taste 2 wines each week for free, get everyone's opinion, and post the conclusions the following week. We store our wines well and coolly and want return customers. That means people need to enjoy shopping here, and I have to get to know their preferences over time. I keep a book so that guests asking what they like will know what to give them. They have to trust me. I can't go around "dumping" things they won't like on them. I have to have fun, and they have to have fun. When they're here and when they drink their wine at home. Is this so rare? I know Gabriel works the same way. Adam?


The last thing I want to do is stereotype wine shop owners, particularly those who participate on this forum. For it is the ultimate in luxury to have a wine shop owner whom one can trust and who can delight the customer with new wine experiences. There are plenty of shop owners out there who fit this bill, including I'm very sure all of the shop owners on this forum.

Having said all of this, I personally rarely come across shop owners whose tastes and budgetary considerations are aligned with mine. My experience with wine shopping typically involves me walking (no, make that strutting) into a wine shop, browsing the Israeli/kosher wine section, and the proceeding to do what I promised myself that I would resist before entering the shop, which is to discuss, at a very granular level, the ins and outs of each bottle of wine that the owner has on his shelf. I will challenge the owner regarding what he knows, and correct him when his facts wander astray. I sometimes get so deep that the owner feels like his guts have been scrapped out of his body and then returned. By doing this, I fetter out any and all alterior motives. I'm horrible. They hate me. But I can't help it. This is why I rarely shop in wine stores. Putting aside my perceived arrogance and lack of impulse control, I feel that I am nonetheless pretty good at ferreting out statements regarding the sale of wine that are not objective.
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Yehoshua Werth

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Re: Recommendations

by Yehoshua Werth » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:19 pm

Stephen Weil wrote:Yehoshua Hi
Some of the wines you list are just expensive and gimicks and are no better than the regular wines produced.
I dont want to go into it as its another topic.
I am finding it interesting to follow the trends of thought from shop owners.
Could one divide the clientel. Specialists, regulars and anything will do clients which are probably 75%

Regards


"collector" was the key word you used as a definer for what to get you in that shop!
With this in mind I listed bottles that mostly go up in value and will age at some level.

They might be overpriced in some cases yet they still go up from that point.

To me if COLLECTOR was not in the language and you just want bottles to Age and drink later try this:
$33 and under list!

2010 Bravdo Coupage
2010 Dalton Petite Syrah (Big tannins and still drinks great)
2011 Alfasi Late Harvest Sauvignon BLanc (Boytritus and will age a long time, Big fruit in Sauterne style)
2007 Tishbi Estate Cabernet (Had a 2002 3 months ago that was Awesome)
2009 Odem Volcanic Merlot (07' still drinking nice)
2009 Har Bracha Cabernet Sauvignon (Lets do a wait and see on this looks like a winner)
2009 Chateau Le Bourdeax (maybe best vintage yet and not Big $)
New Queen Ester Reserve Pinot Noir (2005 is drinking very nice with this oaky medium to light body smile) $13

Very short list yet the language is the key:
Collect = Value on open market
Cellar = Drink

and Adam.. Come up any time and lets talk Wine :)
Yehoshua Werth, Manager
The GrapeVine Wines & Spirits
Monsey, NY USA
http://www.youtube.com/TheGrapevineWines

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