Selling Wine & Telling Stories

HERE is a really good promotion that the folk over at Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines are putting together to honor the Beaulieu Georges de Latour Private Reserve, a wine that is truly an historic CA wine.

They want anyone with a good story about this wine to write in and share it with them. The best stories will show up on their website and the very best will end up in an advertising campaign.

In the first place there just aren’t that many American wines that could justify a call for stories about them. Very few have been made continuously for as long as the BV Private Reserve that also have standing as an iconic wine.

And I love the interactive quality of this promotion.

If you want to add your BV Private Reserve Story to the mix you can do so HERE.

I’m not sure the BV Private Reserve Cabernet is what it used to be. However, I am sure that this wine, in a number of vintages was among the best made in California. The current release of BV GDLT Private Reserve is the 2002 Vintage. It is priced at $95.

Currently has a number of older vintages of this wine on the block at prices that are lower than the release price for the new vintage. The most interesting items are a 1971 vintage for $80 and a 1982 vintage for $55.

I submitted my own Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon story. It is reproduced below:
I can’t say I’m proud of this story. Nor can I bring myself to say that under similar circumstances I would not do it again.

It was 1985, my first year in college and the year I started to really indulge my growing interest in wine. I’d read the books, bought the cheap stuff, scanned the history of CA wine and was ready to move on to the good stuff.

At the local beer-infested liquor store nearby Humboldt State University in Arcata, California I began my search for "the good stuff." The selection at the store the sold us our kegs was small.

But, tucked away was a bottle of 1978 BV GDLT Cabernet Sauvignon.

I’d read about this wine. I wanted to try this wine. The price however was more than I could afford.

Then it struck me that the person at the check out counter, a young man who was also in my history class, had proved himself regularly to be dumb as a sack of nails. He was also one of the greatest wine chuggers I’d ever encountered. It struck me that he’d have no knowledge of wine.

So I did it. I furtively peeled off the price tag from the Barefoot Cellars wine and placed on the BV GDLT 1978 Cab: $3.99.

I walked up to the counter. Placed it in front of the sack of nails, watched him ring it up, paid my $3.99 and left.

I known. I know. But it’s just very unlikely that anyone frequenting this particular store would have appreciated it.

I brought the 1978 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve back to the dorm and drank it as I thumbed through the various wine books that spoke of this wine. It was my introduction to the great wines of California.

I suspect we all have a sordid past. We all have things we are ashamed of. And I readily admit that what I did was…well, not legal. That said, the guilt I carry with me over this incident has been assuaged over time by any number of really good rationalizations. The one that sticks with me today is that the wine was REALLY REALLY good.

One Response

  1. jeff - September 18, 2006

    For a second there I thought you were going to say that you convinced “the sack” that the wine was too old and he should give it to you for half price…! – j

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