by Jimmy Collins
Welcome to the premiere issue of Nashville WinePress! My name is Jimmy, and I will be your server.
Allow me to take a moment to provide a brief history of this magazine’s birth and purpose. There are three words and/or phrases that are important in telling the story of this brainchild; only one of which is typically found in most wine magazines. See if you can guess which one: 1) vacuuming; 2) deer in headlights; or 3) malolactic fermentation.
I was a server/wine manager at a local restaurant for a number of years and consequently had the opportunity to taste quite a few wines in the course of a month. Well, my friends started calling me from the wines stores asking, “Hey Jimmy, I’m at the wine store and I need a red. What do you recommend?”
First of all, for a wine person, that is a pretty open-ended question. That’s like asking Paul McCartney to play “one of his hits.” So my question would be, “What’s for dinner?” (usually chicken). After a few of these phone calls, I decided a mass email was in order. I started reviewing each wine I tasted, and I sent an email to friends who were into wine. The main point of my reviews was always to find the best bargain—whether it was $10 or $110. My picks weren’t always name brands, but they could have been. They were unbiased and reflected that particular year of the wine.
The wine list grew. So did my list of subscribers.
Fast forward one year later. While vacuuming the steps of my house (which I loathe--the vacuuming, not the house), it suddenly dawned on me to publish a free magazine that reviews wines that anyone can purchase locally! Let’s face it. The wine store can be rather intimidating for those who feel they don’t know wine well. You walk in and there are thousands of bottles everywhere, and you have no idea where to begin. I call this the “deer in headlights” look. Teenage boys have a similar look when asking for condoms. It’s at this point that a salesman walks up and asks you if he can help, to which you sheepishly reply, “I am looking for a white. I think it started with a K . . . or maybe an S . . . with a really cool label.”
This is where Nashville WinePress steps in.
We want to be your resource guide for all things wine in the greater Nashville area. You’ll find our reviews humorous, honest, and informative. Our articles will be locally focused, educational, and purposely entertaining. Our style and look are snappy casual. Even our grammar is somewhat unusual. Regardless of how I describe our intent, I hope you will enjoy learning and laughing with us. Wine is never a constant. It’s always evolving. Nashville WinePress will be no different.
In this issue, our feature article is on the charitable l’Ete du Vin. This wine auction organization has a fascinating origin and proves that through education and fundraising, wine can make a difference in the lives of people. Their upcoming events are also listed to let you experience and partner with them.
Our Geek Speak column is a much needed piece on Tennessee taxes and their effect on wine prices in restaurants. I hope it will not only illuminate the reasons behind the pricing, but also the benefits of purchasing wine with your meal.
Our own Angela gives her eclectic take on the sights and sounds of a wine event in Angela’s Anecdotes. I think you will find her perspective honest, witty, and, well, very unique. She adds a much needed feminine flair to our wine world and I am glad she is with us!
Our interview this issue is with noted Nashville oenophile, Tom Black. How does someone accumulate 10,000 bottles of wine in his cellar? The short answer: he is not inviting me over enough!
Finally you will discover the essence of Nashville WinePress—our wine reviews. I personally compile and write them, though I am indebted to our revolving group of tasters who help me decipher the good and the great from the “just okay.” These tasters work in your wine stores and in your favorite restaurants. The convenient aspect is that every wine listed in this magazine is a recommendation. They are an assortment of styles and have varying scores, but we have done the work for you. Just pick a few that catch your interest, purchase, and enjoy.
I’m confident you’ll find Nashville WinePress different from other wine magazines, and that is by design. We want to keep it informal and easily digestible. Oh sure, we might throw in a few comments about malolactic fermentation, but don’t let it scare you. We’ll either describe it or, like in this issue, attach a glossary of terms for your reference. Our modus operandi is exemplified in this flagship issue—making reference to Robin Williams, the Olympics in Lake Placid, and losing your remote control. And did I mention the Revolution? Who said wine can’t be fun?
As your server, consider this wine information comp’d, and thank you so much for visiting with us. We hope you become one of our regulars.