Tom Plant, Founder of

Paul Kalemkiarian speaks with founder of Wineormous, Tom Plant.

Paul: ok gee that was easy wasn't it?

Tom: ever easy!

Paul: welcome to the continuing wine of the month club, and I've got a great surprise. Yesterday I got an email from Tom Plant, and he was and he was swinging through and he's gonna taste wine with us and talking to us. Its great to have you Tom

Tom: great to be here Paul, thanks for having me.

Paul: its our pleasure, so you are on your way to see the wine maker Brankoff

Tom: they are doing a little cocktail, well probably a wine party, wine endorsement in LA

Paul: so they are making a rounds in LA?

Tom: I think they are its kind of a press trip

Paul: yeah, well we've, iv'e looked it up and we have done well I did the 98 chardonnay, so that was a while ago, I'd love to taste it again, I don't know who they do wholesale with anymore

Tom: I'll find out for you

Paul: yeah that would be great, Tom did a nice story on us and look at this, I just dragged this down, look at this uh

Tom: there we go

Paul: who's that guy? It's a pretty good picture I guess

Tom: not bad

Paul: anyway, so this is the website,, Tom is a prolific wine writer and traveler and has a great pallet actually we just tasted some wines together and he and I were almost right on with everything.

Tom: pretty much, yeah

Paul: and I put him through the paces cause I want him to taste some of that junk we've got

Tom: there were some pretty iffy ones

Paul: that's why I stay in business and that's why you get to write about it. So tell me about the genesis of what was it?

Tom: well it's a good story, my wife and I while we were dating started visiting Paso Robles and in a year we maybe we maybe went up there three times, we went up another visit with another couple and after two days of every winery we walked into "Tom how are you, we got some two releases for you to taste, why don't you come in the back and do some barrel tasting" my friends looked around me and said Tom you're in the wrong line of work, this is your passion figure it out.

Paul: that's great I don't get that kind of treatment myself, so that was a while ago then?

Tom: that was 09, so I abandoned my real estate career

Paul: really?

Tom: and I started my blog

Paul: that's great, so you are on it everyday

Tom: absolutely!

Paul: and you are writing every day, tasting all the time

Tom: all the time

Paul: and traveling it looks like

Tom: remember the International Food Wine and Traveler's Association will be going to the Republic of Georgia in March.

Paul: wow!

Tom: the cradle of wine

Paul: you know there was a contingent that I was asked to go with and I thought you know, I could certainly benefit and love to go on that trip but given the constraints I had in timing I thought it would be better if I sent somebody that I think would really grasp it, I sent one of the MW's that sells at this winery and he came back and says thanks for outing me on that it was really interesting. So how long is this trip?

Tom: its 8 days

Paul: well that's plenty of time, I guess they have, well I know they make good wines there Tom; right they do

Paul: but getting them to America, and getting America to care is part of the hardship

Tom: yeah that's tough

Paul: well I have my meeting, so we went to Armenia my meeting and then a wine tasting and it was horrible Tom; what a shame Paul; and then my father-in-law says bring it just bring some and I'm like A- its bad and B- who am I gonna sell it to?

Tom: yes exactly

Paul: so what are they gonna do at this Georgia thing, uhm dinners of course?

Tom: dinner, we're gonna visit wineries, we're gonna visit the stileries, we're gonna do just about everything and then 2 days of the International Wine Tourism Conference itself I'll be on a round table talking about wine tourism.

Paul: great, that's great we need that in this industry, we need people to get out and see what's going on

Tom: exactly

Paul: my wife and I are going to France on the 5th to pick up one daughter who is at baking school in a little school outside of Leon but I want to cruise up to Burgundy I haven't been up to (burgundy) yet so I'm looking forward to doing that.

Tom: I took a cruise on a passenger bus down the (burgady) canal

Paul: wine cruise?

Tom: yeah, that was many years ago I don't want to go into how many but it was a long time ago

Paul: this is the Echelon it just landed here, folks in the warehouse sometimes it gets mixed up a bit, it's the 2010 Echelon. I actually bought a couple of wines from these guys, and you mentioned you didn't recognize the brand

Tom: it's the label I'm not familiar with

Paul: who knows, it says vintage bottle by Eschelon so it registered that way, I like the wine Russian River but you know what's gonna be more full bodied than some of the stuff I've, where are your favorites from, what do like?

Tom: I love the Limet Valley in Oregon and im also a fan of the Sanduseas Highland

Paul: you've got a beautiful nose, that's a full body Pinot Noir for sure. I'm big on the Central Coast and the saying is Pinot Noir even though its typical burgundy and pinot

Tom: and look at the color, interesting wine

Paul: the pallet is true to the nose you get that fallen fruit and spiciness in it

Tom: the finish is lovely

Paul: great, we're gonna sell that probably, not sell it, give it away at like $15

Tom: that's a steal

Paul: is that's good bargain, well you know we do have our fingers in a lot of different places, that one of the beauties of what we do Tom; it sure sounds like it Paul

Paul: but as you know and you've taste a lot of wine and you've been to a lot of places there is always more and more you must be aghast at all this

Tom: some of them are just plain flawed wine that should have been bottled at all

Paul: shouldn't have been bottled but yeah but what are they gonna do, pour it out

Tom: well if they are smart they probably wouldn't

Paul: (laughter)

Tom: and sell it to a turpentine company

Paul: this is La Murca by looking at it you'd think it was imported but its from California and it's all cab

Tom: Mentica

Paul: I don't know that, its gotta be of certain California style though, fruit forward in the nose, pretty juicy

Tom: yeah

Paul: California style

Tom: nice mouth feel

Paul: I think it could age a little bit in the bottle (designer 10) I wish I knew the meaning

Tom: its an 09

Paul: is it 09? Oh

Tom: and you I understand is not a collector at all you buy wine, do you think wine should be purchased just to be drunk

Paul: yeah, I think its fun to age them and watch them but nothing could be worse than collecting and then having them go bad

Tom: and we've all had it happen

Paul: so its time to drink them and you know if you can't store them in the right, exactly the right temperature then drink them sooner

Tom: exactly

Paul: and I have this great thing that we do and it doesn't happen all the time but I have a customer call and say you told me this wine would last 5 years and it didn't last 5 years and I'm like well where did you have it, oh above the refrigerator in the kitchen

Tom: just cooking

Paul: and I'm like I'll replace it for you no problem, I can't control that but that's ok. But I, you know I don't even have a cellar in my house

Tom: interesting

Paul: of course I have a cellar here but I really believe that wine is to be enjoyed with your friends and your family, drink it and in no time really the whole bumper sticker that says 'no bad wine' or 'life is too short to drink bad wine'

Tom: exactly

Paul: its true

Tom: yeah, I think the statistic is like 90% or more of wine is purchased to be drunk that day, the day its bought

Paul: in London, England they say the average life of a bottle that leaves the store is like 45 minutes or something, but I think 90% of all wine bottle is drunk in the first 2 years.

Tom: I saw your cute cartoon the other day, it was a woman saying I've just read that you could use leftover wine to make ice cubes, she said I was confused, what is left over wine?

Paul: (laughter)

Paul: that's a good point, doesn't happen around my house too often I don't know about yours

Tom: not around mine

Paul: I asked Tom if he wanted to taste this Tenate which we are featuring right now in the club, cause my dad and I my day is a botanist, he's a chemist through plants and he's 70 and he argues with his heart doctor about the most valuable red wine when it comes to and those thing and the doctor insists its Pinot Noir, its not its Tenate. So , and I read that in, there's a book out now the red wine diet or something, you must be on it

Tom: I probably am

Paul: so the have a lot of acid typically and they are from Uruguay

Tom: yeah, Uruguay is producing some beautiful wine

Paul: they do they have great wine but would you think the average consumer that maybe would come to your blog site would walk into the store and see Uruguay and go hmm?

Tom: it still needs some recognition

Paul: I think so, I think it needs to be almost hand sold to that point. Same with what my father was saying about bringing these Armenian wines in, there was this Armenian wine that won- had an international Paris based Muscat taste, came on top gold medal, I mean this is a beautiful wine but its floor stacked in Superking at $4.99

Tom: here is a wine gold medal, international competition but nobody knows what it is

Paul: so these are big wines usually

Tom: big smoky nose

Paul: with all kinds of smoke in the nose you're right, and that smoke comes through a little bit of fruit before the finish

Tom: that's right, very nice

Paul: and its not as, well that's why I featured it, its not like terry cloth in your mouth

Tom: yeah its not

Paul: so you pair wines with food in your blogs?

Tom: uhm sometimes yeah, this might go with lamb

Paul: yeah I like that probably in Uruguay that's what they do too

Tom: I would imagine

Paul: so what can we expect with the blog on the blog coming up for you in the future?

Tom: well you just showed the picture of the most recent story, we do regular tastings, we did a tasting of Provodance Wines from St. Helena in Napa Valley, we tasted 6 wines from them this week so that will be coming up.

Paul: so these are Provodance based styled in Napa?

Tom: its just that the wine is called, he label is brand

Paul: yeah, yeah, yeah I know that

Tom: Tom Ronaldi is their wine maker

Paul: so you did a taste of their wine in Napa Valley, who is we?

Tom: I have a group of 10-20 people that meet almost every week, we taste 6-8 wines and then I write about them, they all have to fill out a little sheet with their comments on the wine

Paul: yeah

Tom: and then I compile everything and publish it

Paul: that's great, that's a great thing, yeah. So you might know this, that's how this club started my dad was a pharmacist and you already write about this but I would set up a tasting on Tuesday nights and all the doctors used to support his pharmacy, for them it was a party

Tom: yeah of course, and there was a waiting list to get on that board right?

Paul: my dad was like alright we need to go to work and get some work done, we gotta choose some wine so its fun to see that happening down there. It was a pleasure having you here Tom, I appreciate the support on your blog site and you will see this interview on our website as well and Cheers

Tom: Cheers