My First Real Lesson About Wines

One night I was having dinner in the old Statler Hilton Hotel on Washington Boulevard in downtown Detroit.  The dinner was at Trader Vic’s (which at the time was the flagship restaurant of the Hilton chain).  We had ordered dinner and the wine steward came to the table to make a suggestion.  I don’t remember what wine we had that night, but he suggested a wine that was a favorite of a Mr. Paul Mann.  I said that I had no idea who Mr. Mann was.   I was then informed that he was the Wine Buyer/Consultant for the J.L. Hudson Company.   I just remember having a great dinner that night, and another fine bottle of wine, out on a date.

A few days later, I made it a point to go to the wine shop at Hudson’s to look around.  While I was there, I asked if Mr. Mann was there.  He was paged, came down and I related the other evening’s events.  He smiled, and proceeded to start making suggestions and adding to my knowledge.  I am not sure if he realized how young I was, but he took the time to talk and to educate me.  One of the first suggestions he made to me, is that I should start a wine scrap book and soak off the labels from every one that I drank, so that I could start making references and build on each memory.  I still have the books that I started (which are why there may be some labels that I show that have part of another label overlaid).  To this day I still save labels.

We talked for a good hour, and then he took me from his shop, without selling me a single bottle and took me to the book department on the mezzanine.  He proceeded to sell me a paperback book, which he said was the most concise and informative book he could think of.  He then told me to read the book, before I start to make any wine purchases, so that I wasn’t shopping in the dark.

A fine gentleman from the old school.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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5 Responses to My First Real Lesson About Wines

  1. What a great experience you have detailed. Lucky you to be guided in such a way by someone with such knowledge on the subject and skill.
    Thank you.
    Ernest.

  2. Ernest,
    It was indeed a very warm introduction to what has been a life long avocation. People when passionate about a subject, want others to be that way as well.
    -John

  3. Pingback: Gifts from a Vacation | The Wine Raconteur

  4. Pingback: J L Hudson | The Wine Raconteur

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