The wine business definitely has it’s perks: travelling to foreign lands, dining at fine establishments and, of course, drinking wine! Yet one of the most overlooked perk/highlight of working in the wine business are the relationships you make and the people you meet. Just over a week ago, a group from our Bishop’s team traveled to New York City to meet up with former retail manager Thomas Morgan. Thomas is now employed by Kermit Lynch, a legendary french wine importer in the US, and a name you’re probably now familiar with in our shop, and had invited us to attend the Kermit Lynch portfolio tasting to try the expansive range of over 300 wines from France and Italy.
The day started with grower champagne (the best way to start any day) and we continued to taste and analyze our way through wines from Alsace, Chablis and Burgundy. Tasting unreleased vintages gives us a great opportunity to speak early for great new wines for the shop, while also providing a great perspective on styles, regions and pricing. Unfortunately, in Nova Scotia, we just don’t get the opportunity to taste the range and diversity of exceptional french wines side by side. After a quick meet up with Thomas, and a stop at the Stinky cheese booth (the name of the cheese company was Stinky – and the cheeses were incredible), our crew was back to the white burgundy table where we happened to spot Kermit Lynch tasting his way through the wines of Domaine Cherisey. We all agreed, “What better way to meet a legend in the wine industry than with a glass of Meursault.” We made our way to the table and casually introduced ourselves as the Canadians that Thomas had been speaking about; apparently everyone was forewarned…
As we had been told, Kermit was warm, talkative and extremely engaged in discussing the wines at hand (Watch Kermit Taste the Cherisey Meursault Blagny on Wine Library TV). After a great chat about the wines, the conversation quickly moved to our homeland and how the wine business worked in Nova Scotia. We talked about the availability of French wine (quite limited), explained our prices (he was quite shocked with the extremely high taxes on wine) and even spoke about our burgeoning wine industry, especially the sparkling wines (looks like we’ll need to send him down a bottle of Benjamin Bridge’s next release). While short, the encounter truly was once in a lifetime, and one that all of us will never forget.
While hard to top tasting Meursault with Kermit Lynch, the rest of the tasting definitely did not disappoint. We moved our way through complex red burgundies, unique wines from Corsica and a great selection of rich, full Rhone reds. Frequent breaks were necessary as we made our way around the room (6 straight hours of tasting is a long time!). And, although Thomas was busy presenting wines and engaging with customers, he was always close by to recommend producers and wines that were must tastes. We finished our day with a broad selection of Italian wines (included a great value rosso that should hit the shelves at the end of the summer) and a tasting of several Bordeaux.
A truly unique experience, the tasting and weekend couldn’t have been possible without our friend Thomas and his willingness to show us around the American wine scene and introduce us to some very interesting people in the wine industry. We’re all very grateful to have made such a great long-time friend like Thomas and are looking forward to his return to Nova Scotia late July as he will be visiting to spend some time in Nova Scotia, while also promoting and speak about the great wines of Kermit Lynch. Since Thomas undoubtedly misses the retail world, we’ll be sure to put him straight to work in the shop, stocking shelves and cutting cases.
Looking forward to the next great adventure…