In my day job I sell software development and test tools for a small company called Imperas Software. Last week I was in Japan, Yokohama specifically, for a trade show. Great view of Mt. Fuji from my hotel room. The picture below, where Mt. Fuji is that white (snow-covered) spec in the middle, does not do it justice. Cell phone cameras do have their limitations.
One of the things we did as part of the trade show was to serve wine to our customers, and prospective customers, at the end of one of the days of the trade show. My task was to go out and find a few bottles of wine. So I checked out a couple of the local wine shops around the convention center, and ended up at this smaller shop, a little off the beaten path. I was surprised to find that this shop had an excellent selection of German wines. Better than most wine shops in the Bay Area, although maybe that isn’t setting the bar too high. However, German whites weren’t going to do me much good, since I had no way of keeping the wines cool for the day, until we served.
So I went for the Italian reds. (Not a real good selection of California reds, and the Italians seemed a better value than anything else in the store.) When I brought the wines up to the register to pay, I complemented the proprietor on her German wine selection, not knowing if she would understand English that well. Fortunately, she did. Her story was spending 4 years in Boston at the Berklee College of Music, studying piano. Having lived in the Boston area myself for a few years, I know of Berklee, and its reputation for producing outstanding musicians. So I said to her that she must be a very good piano player, to which she replied that it’s hard to make money at music, and wine was and is her other love. Thus the shop.
At the show, we opened a 2009 Brigaldara Valpolicella, and a 2007 Abrigo Giovanni Nebbiolo d’Alba. A Dolcetto went unopened, taken home by my local sales rep. Both wines were very good. The Nebbiolo a bit bigger up front, with tanins on the finish, probably would have been better with food, but still quite good standalone. The Valpolicella was smooth, really well balanced, and quite enjoyable.
As for the show, it was a success. Customers enjoyed the wine, and who knows? They might even buy some of our products.