Wine of the Month Club
and Wine Fashionista.com
Host: Paul Kalemkiarian,
President – Wine of the Month Club
Guest: Mary Orlion –
welcome to the continuing, not the wine makers series it is the wine bloggers
series here at wine of the month club. And we are very excited to introduce
Paul: How are you?
Mary: I am great Paul, How are
you are here. And she walked in and I kind of recognised her. And then we started
talking, and I realize that she was host of or producer of
Paul: Wine Country?
Mary: In wine country
wine country, right and we were the main club for that program, and she has
moved on to other things and now she has the website Fashionista,
Paul: WineFashionista.com –
ok what's wrong with me? –
Mary: You need some wine
right, we're going to do that too. It is a great site, we've been a members for
years, and we have been watching what she's been doing and fascinated by your
not to be, not the least of which is snifapaluza.
us about Snifapaluza.
Well, first of all I have to tell you that I am obsessed with perfume has much
has I am with wine.
that's where it comes from. And years ago Snifapaluza started as a small group
in New York City, two friends; they called them The Karen's, both named Karen.
They started this group and started holding perfume events, where either
perfume companies, it actually the smaller niche companies, would come and
present their new perfumes and their new releases. And this growing group of
perfume lovers just start taking on this amazing, amazing influence in the
industry. So it's growing to a group of five thousand members worldwide.
would always have these great events in New York City, like a master class with
a perfumer or the nose behind the label. Or a blending session and I always
wanted to go. So a couple years ago I said ok, wherever they go this coming
year, they always do big international trips. I said I
am going, and I was fortunate that the destination was Grass and Province [unsure].
that's pretty cool
that's kind of the world headquarters for the perfume industry. So many of the big
fragrance companies IFF, MAN, and GUVITAN. They all have factories there.
Snifapaluza is able to get us into the factories to meet with the noses and to
get a tour.
like, that's pretty amazing access right?
Because you know the perfume industry is really secretive.
what was really great was the first factory we walked into, we got to see the
production line. Well, it's just like a winery, they bring in the raw
materials. The day that we were there, they happened to be bringing in, I
forget what kind of flowers, but, and then they were processing them, and then they
had to go through an extraction or fermentation if you will
and once they get what they call the juice, then they have to put it in stainless
steel tanks. And so they kind of
it, right. So it is distillate.
but there are several processes. There is a distillation, there's extraction,
and there is something called amflorage.
is an old technique, but it was fascinating, so it just kind of hit me; it's
really similar to wine.
like a winery; and then the more I learned about the aromas and smelling the
perfumes, it really seemed like the aromatics really spoke to me as much has
the aromatics in wine. And learning to smell perfume and being able to identify
helps me with wine
very interesting because people, put your glass up. Often when I go to Macy's
or wherever and I smell some of the perfumes, and like give them a description,
they go, "hey how did you know that?" I say like "I am in the wine business and
I think there's a huge cross overs or ven diagram of that. So, in fact I was
telling Mary off camera that we have found a bunch of our old wine from the
seventy's and eighty's, and you'll be seeing some of those video
clips. And has soon as I saw the labels I remembered the smell. It is such a
memorable, the scents right?
it really is. Your sense of smell is more powerful than your sense of taste
because if you didn't have your sense of smell you wouldn't really taste
anything. Your tongue can only perceive bitter, sweet, salty, and sour.
Paul: Right that's right
to get the florals, to get the fruit, that comes from your sense of smell. So
wine wouldn't be as enjoyable.
that's the smell. In fact sometimes
nose on this is just so beautiful.
that great, this is… so she asked why we taste a wine that has a lot of aromatics
, wine that would be a Viognier, a Ruson a Marson or one of these kind and they
have to be from the south of France as well. And this is a white coat juroon. And
it Vaughn too actually, and so yeah, the tropical nose.
tropical nose is really amazing, the pineapple, the guava that really comes
out. And you also get the white flower, so you get some of a little bit of
honey suckle some Jasmin
stone peach, stone fruit but. The thing about this wine is they always confuse
me anyway, the viognier's and some of them, they're dry
Paul: but you get this
Mary: You do
Paul: And then you, it's
kind of dry.
once you taste it, it's very dry. But you still get that rich, at least with
this one, it's going to be a very rich taste on your palate
actually will open up as time goes on this one that's still closed. This is for
Mary: Very nice
Plumeridge importers one of the main importers for Trader Joe's actually, but
not a Trader Joe's wine, so
Mary: It doesn't taste like it
as well. There's some dense to be found at Tray
we love them. They, I mean, Bob Bernie who passed away a few years ago, the
original wine buyer for the Joe Cologne, good friend of wine of the month club.
And he's the guy that would find these gems, right? They are more, there
inventory is more stable now than they used to be, they used to be really...
Now we talked about this off camera
Paul: And this is, and you
have never tasted one so we got a chance to do that
Mary: I've never tasted a
And we were discussing this earlier that it's not 'mencia' although it's spelt
like it. It's Mencia and it's, what I love about these kinds of things is
Mary: Look at the colour.
Paul: The addition is grape,
we don't grow it here.
Mary: Yeah, right, but most
people don't know it.
Paul: Right. And you can't
compare it. You can't say this tastes like Syrah, right?
Mary: Right, and you don't
want it to.
Paul: Right, exactly
Mary: I mean, that's what's
fun about wine is that, there're so many different varieties that people are
discovering now, like this, the white Rhone that we just had, it had Grenache
blanc in it and that's become one of my favourite.
Paul: Great, great
years ago, I didn't know about Grenache Blanc but it is fun now and people are
starting to learn about it. Look at the colour on
Paul: Isn't it gorgeous? It
sort of has the berries and then those are the spice
Mary: It smells so earthy
Paul: Love it, so fun.
story is funny, it came to me from a neighbourhood, you know, the local
neighbourhood Christmas party last year, two or three years ago. And the gentleman
came up to me and he goes, "hey I heard you are in the wine business, you know,
my cousin has farms in Spain.
Mary: That's nice
Sacra which is upper North West of Spain, kind of a secure area, not a lot of
wine comes from there that area that we get. Anyway, usually we get regular
stuff isn't that fun?
is fun and it's really delicious and it does not have the big tannings that say
I get a new black fruit all kinds of berries in it
a black fruit, a little pepper spice
I agree, and this is their, I guess it's their reserve, if you were to call
that. We have also featured their regular mencia
it's easy drinking. How much a bottle does this sell for?
think it's actually 12.99
that amazing? It's really well made, it's got nice structure and it's, yeah
that fun? That's why you love this industry
because you get to try things that you wouldn't try before.
say on WineFahionista.com that you like, in your bio you talk about Rhone varietals
that always been the case or you
it's just something maybe in the past five six years, the more I learned about
them, I think Vienna is my favourite wine
that really? That's great
the northern rose Syrah, they're great and I love Grenache
you know, it seems like and maybe you've seen this in your travels, but people
start with, first like, they don't like to start with red wine, they start with
the white wine and then they move in the red, then they start with the Bordeaux
varietals, the Merlot's and the Cabs, then they learn about Pinot Noir then
they come to the Rhone varietals
I think the Rhone varietals, whether they're grown in the Rhone Valley or in
this country, it's just very interesting and different I am not a big Cabernet
Sauvignon person. I used to be a Chardonaway person.
I like it, I've never heard that one, it's really good
ABC or anything but chardonnay in the past year or two, I've been finding some
really great chardonnay, especially in California that burnt the big oak butter
bond that they use to be
wine makers are coming around to balance and more leaner styles with fruits
there, there's minerality
absolutely right on with that, and we see that here in our tasting.
more into stainless steel, that's more lactic. And really the character of the
fruit, right, not the character of the barrels. This came to, you know, you're
actually on a cutting edge today because we haven't released this wine yet, and
we are the first in America to have it.
vendor in Corona, you know, last but very French, lovely French woman and her
husband, and she does the wine and he does motorcycles. And I just think this
is so classic for what it's trying to be. This is the coup domain decouverel
this is the rhone varietal I think old vines as well.
got that really nice in depth of fruits, you've got the red fruits from the
strawberry, from the Grenache.
that great, the nose?
really is, there's from the Syrah
I think that, she's a certified Sommelier and so she's been through rigorous
training and we know how excruciatingly, I've read the test, I've never taken
it and as well it is a mastery of wine test, which is incredibly different. Another
that's totally another level, so I still admire the people who have achieved
that, it's really amazing
had a few in here, there's one in the local beer who sells South African wines,
we used to do a lot of business with him but. When you go to a restaurant and
somebody serves you wine, quite often I just need to smell it, because of this
stash of a business we know so much of it. And some say the wine goes waste,
and I told them it is fine and they still wait for me to taste them like, I
don't need to taste them you can tell
because I think, you know, because it's so engrained in us, you know, we have
to we have to taste it to make sure it's ok, but really what you're doing when
you're smelling the wine with either the wine server's or somebody else
waiting for is free to say, it's ok, it's not corked.
and you get that in the nose
totally get that in the nose and I do the same thing, I sniff it and I put it
down and I say, it's great. Thank you
great. So I went to a restaurant the other night in Pasadena, just a while ago,
I won't go back actually, somebody brings me the wine, and he brings it, I know
the wine, I just tasted it recently and I liked it when I tasted it. And the
guy was fair, it was like fifty bucks. And the next one he, we ordered another
bottle, and it was corked, it was clearly corked. My brother-in-law who's not
a wine guy goes, "This smells funny" I say you're right, it's corked, so I
called the guy over I say this wine is corked, "No it's not," he says. Because
this is fifty dollars. So he pours another glass, he opens a fresh bottle for
the table next door they taste it, they drink it. I said bring me a glass of
that, I do not smell these two. He goes this is not cork. So I said, ok fine
and he goes, "but you can have the rest of this bottle from that table."
that stupid? Well I got so mad and I came back here I got on the computer which
I have showed you and they had offered the wine here for like seven dollars.
he was charging me fifty. And he couldn't come to grips to offer me another
bottle. Isn't that annoying?
service is e everything, and we were talking about how long you've been in the
business and one thing you really owe that to is your really personal…
know, Customer service is so important in the wider world and more
intimidating, you know, why make it an intimidating experience when it should
be after all. Part of my training has a certified Sommelier and to master
Sommelier is customer service and your guest is the most important thing and you
are there to serve the guest. And after all it's a great experience that we
want you to have with wine, we want you to come back and try it again enjoy it
learn and love it. But you know some Sommeliers don't get that message.
don't get it.
was in Australia in Sydney at a restaurant and I ordered a wine and I was
having salmon that night and I wanted to have a white wine with it. And the
Sommelier said "No you need to have red with this." And I was like I don't feel
like drinking that tonight, I'm going to have a white. And we went back and
forth, he made it, he was so obnoxious about it that I said, ok you know what,
I'm not even ordering wine tonight.
was that upset.
so half way through, me and my husband are having our entrees, he comes with a
glass of wine like this and he just kind of slams it in front of me, it was
like, "this is what you need to be drinking with your dish," I'm like "ok."
you know, I tried it, it was fine but I wasn't going to order a glass it just
terrible, that's terrible
would I ever go back? No
fact, one of the best meals that I have ever had was at Pinot Noir festival but
they were serving chardonnay with their waffle salmon over oak fire. What's
wrong with salmon and white wine nobody wanted it?
what's the next step with your Sommelier, you get a master Sommelier, what's
the next step?
there is a step in between called advanced Sommelier and it takes a lot of
self-study, I think it takes, it can take a couple of years to do that and
that involves, with the exams there's three parts, there's theory, which is
knowledge of wine of regions and the higher you go up the more obscured the
regions and the knowledge and the grape, varietals and you to know the soil
types, the climate, all these things.
small producers, big producers and then there is the service component of it so
you have to actually conduct proper service for formal restaurant dining, in my
case, it was champagne service.
Wow, that's interesting.
it was tough
was really tough. And I'm not sure what they do for the masters but it's much
you are kind of role playing, you are the server and you have master Sommelier
sitting at your table, while you're are trying to do, you know, open the bottle
correctly, do the perfect pour, just concentrate on that, but they're asking
you questions on cocktails and food pairing and all those other things
Paul: So you are
multi-tasking at that point
Paul: But you know there's
like about 150 Master Sommeliers around
just under 200, it's it's very difficult, it takes years and years and not
everyone passes the first time. I'll be honest I didn't pass my certified test
on the first time. I had to go back and brush up on the service. And the other
part of it is the blind tasting.
Paul: They say the MW is
like an eight percent (8%) pass rate
it is very difficult, yeah and I think it might be harder. We had a master on
our trip to Argentina and Chile
Paul: Which one?
Mary: Mary Gorman
Paul: Love Mary Gorman
Mary: She's based in New York
Paul: So here is this Grenache
is some of the grape with a completely different wine from a different region.
This is from Spain, that one is from the south of France, but isn't that, I
just love this wine.
the black juice and it's so juicy
Which would lead you to think that the aging potential of this wine which a lot
of acid, you know, would be younger, five years maybe. May not develop all that
much, whereas the Rhone version of the same kind of grapes, this one is a
little more acid and probably has some more longevity to it. But that leads me
to the Segway, the incredible Segway, which was
wrote an article on winefashionista.com about aging wine in the ocean vs in a celler
and I remembered that study when happened, which was a couple of years ago
there were studies but this experiment actually started back in February
Paul: Oh, just recently.
recently. Mira winery which is in Napa. They wanted to do something different
and they kind of like the idea of, I think recently, they recently wrote about
some wine that had been discovered in the shipwreck
I said, maybe there's something here too, why don't we try it. So they took
four cases of their, in 2009 in Napa valley and they put in under the water in Charleston
harbour, sixty feet below
3 months. They designed these cages that would keep the wine kind of anchored
to the bottom of the ocean floor.
when they were ready they couldn't find it when they went back.
couldn't find it immediately. They had kind of the surface GPS coordinates
funny but they found it, they did find it.
So you tasted the wines, you're one of , well, it's intriguing that you were
invited to be one of six cities or something to taste them.
that was great. They had fifteen people in each city come and mix with people
in the wine industry some writers, some people in the business in either the
retail or distributors because they wanted to do a blind test between the wine
that had been ocean aged and then the wine, the same vintage, the same wine
that had finished aging just in a dry cellar
on land, and would we see a difference? And that was really what they wanted to
there a difference. And then every city they went to, pretty much everybody
said there is a difference, and
interesting to me
There was a difference in colour, just looking at the glass on the counter,
when we saw it, it didn't look too different, but when you held it up over a
piece of white paper
looked at the words, you could see some of the words under the wine that turned
out to be the land age one. The wine that was ocean aged was a little more
also the colour to the rim was stronger on the ocean age wine vs the land age
so I thought ok maybe it's different. The aromas were definitely different.
that part I read, yeah.
wine that was blind age it had a little greenness to it. The one that was Ocean
age was definitely more fruit forward, more concentrated. This seemed to be
more opened. The one that, and then the palate too, the tannings were bigger on
the ocean aged one
that interesting? So you guys are talking about an article about whether it's
true that the pressure, clearly there's no light sixty feet deep maybe there is
light in the celler conditions, maybe there is vibration from the compressors. I
don't know what.
Mary: But there's definitely
vibration in the ocean because
Paul: Yeah, because it's moving
around. Yeah that's interesting.
that may have had something to do with it. They're not a hundred percent sure,
they're doing another experiment and this time its eight cases and it's a
different vintage so the results will vary.
Paul: It takes six months I
think they said it was going to be
going to do it six months, kind of experimenting to see what happens, you know,
is there something to this. They say, you know, it's really not cost effective
to age a whole production run of wine.
Mary: That, you know, but
they're going to kind of experiment with it a bit and see.
wonder if there is like this whole market place now where you go to the market
and they say wine age in the celler and wine age in the ocean or something
exactly. They even came up with their own term called aqua, it's kind of a
Paul: Oh yeah that's right, aquar
don't know, I don't know, because I think it's a great experiment, really fun
and love to have the opportunity to taste them, but you know, often we get
wines even, this premier that we are going to taste now from Argentina. There's
bottle variations amongst the bottling
know and I suppose if you do enough samples and you do enough and they find the
distinct difference then I guess that makes sense.
you know, I went into that tasting kind of sceptical, I was saying you know,
it's just a marketing gimmick
there was a difference so there were things good and bad, but I liked the one
that was ocean aged a little bit better and so did the wine maker.
that's great. Hey, it's a great experiment, regardless
know, it's kind of a fun story
is a fun story
you can have fun with wine, why not
be fun. One of the other articles about your travels with with Chile one of my
destinations here soon and my first question, before we go into the wine part,
and I ask this of all Chile who come, indigenous or not. I go why, how and who
decided that Chile gets this little narrow strip all the way down to the length
of Central America, and Argentina gets this huge area and clearly divided at
the top of the Andes but why? And I've gotten political answers, I've gotten
religious answers. If I haven't got an answer, I buy it
don't know that one?
we've got this
it's interesting about Chile is coming wisdom was that, differences, it was
more important, the north south orientation, or as you went from north to
south, that was the bigger influence on the grapes and the vineyards, the east
west, or west east I should say, going from the Andes to the ocean. They're
finding now that there's a bigger variation and bigger influence of vineyards
that are in the western side versus toward the oceans. That is becoming more
and more of an important factor, where they are planting the varietals and all
of that and it was north to south
that makes, I mean that makes great climate.
climate, soil and stuff
I think you will agree that salter wines are distinctly different from wines
grown toward the south of the ozone
know, there's some aging factor there
is, I don't know if I poured you a glass or not
This is one of our special, this is a 2005
it sells for $40 at wine.com, we sell it for 19, exact same vintage, the exact
same blend. This is sort of a Bordeaux blend, you know, blends back in Merlot but
this is one of the softer, more dynamic, more complex most chilling wine I've
had. I just flipped over it and the chance to offer it at a substantial
discount, it was great. Ever had a Euraca?
No I haven't.
the importer is…hard to read because my eyes are so bad.
__________ in 05, it's still very fresh
has lots of fruit
I love it. Malbec has so many different flavours to it and this one, more Bordeaux
like, and the rest from there. You know it's very interesting people don't
know Malbec really is a Bordeaux varietal, become the darling of Argentina.
really has, it found its home there, people are doing great things with it. We
had, it ages on its own really, really well. We had some beautiful wines from
was a great one.
oh gosh, yeah very nice
actually, let me show you something, these are, I found these in the cellar I
told you about. This is my dad featured this wine which is now a main stream
wine but this is the 1983
does look a little ______. Then the Lus Vascus
I think this is the first vintage that the field made, that the company made
think 87 was the last vintage that the old Vascus family.
And so we tasted these recently 30 years after them and still incredibly sound.