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Monday, September 10, 2012

About San Diego: Protocol Wine Studio

"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work." --Gustave Flaubert


I'm always on the lookout for the next big thing on the wine-scene here in San Diego and this time I've uncorked a great one that you need to check out for yourself. If you are anything like me, you're tired of the ho-hum everyday selections found in many so called wine-stores [more so the average grocery outlet] today. 

If there is anywhere or anyplace I want to encounter true diversity, it's in the aisles of my favorite [and even my not so favorite] wine shop. Sadly though, finding places like this are the exception and not the rule. But a word of caution, this not your ordinary wine-on-the-shelf experience, you may be accustom to, they operate a bit differently.

Sometimes when I see folks tweeting about or throwing up a FB posts about seemingly generic mass produced [commodity] wines, like Chateau Two-by-Four [insert mass market label here] Chardonnay for example, I cringe. 

When asked to accept a sample of ordinary run-of-the-mill wines like that and review them; I feel like I've not done my job properly as a wine-writer. I've not shook enough trees, to let folks know they have alternatives, outside of California. 

Let me go a step further in regards to commodity wines; to me those "kind" of wines are all too similar of a choice between two widely different options. It's more like the choice to either buy farm-raised salmon [blech] or instead going for the [pricier] "wild-caught" Sockeye there's no comparison [I don't mind paying extra].

That said, I'm happy to introduce you to the Protocol Wine Studio, a new start-up here in San Diego. One poised to captivate your palate with unique and surprising wines at every twist and turn. I was invited over to swirl and slurp a small sampling of types of wines one could expect to be offered, and I was pleasantly surprised by the wildly different styles and flavors presented that evening.  

If you'd like this dynamic wine-duo to help you fill up an empty cellar or if you're simply looking certain types or styles wine, that you just can't seem to find anywhere else, chances are that Tina and Guy can help. Further I would have to say; if should you decide to partner with them on a voyage of wine discovery, you won't be looking back. 

Tina and Guy have a simple yet straightforward mission statement:
"Our philosophy centers around a wine culture aesthetic where wine gently glitters from the background and becomes part of a complete social experience, distinct for each individual." 
Let these True Wine Culture Consultants help you as they say "taste it, share it, live it!" and to that I say viva exploration!

One of the surprises of the evening was a great little wine called Fie Gris, [Éric Chevalier] a wine which to me is the poster boy for "esoteric". And for me to be crazy about most Sauvignon Blanc it has to be French. Now enter Fie Gris, I really dig this description below.
"Long before there was Sancerre and/or Pouilly-Fumé, certainly before Marlborough or perhaps even Sauternes. And long, long before there was even Sauvignon Blanc, storytellers and wine historians say, there was Fie Gris." ~ North Berkeley Imports.
The nose on this wine grabbed my attention immediately; very smoky [gunflint], bell-pepper, loads of wet-stone, infused with just a twist of lemon peel and not fully ripe plums. On the palate, vivid acid, but still a lush mouth feel, smoke from a distant fire, herbaceous, wet-stone fruit, a wonderfully terroir-driven wine. 

I've not sure ever tasted a wine similar to it, but there's something familiar about it. I found it to be a very exotic wine to be sure, but nonetheless captivating, inviting sips at first, then slurps and finally even a big gulp [oh-my].

One of the more surprising elements was how it paired ever so nicely with the back-yard camp-fire toasted marshmallows which we all chowed-down on toward the end of the night; like a pack of wolves experiencing their first kill in weeks [okay, maybe that was just me]. 

It was a fun evening, Mrs. Cuvee and I sitting in the VIP area [don't ya know] helped to close down the evening, lighting a few gars and telling tales till the wee-hours of the morning. Until next time folks, sit back, relax and please remember to sip long and prosper cheers!
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