With the end of summer, comes the end of vacations, the redoubling of efforts and a nose-to-the-grindstone march towards Christmas and the next set of holidays. For myself, it also brings new responsibilities and a new title. I am now ‘Wine Director’ at a small liquor store here in Buffalo. This is exactly the kind of work I want to do, I get to drink wine and call it research, I get to talk about wine, and I get to get other people excited about wine. However, with this new title I also have to face certain realities, namely, that the weird obscure wines that I love, are not the ones that are going to keep the lights on. Sure there is some space for them, but only so much, and only for the right price. Case in point: the 2010 Josep Foraster Trepat.
Picked by New York Times wine writer Eric Asimov as one of the few memorable wines available for under $20; I immediately asked the importer about the wine next time she stopped in. She said that it wasn’t by any means one of her more popular wines, but that she would be more than willing to give me a sample bottle.
Trepat is a grape that a lot of people have probably had before. It’s one of the grapes used in the Spanish sparkling wine, cava. Small time producer Josep Foraster had such a great harvest of Trepat, he thought it was good enough to be made into a wine on its own. The wine is exceptionally light in colour, but with rustic, elegant flavours. Served lightly chilled this was a perfect wine for a plate of antipasti or Spanish tapas. It had aromas of tart cherries, and a delicate black pepper taste. It was very different from any wine that we had on our shelves.
Would it sell though? If I was buying for a restaurant, it would be no question. It’s distinctive and different and paired with the right food, people would really get it. Unfortunately, this is not the case at my current work. It wouldn’t retail for cheap, we would have to buy it at the highest case level to keep the price under $20 to be honest, and it’s weird, it has no score, and we don’t have the most adventurous palates in our store. I’m glad I was able to try it.
A weird little grape like Trepat is one that I would love to have on my shelves, and there will come a day when I run my own shop, with weird little grapes like this, but today is not that day. Instead, I will content myself stocking my racks with quality wines, that are somewhat different but still appeal to the mass market. Ah well.
Nothing to see here.