Here’s a sequel to a post I wrote a few months ago. It’s sometimes very hard for a wine merchant to gauge how interested a potential customer is in wine. There’s always a risk of patronising the customer or boring him senseless. Either way, no wine will be sold. So inspired by the 1-5 sweetness scale used by most supermarkets, I’ve come up with my own system. Simply walk into the shop, greet the shopkeep and then say one of the numbers below. Instantly the sales spiel will be at just the right level for you:
0 – Do you only sell wine? I’m after milk/ tampons/ mobile top-up cards.
1 – Do you sell Blossom Hill?
2 – Some basic chat about grape varieties is fine.
3 – By all means talk about wine regions.
4 – Happy to hear some funny stories about the producers crop being eaten by goats but please don’t talk about schist.
5 – I want to talk about schist, kimmeridgian clay and whether wines made by Guy Assad have aged well.
I’d say that I fall between 4 and 5 on this scale depending on my mood. If my system takes off, I foresee a revolution in the British attitude to wine. Visiting a wine merchant will no longer be a source of potential embarrassment, customers will be less inhibited and spend more. The wine trade will boom like never before. It’ll start as a trickle but mark my words this is going to be big. Who’s with me?