I get to know so many of you and the lives and events that good wine has enhanced. Oftentimes, I get to tell you a little about my experiences with each wine in the offering email, but here's an overview of me and the journeys behind Timeless Wines.
Like many, my first foray into wine was through food. I was fortunate enough to have good friends, one of which was a French-trained Chef who had a restaurant that quickly became where I enjoyed my evening meal. The restaurant had a private room right off the kitchen with only two tables. This was reserved only for the Chef's closest friends. I never had to order. The Chef would prepare each course and pair it with a wine for me.
Galileo once said, "Wine is light, held together by water." There, sitting at a tiny white-linen table, with only the golden glow of a table luminary filling the wine glass at my place setting, is where I truly understood the meaning of his words. The Chef would sit down with me at the end of the night and ask me about my meal and then explain how the wine brought out the flavors he prepared. Food took on an entirely different level in my hierarchy. Alone, it was purely physiological: it was nutrition to feed the body. But, allow the extraordinary combination of wine with food to saturate your being and the match transforms into something that feeds the soul.
At this same restaurant, in the same private room with only one other table, one would think to enjoy the company of Chef's family;perhaps his mother or his wife and children. Maybe I would even be lucky enough to have dinner with Chef's younger sister. Instead, the other table was only ever occupied by a gentleman and his dog.
This man just happened to be world renowned wine importer and taster, Fran Kysela. Robert Parker regards him as one of the finest palates and selectors of top wine. I was sitting across the room from one of the most prominent men in the business. A man who had not only been importing the finest wines in the world for 30 years, but he himself was discovering. And of course, his dog;Jake.
Fate stepped in to cultivate an ideal that every person keeps tucked away in only the smallest corner of their heart. I didn't know it then;but I was about to turn my taste bud delights into a career. It was a slow growing friendship. A few conversations throughout dinner, then we would see each other about town and have casual chats. The Chef and Mr. Kysela had known each other for years. Chef was often invited to join the wine trips that Kysela would sponsor for buyers and distributors to prospect new wines overseas. Chef would tell me it was "the experience of a lifetime" and that I should definitely join in on a trip. It wasn't something I actually believed would ever come to pass. At that time, in 20 years of the wine business, not one person was ever invited to join a trip that wasn't a wine affiliate. I was an IT Director, and my extent of knowledge was only the tidbits of info I would get at the end of the night about my meal and its pairing.
The next thing I knew, I was getting a call from Mr. Kysela himself to discuss the upcoming trip to France. It would be in January. I remember his words, "Now listen, it's not like it won't be fun, but it's not a vacation either. We have a set schedule. It's non-stop. There is no point of rest;and you will have no free time. We are there simply to discover new wines and taste new vintages." This was serious and intimidating. I didn't want to do it, and I certainly had no idea what I was in for.
The Chef picked me up that early January morning. He handed me a Traveler's Journal, something I had never even seen before, let alone open up to write in. "Take notes", he instructed;and off we went. The time zone changed and there was no rest. We drove 2 hours from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to Epernay. Champagne Valley;the soil was chalk and a piece still sits on my desk at my office. The underground cellars were really caves that had been chiseled out of the ground. I can remember the smell as we weaved through the maze of small dimly lit tunnels draped in cobwebs and huge glass bottles. All at once, the tunnel opened to a grand room with a huge white clothed table and place settings for all 18 on the trip. A feast was served well after 11 pm. The combination of alcohol along with exhaustion and adjusting to the overall environment change made for a baptism of fire at this first wine dinner. People were passing out at the table. I couldn't keep my eyes open. When I look back at the notes I scribbled next to each sample, it was obvious I had started out with full gusto. The first few samples had detailed descriptions and information…as the dinner went on I scrawled out raw one-word specks of ink. I don't even remember what time it actually was when we finally arrived at our hotel that first night.
The trip is known as "The Death March";2weeks and 560 wines. We were up at 5 am and most nights didn't get to bed until 2 am. We visited 56 wineries as well as sampled at local restaurants. By day 4 of the trip, Kysela and I were seated on the bus next to each other and I was able to ask questions that had been adding up since the start of the trip. He was more than generous with information and even seemed excited to share his knowledge about the wines and the regions. Not only did my notes improve at each tasting, but my palate sharpened and I was able to breakdown the wines by the end of the trip.
I returned home a changed man. Hundreds of books and thousands of tastings later, I began to put into action what is now Timelesswines.com. I attended many more wine trips overseas, absorbing knowledge and tannins. I've been fortunate enough to sample in Spain, Germany, Austria, Argentina, New Zealand, Chile and Italy and even led an Australia wine trip. It truly was the experience of a lifetime and I wanted to be able to confer the benefits to other people. I started Timeless Wines so that everyone could have the opportunity to please their senses and lift their spirits with fantastic value wines.
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Vosne-Romanee Aux Reas Alain Guyar 1988
Trombetta Gaps Crown Pinot Noir 2012
Thorn Clarke William Randell Shiraz 2012
SonVida Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Savigny-les-Beaune Les Narbantons Premier Cru Maurice Ecard 1998
Savigny-les-Beaune Les Narbantons Premier Cru Maurice Ecard 1988
Savigny-les-Beaune Les Jarrons 1er Cru Maurice Ecard 1990
Robert parker rated wines
Richard Bocking Devon Riesling 2013
Rias Baixas wines
rhone valley wines
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2013
Protest Red Blend 2014
Philippe Milan Maranges Rouge 2014
Mordoree Tavel Rose Les Vestides 2015
Mordoree Cotes du Rhone Rose 2015
Loire valley wines
Lismore Syrah 2014
Les Pieds dans les Galets Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Vieilles Vignes 2012
Les Pieds Dans Les Galets Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2014
Lambrusco Amabile Bruscus S. Valentino Red 2015
La Chenade LaLande de Pomerol Bordeaux Denis Durantou 1998
Highly rated wines
Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Domaine Roy 1988
Fenocchio Roero Arneis 2015
Ecard Maurice Bourgogne Rouge Pinot Noir 2014
Dashe Cellars Zinfandel Todd Brothers 2013
Cote de Nuits-Villages Domaine Daniel Rion 1994
Chateauneuf du Pape wines
Chateau Petit Bois Bordeaux Medoc Francois Xavier Borie 2003
Chateau Haut Batailley Grand Cru 2003
Chateau Chasse-Spleen Bordeaux Moulis en Medoc 2003
Chateau Branaire-Ducru Bordeaux Medoc 2007
Cabernet Sauvignon wines
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Busi Chianti Rufina Riserva 2012
brunello di montalcino
Big Table Farm Chardonnay 2013
Best Italian reds
Best german Riesling
Best French whites
Best French reds
Best chardonnay wines
Best cabernet wine
Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2014