Walking into a wine store can make me nauseous sometimes. All the different regions, grapes, producers and styles can make my head spin.
When all I really want to know is which wine will complement my sushi.
Well serial entrepreneur Tom Geniesse, apparently had the same question. “Everyone that comes to a wine store knows what they need wine for, they just aren't sure about which one to buy.”
So he opened Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit, in Manhattan, and organized his wines by themes.
So let’s say you’re grilling a steak for dinner. Both the store and the website have a section called “meat,” separated for beef, lamb, pork and game. The store actually has a big plastic cow over an island of wines so you can’t miss it.
Or maybe you’re doing take-out? There are wine selections for pizza, Chinese food, even Mexican.
Need a gift…for your boss, an old friend, or a third date? Bottlerocket has picked wines out for those people, too.
They also organize their 365 wines the old-fashioned way: by country, grape etc., for those who are comfortable with the “Dewey Decimal system of wine” says Geniesse, founder of Bottlerocket.
But I love the idea that I can click on the big brown cow and instantly find a great wine.
What is your death row wine?
What terrible crime did I commit? Will I have to play chess in jail with Bernie Madoff? This may call for whiskey. But I digress. I would want to try a vertical of Chateau Latour from 1982, 1959, 1929, 1899 and 1847. Some of the greatest wines ever made that I have never tried. And actually finding those wines should keep them busy while I continue to dig my escape route with a spoon.
What region produces the best wine?
From a quality perspective: every major wine region produces something unique and amazing (Italy: Umbria's Sagrantino di Montefalco). From a food pairing perspective, local wines almost always go best with local cuisines (Spain: Rias Baixas' Albarino with local seafood). From a price to quality ratio perspective, wherever land prices are lowest (Chile, Argentina.) From a purely personal perspective, I'm a huge fan of Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
What is the best wine and food pairing you've ever had?
Fresh seared fois gras and a glass of Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.
What will the U.S. wine industry look like in 10 years?
Wine production will increase domestically. Wine consumption will continue to increase as it has for years. The consumer will only become more knowledgeable, more adventurous, more confident, and less dependent on critics. Packaging standards will change dramatically with larger and smaller-sized containers, some glass, some not. And the consumer will look for more from their retailers than a shelf with bottles of wine. Consumers will demand smarter support, educational opportunities, better access to information and a better overall experience. Finally, in 2021, Bottlerocket will surpass Starbucks (SBUX) in annual revenue and be acquired by Apple (AAPL).
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