When I get in to a good wine shop I feel like much like I imagine Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie on Sex and the City felt in a Manolo Blahnik concept store. (For the enlightenment of straight, male, non-Swedishmetrosexual readers, Blahnik makes stilettos to die for). My willpower is put to the test and my wallet inevitably suffers. Sigh. All the boys at the Swedish monopoly Systembolaget’s flagship store in Stockholm know this, and lovingly provide me with wooden Bordeaux crates even when I SAY I’m just in for a single bottle of inexpensive bubbles. Being on the road and quite limited in carrying capacity I thought it would be safe to check out the San Francisco branch of K&L Merchants – a wine store I have checked out online many time for reference pricing. Alas, it was not.
The original idea was to pick up a bottle of champagne for my birthday that same day – to be consumed in the hotel with Marisa and a wine-buyer friend who was in town. Maybe a bottle of the lovely Baudry Chinon I had at Williamsburg’s Diner (see post). What I came home with was 15 bottles of mixed wine and champagne and the need for an extra piece of luggage. THANK YOU SOUTHWEST AIRLINES for your policy of two free checked bags. What happened? Kirk Walker happened.
I can look at a pretty bottle, a high Parker point or general good review and resist. What I can’t resist is another wine afficionado getting all excited about bottles he or she has recently tried. Kirk and I bonded over our love for a good wine experience. The odd wines. Elegance. A touch of dirty horse in our Loires. He almost ran from bottle to bottle in the store’s extensive selection and pointed out his recent favorites and best buys, mainly small French or Italian producers. I took the bait. The best salesmanship is someone who is not trying to sell at all, just share their excitement of a product. So, the result of what ended up being a very extensive shopping spree is now resting in a Pelican suitcase at my parents’ house waiting to join me in Sweden (as the two bags policy is not available on United). Except a few bottles that got “lost” along the way as we road-tripped. And of course, sans the birthday champagnes.