A Crack Addict in the Crack Factory
The idea of putting 30 roses on your wine list is really quite absurd…unless you are ready to promote the hell out of rose to your patrons. I assume that’s exactly what Campanile does. For this kind of courage and this kind of contribution to the wine industry they should be given some sort of an award.
I flew down to Los Angeles on Sunday for a meeting on Monday. I’m not an LA kinda-guy. I have friends and a wife that extol the virtues of this place, but I’ve never been able to embrace it outside of my over exuberance for Disneyland. However, it did give me an excuse to spend some time at the Commerce Club where they play low limit poker like it’s a contact sport and where they seem to believe that 10-8 off-suit is a raising hand every single time.
After a few hours of patience and sticking the easiest money I’ve ever won in my pocket, I returned to my hotel to prepare for the Monday meeting. One thing that hadn’t been worked out was what wine to serve those in attendance at the meeting that would occur in the upstairs private room at Campanile the next day. I should have called ahead to work this out, but figured I could easily just pick the wines when I arrived.
When I did arrive the next day early enough to look over the room and pick the wines, I was confronted with a beautiful wine list that did include the previously mentioned 30 different roses from around the world. It took longer than I planned to pick the wine because it turned out a NUMBER of those roses were being poured by the glass and it just would not have been right to not taste though…a few.
For those who have been reading FERMENTATION long enough, you know I love rose. So, to be confronted with more than the 1 or 2 deep red, fruity California versions and the obligatory Domaine Tempier on a wine menu is something of delight for me. But 30 roses? That’s like asking a crack addict to work in the crack factory.
I did not get a chance to meet Campanile’s wine buyer. But I can make some assumptions them. They certainly must understand the benefit of matching their wine selections to the climate they live in, a context not always considered by those who build wine menus. They also must have an over abundance of love for the pink wines among us. They have a strong personality that can stand up to an owner’s push back that surely sounds something like this: "What the F*ck are you doing putting 30 roses on my God Damned wine list?!!" And, they likely enjoy being able to look someone in the eye and say, "see, I told you so!" as their project looks back up at them from the glass and says, "wow….that IS great!" (the last trait is probably a character flaw, but if it helps get 30 Roses on a wine list who am I to criticize.