Tuesday, January 30, 2001

Off on Exciting French Buying Trip

Last year I bought a container of Overnoy. I also tried to buy two Loire Valley estates specializing in Overnoy/Plagolles style wines from Chenin. Happily, both went out of business before they could ship us the wine.

Who knows what I'll find this year?

Stay posted here. I am armed with my Casio PocketPC, a modem, and plan to blog like crazy.

Sunday, January 28, 2001


I'm sick of tasting notes. I get accused of wasting time and bandwidth by blogging. But I cannot imagine anything more useless than tasting notes.

It colors like cassis.

It smells like cassis.

It attacks the frontal with cassis.

It mids the palate with cassis.

It lingers with cassis.


Change cassis to whatever you like and you have the reductive, all-purpose tasting note. How to reduce a year of work in a vineyard to a trite text that tells nothing about nothing. And with hedonistic gobs of nothingness, lingering on and on.

If the New York Giants can play in New Jersey and the Cleveland Browns can play in Baltimore and call themselves the Ravens, then certainly we can come up something more imaginative and engaging.

Cross-Posting Australian Shiraz

Speaking of industrial wines. I had to give a seminar in Chicago on Friday and ran to a supermarket to buy what I imagined would be an industrial wine to serve blind.

Wow! My first Lindemans Bin 50 Shiraz!

The Lindemans' winemaker wrote of this wine:

Colour: Deep plum with a crimson rim.

Nose: The bouquet shows an assortment of aromas including black pepper, nutmeg, ginger and raspberry cheesecake.

Palate: The attractive and enticing nature of the bouquet is duplicated on the palate, which is succulent, soft and mouth-watering. The wine features fruit flavours of blueberries and mulberries with spicy, slight black pepper characters. A smooth, velvet like tannin structure frames these characters

I actually agree, more or less, with the winemaker's comments. I especially agreed with the raspberry cheesecake descriptor, although it was certainly a particularly sweet rendition of that venerable recipe.

At the same time I found the bottle horrifying and repulsive. A Frankenstonian wine.

Does this say something about the limitation of the tasting note as descriptive medium?

This is a very popular wine that sells in vast quantities.

But is it wine?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Which Wine Will You Be Drinking During the Super Bowl?

I find it a barbaric sport and won't be watching.

The last football game I watched was the one where the Jets won the Super Bowl. The Mets won the world series that year, the Knicks won the NBA and man walked on the moon. With the exception of the guys walking on the moon, they were all New York teams. The so-called New York Giants have abandoned the Bronx for New Jersey. The Baltimore Ravens are in fact the Browns that abandoned Cleveland. There are no football teams in New York and the real Baltimore team is in Indiana, of all places.

This Super Bowl is a celebration of anti-terroir!

Maybe I'll watch and drink a Château St-Jean Cinq Cépages.

Someone poured one for me in Chicago. The one that was the Wine Spectator's wine of the year. It was like a tobasco sauce with some wine overtones. I can understand a wine with some tobasco overtones, but this was a new experience for me.

Speaking of the Giants, are Del Shofner and Y.A. Tittle still alive? Where are they?

I used to like Joe Namath. As a young man growing up in bucolic Queens, New York (one of New York City's famed outer boroughs), I used to sell hot dogs at Jet games. Broadway Joe and Howard Cosell would always give a little pre-game speech to all the hot-dog/soda vendors before Namath suited-up. In each speech, Namath would tell the assembled, pimpled teenagers how he had been up to 5 am with a stewardess he had picked-up at an East-Side Bar and doubted he would be able to play well.

Friday, January 26, 2001

Muscadet Scandal Rocks Chicago

I've spent the past week in Detroit and Chicago. While Detroit has a normal wine market where retailers and civilians enjoy the delights of Melon de Bourgogne, there is no Muscadet to be found in Chicago! Frankly, I have no idea how to explain this situation, but there you are....

The only restaurant that seems to carry Muscadet is Shaws, which is renowned for its shellfish. This restaurant has two Muscadet, one cheap industrial one and a more expensive industrial one. Even if they want an average to decent Muscadet, there is really none to be found.

This bewildering situation is something I cannot explain. Please let me know by e-mail if you have any explanation.

On the other hand, the town is paradise for a Gruner Veltiner lover. One of the nation's top importers of Austrian wine, Vins Divino, is based in this town and is a full-scale distributor here. They have recently signed-on as the Chicago distributor for Therry Thiese, the excellent agent for German and Austrian wines. This should make Chicago the premier market for American lovers of the Wachau.

Chicago is also a great town for lovers of Marcel Lapierre's Morgon. While Kermit Lynch imports Lapierre's Morgons for the rest of the country, Lapierre is imported here by Barrique Wines. Lapierre has a close friend in Chicago, a French guy from the Maconnais who owns the admirable Le Bouchon and Sardine restaurants. These two bistros have always featured Marcel's Morgon and have created a word of mouth for the wine. They are everywhere and why not? The 1999 was delicious and the wine is much cheaper than it is in New York as it does not pass through Kermit Lynch.

In an odd development, Barrique Wines was bought last year by Vins Divino. This makes Vins Divino, undoubtedly, Chicago's biggest distributor of Gruner Veltiner and Unsulphured Beaujolais. Although rumor has it that Marcel Lapierre now lightly sulfurs his wines when they are sold on the export market. There were past stories of instability that gave the wine a checkered reputation. But when the wines are on, they have always been fabulous.

Even stranger, I was in a wine store named Shaffer's on Wednesday, a wine store in an unlikely place known as Skokie, and there in front of me was Marcel Lapierre himself, selling his Morgon to American merchants in the far-flung strip malls of American's heartland. Wow! I thought to myself. What's the likelihood of running into Marcel Lapierre, known throughout France as Le Marcel, along with one of his nephews who is starting a negociant business in the Maconnais/Beaujolais. Skokie is a lovely town, but it is not Macon.

I spent Thursday looking for FX Pichler at other Chicago retailers but did not see him. In all honestly, I'm not sure what Pichler looks like.

Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Selling wine....

Is an exhausting and dangerous occupation. I'm back in the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Roseville, Michigan, having tasted 4 retailers on a dozen wines and after hosting a convival consumer dinner with the wine enthusiasts of Detroit. They are a very nice group.

Although my hotel television has HBO, I'm calling it a night.

By the way, the dinner was at a restaurant called Forté in Royal Oak. Avoid it like the plague if you're ever in these parts.

As usual, I'm selling enormous quantity of wines here. Thank goodness, our accountant says we need cash flow. She made a convincing argument, I thought.

Monday, January 22, 2001

Count your blessings

Unlike you, dear reader, I am currently residing in a Holiday Inn located in Roseville, Michigan. I'm ostensibly here to sell wine, but some of my loved ones suspect foul play.

I dined last night with an area retailer who tried to impress me with a deeply flawed bottle of 98 Jaboulet La Chapelle. I matched the wine with a 93 Overnoy Poulsard, a wine which astonished everyone at the table. The retailer wants a state-wide exclusive.

I ask you, dear readers, what should I do?

Have to run. The Holiday Inn is about to run out of defrosted muffins. A complementary continental breakfast is part of the deal here. You also get free copy of USA Today!

Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Famous Wine Critic Describes a Louis/Dressner Wine as "Nearly Mind-Boggling!"
And in the Best Sense of "Nearly Mind-Boggling!"

I've not only been in a rut about keeping this blog up-to-date, I have also been lax in following the exciting wine press.

I was shocked to read that our firm actually imports and markets a 'mind-boggling' wine. We are not cited as the importer by the Famous Wine Critic, as we share this wine with another importer in the Midwest. But, finally, I could look my children Jules and Alyce straight in the eye, and say:

Listen up children, stand tall and be proud. Your mother and father import a "hedonistically-styled" wine that nearly boggled the mind of The Famous Wine Critic. Not only did he say it was nearly mind-boggling but he also wrote "Wow!" in describing the wine.

Jules was not impressed. "Big deal," Jules said and pointed out that 'nearly mind-boggling' seemed to be a qualified endorsement, falling considerably short of both mind-boggling and absolutely mind-boggling.

Of course not, I answered, the critic said the wine "is an amazing creation that pushed the sensory circuits into overdrive." You can't get much getter than an amazing creation and overdrived sensory circuits, I answered my son.

Jules and Alyce asked me what the wine's color was like, and I responded: the famous wine critic said it was "impressively saturated ruby/purble."'

Alyce then asked me what the wine smelled like and I said, according to the same critic, "the nose offers up sumptuous aromas of wood, spice, schored earth, and blackberry and cherry liquor."

Jules then asked if there was a long finish. Of course, I said, according to the wine critic it "possesses a 45-second-finish."

Both children wanted to know if we were now wealthy. They were disappointed to learn that this wine is made in small quantities and that the wine would never make us wealthy. Alyce suggested that we charge a fortune for the wine. We had considered doing that, but the wine seems to be available through numerous grey market channels at a reasonable price. We're out-of-luck.

Monday, January 08, 2001

Going to Detroit to Sell Wine
I'll be off to Detroit soon to sell some of our horrible wine. I love that town and always read the excellent Detroit Free Press web site before arriving. This puts me in the know and helps me prepare for the often difficult negotiations I have with savvy Detroit's wholesalers, retailers and consumers.

What I find particularly useful is the Free Press' obituary column -- there is nothing more embarrassing for a salesman like myself to call an account only to discover that they are dead. This is not not only embarrassing, but often alienates the surviving family members, many of whom are responsible for major wine purchasing decisions.

I am always amazed, when I read these death notices, at the longevity of the average Detroit resident and the beautiful and literary names so many of them seemed to have. One can only hope that future generations of Detroitonians have names to match Joseph 'Jack'' Duda, Kathleen Joan Armbruster, Lillian K. Fishtahler and Reginald Napolean Forcade.

I also noted with sadness that Stanley Kowalski passed away on January 6th. I had always assumed that Mr. Kowalski was a fictional character, but in fact he had 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren! Some of the other recently deceased had over 30 great-grandchildren, all with fabulous names!

Some highlights from the current issue of the paper:

Detroit Free Press January 08, 2001 Edition

ARMBRUSTER,KATHLEEN JOAN Age 79. January 6, 2001. Beloved wife of Merle. Loving mother of Ellen E. (Dale) Maynard, Kathleen M. Armbruster and Michael D. Armbruster. Dear grandmother of five. Dear great-grandmother of six. Dear sister of Billie (Walter) Wintemberg, Betty Russell and the late May Johnston. Visitation Sunday 5-8 p.m., Monday 3-9 p.m. at Harry J. Will Funeral Home, 25450 Plymouth Rd., Redford. Funeral Tuesday instate 10 a.m., service 11 a.m. at Nardin Park United Methodist Church, 29887 W. 11 Mile, Farmington Hills. Interment Parkview Cemetery.

BANNON, LEO G., Beloved husband of Luella. Dear father of Gregory (Linda) and Patrick (Heide). Six grandchildren survive. Services Wednesday 11 a.m. at Stanley Turowski & Son Funeral Home , 25509 Warren Rd., Dearborn Hgts. Visitation Tuesday 2-7 p.m.

BOGAN, JOSEPH F., Age 84, January 5, 2001. Loving husband of the late Margaret. Dear father of Joseph (Elizabeth) Bogan, Mary Ellen (Donald) Richmond and Gregory (Steven Kennedy) Bogan. Grandfather of Gary (Michele) Richmond, Donald Richmond and Shelley (John) Stewart. Great grandfather of Nicholas and Jennifer Richmond. Brother of Mary Teresa Hoffman. Visitation Sunday 5-9 p.m., Monday 12-9 p.m. at S.K. Schultz, a Trust 100 Funeral Home 21705 Gratiot at 8 Mile. Rosary Monday 7:30 p.m. Funeral Tuesday, Prayers 10:30, Mass 11 a.m. at Assumption Grotto Catholic Church, Detroit. Interment Assumption Grotto Cemetery

BRITCHKY, GEORGE, Beloved husband of Sally Britchky. Dear father of Sheri (David) Jaffa and Marc Britchky. Grandfather of Eden (Kevin) Elbinger and Sabrina Jaffa. GRAVESIDE SERVICE 11:30 Tuesday Morning at MacPelah Cemetery. Arrangements by the Ira Kaufman Chapel (248) 569-0020

CEJMER,RITA M., January 6, 2001. Beloved wife of Frank. Dear mother of Frank Jr. (Darlene), Scott (Regina) and Dennis (Mona). Grandmother of Gregory, Rochelle, Laura, Nicolle and Dalton. Sister of Fran Janiga. Visitation Monday 3-9 p.m. and Tuesday 12-9 p.m. Rosary Tuesday 7 p.m. Services Wednesday 9:30 a.m. from the John N. Santeiu & Son Funeral Home, 1139 Inkster Rd. (betw. Ford & Cherry Hill), to St. Raphael Catholic Church for 10 a.m. Mass.

DINGELDEY, ROBERT A. Age 70 of Wixom, January 6, 2001. Beloved husband of Nancy. Dear father of Michael (Andrea) Dingeldey, Carol J. Dingeldey, Jill K. (Gregory) Oliver. Dear grandfather of Nicholas Oliver. Dear brother of Lois Garth Owen. Also several nieces and nephews. Funeral from St. Anne Episcopol Church, 430 E. Nicolet, Walled Lake, Wednesday 11 a.m. Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home , 340 Pontiac Trail, Walled Lake (3 blks S. of Maple Rd.) Tuesday 4:30-9 p.m. Memorials to Huron Valley Sinai Hospital, Development office or the Alheimers Association Appreciated.

DOLECKI (PINO), IRENE January 6, 2001. Beloved wife of the late Joseph Pino and Alexander Dolecki. Loving mother of Jacqueline (Dominic) Calcagno, Patricia Pino, Sharon (Carmen) Beheler, Marilyn (Ronald) Valesano, Joseph (Sue) Pino, Leonard (Karen) Dolecki, Robert (Delores) Dolecki, and the late Al (Sarah) Dolecki, Jr. Dearest grandmother of 18 and great grandmother of 15. Visitation Tuesday 2:30-9:00 PM at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons, Inc., 54880 Van Dyke (SHELBY TWP.) at 25 Mile. Funeral Wednesday morning for times and location call 810-677-4000. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Founder and past president of Tryettes Group for the Handicap. In lieu of flowers memorials will be made by the family to the Solanus Casey Center Campaign, 1820 Mt. Elliott, Detroit 48207, Attn: Fr. Larry Abler.

DUDA,JOSEPH "JACK" P. Age 85. January 5, 2001 of Lincoln Park. Beloved husband of Jean. Loving father of Mary Ann (Robert) Dryps, Carrie (Jim) Gajewski and Rick (Vanna) Duda. Dearest grandfather of nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Visitation Tuesday 2-9 p.m. at the John K. Solosy Funeral Home, 3206 Fort, Lincoln Park. Rosary 8 p.m. Instate Wednesday 10:30 a.m. at Christ the Good Shepherd Church until time of Mass at 11 a.m. Interment St. Hedwig Cemetery.

FABIAN, RUDY, Age 85 of Trenton. January 5, 2001. Loving brother of Rose Stevens and Edward Fabian and the late Milan, Frank, John, Anton, and Mary Fabian. Dear uncle of several nieces and nephews. Visitation Tuesday 2-9 PM. Funeral Wednesday 11 AM at the Girrbach-Krasun Funeral Home, (Southgate Chapel), 15748 Fort. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

FARINETTI, PATRICK A. January 6, 2001. Age 88. Beloved husband of Mary. Dear Father of Patricia (Richard) Martin, Dennis (Tammy) and Catherine Farinetti. Dear Brother of Marie (John) Spezia, Carolyn Farinetti and the late Theresa Hershberger., Also survived by five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Visitation Tuesday 2-9 p.m. (with a Rosary at 7:30pm) at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons, Inc. 36900 Schoenherr at Metro Parkway (16 Mile). Funeral Wednesday 10:30 a.m. at Funeral Home. Interment Resurrection. Memorials may be made to Alzheimers Association.

FISHTAHLER, LILLIAN K. January 7, 2001, age 84. Beloved wife of Edwin Spindler and the late Vernon F. Fishtahler. Dear mother of Laurence E. (Maria Elva) of Arlington VA., Carol E. (Richard) Cooper of Southfield, MI. and Brian V. (Constance Ann) of Troy, MI. Grandmother of Eric, Jesse, Eduardo and Camila. Family will receive friends at A.J. Desmond & Sons (Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel) , 32515 Woodward (btwn 13 & 14 Mile) Monday 6-9 p.m. and Tuesday 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. Scripture service Tuesday evening. Funeral liturgy begins Wednesday 9:15 a.m. at the funeral home with procession to St. Regis Church, 3695 Lincoln at Lahser Rds for Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Entombment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

FORCADE,REGINALD NAPOLEON Age 91, January 5, 2001, of Grosse Pointe Farms. Born in Bay City, Michigan. Dear husband of Mary Louise (nee Keane). In state Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Paul s Catholic Church School Gymnasium, 170 Lake Shore Drive, Grosse Pointe Farms, until time of Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 4390 Conner, Detroit, 48214 or Kenwood Pax Community, 799 S. Pearl St., Albany, New York, 12202. Arrangements by the Verheyden Funeral Home, 313-881-8500.

HOEFER, ALICE R., Age 82, January 6, 2001. Beloved wife of the late Augie B. Loving sister of Betty (Edward) Goliber, Cathy Malerich and the late Frank Malerich, Jr. Also many nieces and nephews. Funeral from Holy Name Church, 630 Harmon St., Birmingham, Wednesday 10 a.m. Friends may visit at church beginning at 9:30 a.m. Visitation at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home 1368 N. Crooks (bet. 14-15 Mile Rd) Tuesday 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Rosary Tuesday evening. Contributions to Mother and Unborn Baby Care, Right to Life or Guesthouse.

JOUPPI, VIENO D., Age 93. January 6 of Trenton. Beloved mother of Gerald (Sandra), Thomas (Sally), Daniel (Donna) & Carol Jouppi. Dearest grandmother of ten and great grandmother of three. Friends may call from 1-9 p.m. Tuesday at the Martenson Funeral Home , 3200 West Road, Trenton. She will lie in state Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. services at St. Philip Lutheran Church in Trenton. Memorials may be made to St. Philip Lutheran Church.

KARCHNICK, JOSEPH F. January 6, age 98. Husband of the late Anna. Dear father of Mary Ann (Joseph) Trybus, Jean Suzanne (Daniel) Balagna, Joseph Ray (Cathy), Betty Reeves, Larry Faitel, Hubert (Verdella) Faitel, John Faitel and the late William Faitel. Also survived by 22 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren. Funeral Tuesday 10am prayers at the Dearborn Chapel of the Howe-Peterson Funeral Home , 22546 Michigan Ave and 10:30am mass at Sacred Heart Church. Visitation 12-9pm Monday with rosary 7pm. Memorials to the Capuchins.

KNOLL,GRACE, January 7, 2001, age 93. Survived by many relatives and friends. Funeral service Wednesday 1 p.m. at A.J. Desmond & Sons (Vasu, Rodgers and Connell Chapel), 32515 Woodward (betw. 13-14 Mile). Family will receive friends Tuesday 4-9 p.m. Memorial tributes to Cranbrook Hospice.

KOLKE, JOSEPH A., Age 90. January 5, 2001. Beloved husband of the late Marie (Pietrzak) Kolke. Loving (Uncle Joe) to all of his nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews of the McFee, Kolke, Seward, and Kendzierski families. Also survived by his sister Eleanor Herber of Mio, MI. Visitation Tuesday 9:30 AM until time of Mass 10:30 AM at St. Isidore Catholic Church, 18201 23 Mile (at Romeo Plank), Macomb Twp. Memorials to The Capuchin Soup Kitchen would be appreciated. Arrangements by Resurrection Funeral Home, (810) 412-3000.

KOWALSKI, STANLEY J. January 6, age 87. Beloved husband of the late Anne. Loving father of Stanley, Jr., Dolores Krause and Diana Tulecki. Dear brother of Ann Pavlich. Also leaves 10 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Funeral Wednesday 9:30 a.m. from the David J. Wysocki Funeral Home 29440 Ryan Rd. (N. of 12 Mile) to St. Louise Church at 10 a.m. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Visitation Tuesday 2-9 p.m. Family requests donations to the Leukemia Foundation.

KUTCHEY, JOSEPH H. "PAPA" Age 62 of Armada, formerly of Macomb Township, died January 6, 2001. Beloved husband of Carolyn for 42 years. Dearest father of Joseph (Susan), Mary Ellen "Cooky", Michael (Sandra) and David (Laura). Loving grandfather of Daniel, Amanda, Jennifer, Benjamin, Joseph, Michelle, Elizabeth, Noel, Samantha and Jaclyn. Brother of Mary Jo Weingartz, Virginia Rozanka and Kay DaDeppo. Mr Kutchey was a life long farmer who graduated from Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Class of 1957. His farm was originally in Warren and moved out to Macomp Twp in 1965, He owned and operated Jos. Kutchey & Sons Produce Market on 10 Mile Rd. in Warren until just a few years ago when he semi-retired and his sons took over operating the market and farm. Mr. Kutchey continued to take part in the farm operation everyday. He was a former 4-H leader who enjoyed draft horses, deer watching, woodworking and his grandchildren. Visitation Monday 4-9 p.m. and Tuesday 1-9 p.m. with scripture service 7 p.m. at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons, Inc 54880 Van Dyke (SHELBY TOWNSHIP) at 25 Mile. Instate Wednesday 9 a.m. at St. Isidore Catholic Church, 23 Mile at Romeo Plank Rd., until Mass at 9:30 a.m. Interment Resurrection Cemetery. Donations preferred to the Spinal Cord Society, 19051 County Hwy. #1, Fergus Falls, MN 56537-7609

LOVE, JEAN S., Age 79, January 7, 2001. Beloved wife of Robert C. for 50 years. Loving mother of Edward (Lynn), David (Carol) and Nancy (Paul Blome) Love. Dear grandmother of Jacob, Nicholas, Patrick, Ceit and Rachel. Funeral Thursday 10 a.m. at Bethelehem Lutheran Church, 35300 W. 8 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills. Visitation Tuesday 5-9 and Wednesday 2-9 p.m. at Thayer-Rock Funeral Home 33603 Grand River Ave., Farmington (1 blk. W. of Farmington Rd.) Memorials to American Cancer Society suggested.

MAKUCH, ELIAS, Age 76. January 6, 2001. Beloved husband of the late Stephania. Loving father of Mary (Eugene) Telka, Eugene (Barbara), Christina (Johnny) Sahagian, and the late John. Dearest grandfather of eight grandchildren. Brother of Dmitro. Best friend of Lucille Haymond. Funeral Tuesday 9:30 a.m. from the Jarzembowski Funeral Home, 18957 W. Warren Ave., at Artesian to St. John the Baptist Church for 10 a.m. mass. Visitation Monday 1-9 p.m. Panachyda Monday 7 p.m. Interment St. Hedwig Cemetery.

MILLIKEN,BERNADETTE M. 82, of Palm Harbor, FL., died Sat., Jan. 6, 2001. She moved to FL 1981 from Shelby Town- ship, MI. She was a member of St. Luke Catholic Church, Highland Lakes Golf Club, Quilters Crossing and an avid bridge player all in Palm Harbor, FL. Survivors include sons Michael of Carlsbad, CA, and Robert of Farmington Hills, MI; daughters Mary F. Boldt of Shelby Township, MI, Susan Milliken of Palm Harbor, FL, and Donna Hayes of Clarkston, MI; sisters Carole Krueger of Lake Orion, MI, and Jean Grish of Dunedin, FL; 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

MORIAN,RUTH L., January 7, 2001, age 78. Beloved wife of the late Ferdinand; dearest mother of Robert (Mary), Richard and Arleen Kageff; dear grandmother of Anthony, Juliane, Maria, Kirsten and Courtney; dear sister of William (Lorraine) Schmidt. Visitation Monday 3-9 p.m. and Tuesday 2-9 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. Rosary Tuesday at the Kaul Funeral Home, 35201 Garfield (N. of 15 Mile), Clinton Township. Funeral Wednesday, for further details please call the funeral home at (810) 792-5000. Burial Resurrection Cemetery.

OFFERLE, RITA ANNE (nee PELTIER) January 6, 2001 of Toledo, formerly of Detroit. Beloved wife of Carl "Bud" for 41 years. Dear sister of Mary Peltier and Alice Werth of Grosse Pointe Farms, and Frank Peltier of FL. Services 12 noon Wednesday at the A.H. Peters Funeral Home 20705 Mack Ave at Vernier Rd, Grosse Pointe Woods. Memorial gathering 10 a.m. Wednesday. Memorials to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen appreciated.

RIEGLE, HELEN M., 92 Yrs. January 6, 2001. Mrs. Helen M. Riegle of Gaylord. Mrs. Riegle was preceded in death by her husband Charles Riegle in 1981. She is survived by her son Tom (Robyn) Riegle and two grandchildren: Jason and Julie Riegle. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions are appreciated to the American Lung Association. Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Home, 135 N. Center St., Gaylord, Michigan 49735.

WAGNER,JOHN J. SR., January 6, 2001, age 86. Beloved husband of the late Anna and Helen. Dear father of Evelyn and the late Delores and John Jr. "Jack". Grandfather of Anita and Jeffrey (Andrea). Great-grandfather of Kathleen. Brother of Emily and Harry (Jean). Funeral Thursday from at the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Rd. at Common (12 Mile) with a Funeral Mass at St. Blase Church. Visitation Tuesday 5-9 p.m. and Wednesday 1-9 p.m. with an evening vigil Wednesday. Call funeral home for service times, (810) 751-0444.

WEEBER, MARJORIE BEATRICE January 5, 2001. Age 97. Loving wife of the late Frank (Buck). Dearest mother of Beverly A. Angellotti and Nancy L. Pacheco-Thiede. Dear grandmother of ten and great grandmother of 13. Visitation Sunday 6-9 PM and Monday 12-9 PM. Funeral Tuesday 11 AM from the Girrbach-Krasun Funeral Home, (River Rouge Chapel), 10783 West Jefferson. Interment Michigan Memorial Park.

WELTI,CARL LOUIS SR. Age 81, died suddenly Saturday, January 6, 2001, in Herrick Memorial Hospital, Tecumseh, Michigan, following a massive heart attack. Born in Detroit, Michigan on February 21, 1919. Lived in Rogers City, Michigan until the age of 9. Moved to Detroit east side where he was a resident for over 40 years. Moved to Farmington Hills in 1962 where he was a resident until 1984. Then moved to Presque Isle, MI, upon retirement. Employed with Detroit Edison s marketing department for 45 years until retirement in 1984. Member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alpena, MI, active in Lutheran Laymen s League as Past Zone Treasurer. Served in WWII as a First Lieutenant in the 102nd Infantry Division - K. Co. Served with Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce. Member of the Presque Isle Association Architectural Control Committee. President of the Presque Isle Island Association. Founding committee member of the Sunrise Side Chamber of Commerce. Past-president and Treasurer of the Detroit Direct Mail Club, Designer Lighting, and the National Direct Mail Association. Served on World Energy and New Detroit Organizations. Survived by his wife Marguerite (Jonske) whom he married in 1944. Dear father of Dr. Carl L. Welti Jr. (Beverly Maas), Carolyn L. Hoffee (William Hoffee), Thomas A. Welti (Terry Bridges), Mark W. Welti (Dr. Jennifer Groehn); eleven grandchildren. Preceded in death by two grandsons. Visitation Monday 4-9 p.m. and Tuesday 1-9 p.m. McCabe Funeral Home, 31950 W. Twelve Mile Rd., Farmington Hills. Funeral service Thursday 1 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alpena. Burial Memorial Park Cemetery, Rogers City. Memorials to Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Wednesday, January 03, 2001

Corrected Mâcon-Vire
The entire senior management team at Louis/Dressner Selections thought that the special bottling we now have in this country was the Domaine de Roally Mâcon-Viré Cuvée 41-H. We were wrong and the wine is in fact called the Domaine de Roally Mâcon-Viré Cuvée 54-H. Our apologies to everyone out there who asked for a 41-H and could only find a 54-H. We have received angry phone calls from several retailers who were accused of fraudently peddling Cuvée 54-H in a marketplace that wants Cuvée 41-H. Please, please....there is no 41-H, it was an error on our part.

The 54-H was the wine that took nearly two years to bubble to completed fermentation. It is good. It was in one small steel vat, which I could have sworn was 41-H, but which turned out to be 54-H. I stopped using my Palm Pilot in people's cellars a couple of years ago. Its too bad, because I was able to keep on top of details like this when I was equipped with that machine. I then switched last year to a Vadem Clio, which is a clamshell Windows CE device, but I spilled wine from the Clos du Tue Boeuf (I believe it was the Menu Pineau) on the keyboard in the beginning of a one month trip to France. Since, I had a 30 days, no question asked guarantee with the unfortunate company that sold me the machine, I returned it for a full refund. I then bought another Vadem Clio from another unfortunate company and dropped it on the floor after two weeks of happy usage. American Express refunded that one. That Vadem Clio was a technological tour de force and they no longer make the machine. So, for the past year I have been without some sort of gadget.

I recently bought a Casio EM-500 PocketPC and hope that by using this sophisticated piece of machinery I will be able to keep track of the different cuvées in Henri Goyard's cellar. Although Goyard has retired and his vintage 2000 will be his last harvest.

Again, my apologies.

Stolen Chambolle-Musigny from François Legros
Speaking of theft and fraud...there have been a number of stories this past week about criminal rings being broken up in Burgundy.

Late this afternoon, we received a phone call from an anonymous Long Island teenager who had stolen a bottle of François Legros' Chambolle-Musigny from his father's cellar and drank the bottle. Turns out, the father has not noticed the theft but has subsequently spoken of his affection for this wine. The teenager called our office asking where he could buy a substitute.

Of course, we are firmly against teenagers buying alcoholic beverages. Additionally, the wine is sold out.

The anonymous teenager told me that he in fact enjoyed the wine.

Monday, January 01, 2001

Numbers 7 through 11 of My Top 10 List of This Year's Louis/Dressner Selections' Imports

7. Chinon Croix Boissée 1998 from Bernard Baudry

Not a particularly good year, just a great wine. This is Baudry’s best site, although in young vines. Whenever I taste in the cellar it always interesting to see how the pedigree of the vineyard makes it stand out against other parcels that are in old vines.

There is just beautiful concentration and balance to this bottle. I’ve been drinking this over the past several months and only wish I had more. Kermit Lynch also gets this wine as does Neal Rosenthal. We're sold out, but they might have some.

8. Montlouis Clos Habert 1998 Demi-Sec from François Chidaine

Also a lousy year and a great wine. So many of the Layons are difficult to taste in 98, so many Vouvray make you think longingly for 1997, but this Montlouis is perfectly sculptured Chenin. I don’t know if it because he is in biodynamie, but Chidaine has made a grand vin here that could be mistaken for a great vintage. It's also time to talk more about the secs and demi-secs and less about the sweet wines. There is some shipping to Chicago and some to Connecticut. Otherwise, there is nothing around.

9. Bois du Boursan Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1997

Jean-Paul Versino is a charming character who has 40 some odd parcels in Châteauneuf, with the average age being 60-years-old. The yields are tiny, the élavage is in foudres and the wines have concentration and beautiful mouth-feel. The 1998 will be coming in soon (it was only recently bottled) but the 1997 drank beautifully throughout the year. We only started working recently with Versino – Paul Pernot in Puligny-Montrachet knows him and gave us his phone number about 18 months ago. There is none left.

10. Anything from Mittnacht-Klack --

We don't import this wine, but I love the name. Mittnacht-Klack. Mittnacht is Jean Mittnacht and Klack is Annie Klack, making them Mittnacht-Klack. Robert Parker has the following to say about them in French: Les grands crus du domaine Mittnacht-Klack ont une pureté aromatique et une richesse de sève qui les placent au premier rang de la production alsacienne. I'm not sure if Mr. Parker said the same thing about them in English.

My wife, Denyse Louis, grew up in Alsace. The first time we looked for a grower in Alsace we drove all over and tasted all over. We had an appointment in Pfaffenheim, parked the car in the town square and the local village drunk eyed us over. Finally, he said: "Vous avez les narrines des amoreuses." In English, this means: "You have the nostrils of lovers." We continue to be happily married.

11. Château St-Anne Bandol 1998 --

I like Mourvedre a great deal and Bandol is the purest expression of the grape. There is so much good wine being made in the AOC that I am happy we have one of the best estates. There are others.

St-Anne has hit a stride, after a few years of disorganization, and Françoise Dutheil de la Rochère, has now taken charge of the vinification. Her husband François had died right after the 1995 vintage and it took a while to get back on track. This estate is one France's forerunner's in organic production and was one of the first estates to decide to stop using sulphur.

I was once in Detroit seeing retailers and some retailer tasted this wine and asked what the grape varieties were. I told him it was Mourvedre and he told me he also loved Mourvedre. When I asked him which one was his favorite Mourvedre, he told me "Cline Cellars." At my next appointment, the retailer asked me what grape varieties went into the wine. I told him Bandol. He admitted that he didn't know that Bandol was a grape variety and I assured him that it was in fact one of the great grape varieties of the world. He should look it up in Jancis Robinson's book.

That's it. Happy New Year to everyone and happy blogging!