The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2012

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Page 18 of 140

THE MESSAGE To Europe, With Love B rad Vanderpool, proprietor of Primo Vino retail liquor store in Denver, Colorado, specializes in smaller production, hard-to-fi nd wines, beers and liquors. "I work with close to 70 different suppliers to procure lesser-known bottles. While I have a passion for wines from Italy and the Rhône Valley of France, I love variety and am constantly trying unique wines from around the world." With limited fl oor space, Vanderpool encourages his clients to let him know what they want. "I am willing to do the research and spend the time to locate it and bring in special requests. In the current fi nancial environment, being fl exible and willing to work for the clients is the most important way I can differentiate myself. Also, we actively promote specialty wines to our clients that we have access to through our suppliers. This lowers our fi nancial exposure by bringing in what we sold before we own it, which leads to lower prices because we are not holding large inventories." Asked for one piece of advice for a young person considering going down the path of creating a wine- Brad Vanderpool of Denver's Primo Vino. focused brand in today's retail environment, Vanderpool quickly keys on the concepts of knowledge and passion. "Knowledge helps you stay current with trends and what is hip, while passion gives you the energy and will excite employees as well as clients." —Ben Weinberg The Grape Goddess W Catherine Fallis, MS. 18 / the tasting panel / october 2012 eb-based wine education comes down to earth as Planet Grape's Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, known to many as the Grape Goddess, launches a web-based wine course titled "The Six Week Wine Expert." Fallis timed the September release of the course, designed for entry-level service professionals and consumers, to coincide with the release of Apple's iOS6 software upgrade for the iPad. "I've been turned off by the formal and often intimidating way that wine is taught," declares Fallis, who has made it her mission to develop an engaging teaching and writing style and to create a unique way of deliver- ing information based on sensory exercises and prompts. Fallis designed the course to help people unleash their senses and expand their sensory vocabulary. Music adds layers of audio context throughout the program, which covers basics in the fi rst three sections and ramps up to deductive tasting and food and wine pairing in section four. In addition to speaking, teaching, writing and consulting, Fallis practices the ceremonial art of sabrage, or opening a bottle of champagne with a saber, a skill that isn't covered in "The Six Week Wine Expert" but could fi nd its way into the next level of certifi cation designed for the trade. The self-guided online course costs $99 and is available at www.planetgrape. com. —Deborah Parker Wong PHOTO: KEVIN MOLONEY PHOTO: DEBORAH PARKER WONG

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