Lorn Razzano: Wine Whisperer

Time for another silly wine column on what goes on in a day in the life at the Ashland Wine Cellar. Here are a few questions from clients and the answers which follow. Okay, here we go:

Phone call: (busy morning) Hi, I'd like to order six tickets for "Hamlet," if I could, that would be for August, first week.

Me: (pause) Oh, you have the wrong number. We are 488-2111, the Festival box office is 482-2111. We get this wrong number stuff all of the time.

Caller: No. I have called this number for 20 years and it has always been for the Shakespeare Festival. Always. Could you please reserve for me the tickets I am asking for?

Me: (incredulous) Uh, no. We have had this number for thirty years and believe me when I tell you that we are not the Festival, we are a wine shop.

Caller: (Shuffling through papers) Well, I have a terrific memory and I distinctly remember calling this number. Are you sure this is not the Oregon Shakespeare Festival? Are you just kidding?

Me: (doubly exasperated) What?!

Caller: Let me give you my Visa number so that I can res..

Me: The number you wish is 541-482-2111, not 488, this is my number.

Caller: Ugh! (click)

Me: Have a nice da...

One minute later: Caller: Hi, I'd like to reserve six tickets for "Hamlet" in August.

Man walks down stairs into the Cellar: Hey, how are you?

Me: Fine, thanks. How might I help you?

Man: So, I'm having Talapia for dinner and having five guests, what would be good with that?

Me: How are you cooking the fish?

Man: Grilled with lemon and sage with a side of rice and carrots. All fresh stuff.

Me: Chardonnay, maybe?

Man: Ugh, I hate Chardonnay. I find them too oaky.

Me: There are many without oak.

Man: No.

Me: Pinot Gris, maybe Sauvignon Blanc?

Man: Ugh, too acidic and too grassy. Sauvignon Blanc is really yucky!

Me: (yikes!) Um, how about a nice dry Riesling? There are many very fresh and dry Rieslings out there.

Man: No, no, too fruity! Way, way, too fruity for Talapia, jeez!

Me: Pinot Blanc, maybe even a nice Spanish white, dry and fresh?

Man: Uh, no!

Me: (being a wise ass) Well, how about a Pale Ale?

Man: (pause) Hey, that sounds good. What have you got?

Lady walks down the stairs: Hi!

Me: Morning! What's up?

Lady: I had a wonderful red wine with a white label on it. I want to see what you have.

Me: Ooh, That doesn't give me a lot to go on. Where was it from?

Lady: I got it here, that is why I came back!

Me: Well, thank you. What I meant was where the wine was made. Sorry.

Lady: It was Spanish. Uh, no, it was Italian. No, maybe it was from Argentina. Yes, it was from Chile! No, let me think. It was from Oregon, I think it was from around Bend. (pauses) Maybe it was from Washington State. Yes, Washington State, that was it! I remember it was just dreamy!

Me: do you remember the grape variety?

Lady: Cabernet Sauvignon. No, Pinot Noir. No, Merlot. No, I remember he didn't like Merlot then.

Me: Then?

Lady: Yes it was twenty five years ago. When we got married. Can you find me this wine?

Me: Well, after all of these years and not remembering the varietal makes it tough.

Lady. But it had a white label!

Fun in the cellar! See you next time. Have a great week!