Tour alumni Linda Ayer and Jim Palmer asked if I would come up to Vermont to conduct a wine tasting for friends and discuss our wine tours. I jumped at the opportunity since I’ve never been to Burlington- but more importantly we depend on word of mouth and referrals to grow our business. So how could I
turn down such a generous offer to stay at their home, wine and dine me, show me their city, and introduce Wine Lovers Tours to some potential clients.
It was worth the 5 hour drive from New Haven. It rained most of the way but as soon as I arrived in town, the sun came out and and I drove by the beautiful campus of the University of Vermont on the way to their home.
For dinner, Jim asked me to select a wine from his collection and I picked the La Pergola il Goccetto. It was a plain vino rosso, not a DOC or even an IGT wine. Just a plain old ‘red table wine.’ without a vintage listed. However I recalled the vineyard La Pergola and when I saw ‘imported by Kermit Lynch,’ I knew it had to be a decent wine. And indeed it was. It was from the Roero area of Piedmont, smooth, silky, fruit forward and delicious.
It was a wine that Kermit Lynch defines as his prototypical ‘fine wine:’ simple, affordable, satisfying. The theme of the tasting the next day was selected by Linda: fine wines from Provence and Piedmont: Provence because that’s the tour they plan to join in 2020, and Piedmont, because that was their first tour with Wine Lovers.
Jim and I selected 6 wines from their local wine shop which fulfilled the theme of our definition of a fine wine aka Kermit Lynch: simple, affordable, satisfying.
Our 2 white wines made a good start: Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc and a Cortese di Gavi from Piedmont, both crisp, floral, refreshing.
From there we started our reds: Renato Ratti Barbera d’Asti; Hecht and Bannier Minervois- a blend of 70% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 10% Carignan; Massolino Nebbiolo (the hit of the evening) and Chateau Fontanès Pic Saint Loup 2012, made entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon and another Kermit Lynch selection, and my personal favorite.
We ended a delightful successful day with dinner in downtown Burlington on the pedestrians-only Church Street. It was indeed a worthwhile trip since I visited a great city where Bernie Sanders got his start as Mayor, and we had someone sign up for one of our 2020 tours.
My thanks again to Linda and Jim for inviting me to their lovely city and I’d love to do this again in another venue.