After ditching my comical academic career I found myself working in a phone sales sweatshop – selling wine. And we were allowed to drink wine, which I did. It helped with the selling, and in the process I was learning from the veteran salesman to my right, Mr. X. We liked to pour wines in each other’s glass and see if it could be identified just by tasting it. M. X smoked cigarettes and he drank from a cheap little highball glass. He usually nailed it.
And as I remember, I would nail it too. Fresh talent. That was me.
The company we worked for was German owned. They would reward high performing salespeople with trips, cars, snowblowers, and other bullshit. I think I won a framed certificate of merit once. Anyway, Mr. X was a top seller, and he won trips to Germany, one of which put him in the path of a Herr Bernd Phillipi – possibly the greatest German winemaker alive. (No offense to Georg Breuer or Herr Doktor Carl von Schubert!) Herr Phillipi used indigenous yeast and old wooden barrels – unheard of techniques in modern German wine. He’s paleo.
I believe Louis/Dressner now represents the estate. I also believe Bernd Phillipi was last seen in South Africa messing around with some wine there. I’d love to try it.
This wine was sweet because it is a trockenbeerenauslese. Troke. En. Bear. En. Owse. Laze. Eh. It changed color before our eyes, from golden to mocha brown. It had raging acidity, and mineral flavors, and head-spinning vortexes of spice and linen and pirate ships. Holy fuck.