One of the most important parts of any wine writer's job is reporting -- which does not mean sitting at home, drinking the wine samples that are sent to you, and then passing pontifical judgments. Rather, it means talking to distributors, restaurant types, and retailers. It means visiting stores. And it means asking lots of questions: What's new? What's interesting? What do I need to taste?
I was doing just that at one of Dallas' leading retailers the other day, visiting with the woman who runs the wine department. "I need some summer wines," I said. "What do you have?"
She gave me a completely serious look. "Jeff," she said, "you've tasted more wine in here than I have."
Whoops. I just hope she doesn't ask me to do inventory next month.