Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Pieroth Warehouse Sale

This weekend saw the Pieroth Warehouse sale at Ncheese in Apkujeong go ahead as blogged below. It wasn't the easiest of places to find, our taxi driver asked several people before giving up and dumping us next to a garage. Fortunately Ncheese, or Pieroth themselves, seemed to have had the foresight to employ some old dude on a bike to ride around pointing likely looking candidates in the right direction. As he immediately assisted us we must look exactly like the sort of people who would be in the market for wine and cheese. I am not sure if this is good news or not.

The sale was held in a small basement in Ncheese, we didn't really get a chance to scope the whole place but it has a good cellar like feel to it. It felt quite European and so we felt quite at home. The tables were laid out by country with white wines separated from reds and chilled in ice buckets. This meant that some of the wines that had been sitting for some time would have been far too cold to taste. I say 'would have' because I didn't taste anything. I could detect sweet, sour, bitter and tannins but not a sausage else. My long running battle with a summer cold had reduced my palate to that of cotton wool. Very disappointing. To be fair the situation wasn't ideal for a good tasting anyway, small plastic cups and the aforementioned temperature issues would have limited it but it would have been nice to taste something. The SO was my official taster and we put together a reasonable case of 12 without breaking the bank. Needless to say, all the wines she really liked were the expensive ones. A woman after my own heart.

The event itself had issues too. It was a very small room and so finding somewhere to stand and assess was a problem. I like to lean myself and the cellar like walls left a cellar like residue on my shirt. Also, we had the "beautiful people" to contend with. The "beautiful people" wore sunglasses. Inside. In a cellar. The "beautiful people" had their own, impressively large, tasting glasses. The "beautiful people" seemed to studiously ignore white wine. The "beautiful people" seemed intent on keeping me away from the Amarone, the one wine open that I may have had a chance to actually taste(I could, kind of, pretty powerful stuff that elicited an "UFF" of pleasure from SO).

The only other issue really was the salesman we had to deal with. I don't really get on with sales people. I like information not bluster. I like someone who actually listens to my responses. To be fair to him, the minute he described the wines as his and how he would be unable to get anymore in if we didn't buy today he was on a losing streak. Self-aggrandising behaviour is not a method I would use to sell wine. He was clearly on a commission, he insisted we use his name on our order sheet to gain a 5% discount. I am pretty sure we didn't get that. He annoyed both of us on separate occasions through his inability to actually listen to responses to his questions as well. Still, sales people are sales people the world over.

We took delivery this afternoon after a failed delivery yesterday. My request to have a delivery after 1 o'clock was met with no problems. We were 1 bottle down on delivery, I called Pieroth and they were extremely helpful and are sending the missing bottle separately. All in all it was a worthwhile event for us, despite my negativity above. I have a nice varied selection of bottles to write up once I shake this cold once and for all.


Big Bliss said...

Hope you've got your palate back next week; have acquired 6 bags of S+V Discos for you, you dirty people (45p a pop as well!!cheeky sods)

Skinny Steve said...

Hope you're enjoying your time in England (I think you went back there, right?).

I wanted to send a couple links your way:

And the same wine expert has a more in-depth version of pallet training here:

Gary's unorthodox, BUT, it gave me an idea.

Sounds like it could be a fun party to put together a "tasting" like this, no?

The hardest part would be to find a venue and all the necessary ingredients, but I think it would be fun.

Anonymous said...

Next time, try the Sinchon warehouse. No "beautiful people" of the Apgu type and no hard sells for commission. The workers did try to hype up the wines but I didn't feel any pressure to buy. Plus, I think there was more of a selection in the Sinchon warehouse, judging by the list they gave out for the Apgujeong sale.

big bliss said...

Right, been to majestic, got your wines, two substitutions; I had to get a Yalumba Y series viognier 2005 instead of the one you said (sold out). The man said this was similar quality but less oaky? He was a smidge unenthusuastic actually, not at all like you'd hyped me to expect of a knowledgeable merchant. I'll stick to Steers and Beers in future. Only enjoyable bit of the jaunt was hearing the boy C attempt to pronounce Gewurztraminer.