crush.jpgI’m intimidated by wine. I have a general understanding of how it’s made and the general rule of thumb of white with fish, red with beef, but beyond that, I’m sort of lost.

My local wine store does not really do recommendations based on food very well, often just sort of picking whatever is closest to them and saying, “This should be good.” Other wine stores I’ve been to, which are “professional” wine stores, have suggested $150+ bottles, and when I ask for something a little less expensive, they bring out an $80 bottle. I’ve felt sort of looked down upon for asking for a bottle of wine under $20.

It was with the above trepidation that I walked into Crush on 57th between 3rd and Lex. First of all, the store is like a candy store for wine, with a large and airy main area that provides room to walk around in without being scared that your briefcase is going to knock something over. All of the bottles are on display on hooks in the wall so that they are lying on their sides with their label showing, and a lot have a Crush label next to them explaining, in plain English, what the wine is, it’s taste, what it goes with, pricing, etc. Very nicely done.

I was greeted by someone with the familiar, “Can I help you?”, to which I explained that I needed a bottle of wine for a dinner I was cooking that evening. I was then asked what I was having. The following conversation is indicative of how intimidated I am when it comes to wine (meaning that I don’t give stupid answers in a more comfortable situation):

Knowledgeable Crush Employee (KCE): What are you going to be having for dinner?
Josh: Fillet Mignon.
KCE: And how is it going to be prepared?
Josh: Uh…cooked.
KCE (with a “no-shit” expression on his face): How is it going to be cooked and are you going to have anything with it?
Josh: Uh…with heat, and I think it’s going to have some garlic and blue cheese.
KCE: Okay, for that you’re going to want a red with a big bold taste, (start walking towards an area in the store), and how much are you looking to spend?
Josh: Uh…less than twenty.

With that, we arrived at the Merlot area and he handed me a bottle for $19 and suggested that I open it and let it breathe for 20-30 minutes prior to serving.

After getting home and making dinner, I thoroughly enjoyed both the fillet and the wine. But the best part of the dinner was not being made to feel like an idiot while being assisted on the wine selection. I’ll definitely be going back to Crush.

3 Comments so far

  1. AskedRelic (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

    Ahh wine and food pairing is a very important piece of knowledge! Not to get all snobbish, but the wine does affect the meal. It’s fun stuff to learn, plus you get to look really cultured.

  2. Laiya (unregistered) on May 11th, 2007 @ 10:03 pm

    All wine tastes the same to me so I’m worse than you. But taking a wine-tasting course one of these days is on my to-do list.

  3. Josh (unregistered) on May 12th, 2007 @ 11:12 am

    A wine tasting course is on my Josh 2.0 list, but I don’t drink it that often to expect to put the tasting course to good use. Of course, once I take it and understand it better, maybe I would drink it more.

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