Tag Archives: Randall Grahm

Reflections on a Great Year of Drinking…

As 2011 comes to a close in just a few short hours, I can’t help but sit back, sip some bubbly and reflect on what an incredible year it has been.  From the ups and downs of a rocky economy, seeing freedom become a reality through the Arab Spring, watching an already toxic political environment grow worse in the US, witnessing natural disasters around the world to a royal wedding and the end of the Iraq war, we have seen our fair share awe inspiring and anger inciting events.  But we made it through and that is cause for celebration.

For Bauer we have had some wonderful events that included top winemakers and incredible chefs coming into our store to pour wine and cook for us.  Being part of events like the Taste of the Back Bay and the Newbury Street Gala were hardly work and more like fun!

Some highlights that stick out in my mind:

Randall Grahm joining us for a tasting and signing of his book “Been Doon So Long”

Howie and Randall

Cathy and Julia from Red, White Boston with Howie

A visit from award winning wine maker Nik Weiss from St. Urbans Hof in Mosel, Germany

Gris listening to Nik

Chef’s Series Tasting took off with a bang!

Rob and Sean from City Table at our first Chef's Series Tasting

Vibrant Rioja, Tapeo and Bauer working together for a huge Rioja and Tapas Tasting

Partnering up with some other important people also helped make 2011 memorable.  Kathy from The Fish & Bone gave me an eye opening experience when she had a dog food and beer tasting in her store.

Working with Andrew Cabot and Nelse Clark for launching Privateer Rum in Boston made me see that rum is not just for making fruity cocktails.  If it is made right, you only need a glass.  Now they have launched their Amber Rum and started their barrel program with us as well.  I can only hope that 2012 is just as prosperous and exciting for them as 2011.

2011 had some low lights as well for us.  But thankfully, those low lights were turned into highlights.

Bauer Alum, Nick Demjen, left us in the beginning of the summer for a great sales position at Origin Beverage.  Good news for us…Bauer is in his sales area so we still get to see him once a week!

Nick's "private" going away party in the back of Bauer. Cake and Champagne courtesy of Sue!

Nick's public going away party where he received the gift of a lifetime. Look closely and you will see that jersey is signed by the Stanley Cup winning team!

As much as we miss Nick, our new Beer Manager, Tom, has been up to the task and bringing in great brews for everyone!  He has been a great addition to the Bauer staff.

We can’t close 2011 without mentioning Gris.  Our little grey man lived in Bauer for 12 great years protecting the store and giving joy to all that came into contact with him.  Our hearts broke when he died in August and it did make walking into work a little tough with no one at the door to greet us.

Checking out what wines he likes

Our sweet boy sleeping with a toy

But something good came out losing Gris.  A little homeless kitten named Sofia came to live at Bauer and she has taken to the store life very well.  She loves all and is loved by all.  Well, except maybe the dogs that is.  For something so small, she sure knows how to intimidate even the toughest of canines.

Passed out under the tree in the French wines.

Christmas morning at Tom's house with her presents

From all of us to all of you, we wish you a very Happy New Year!  May it be filled with joy and may only good things come out of the sorrows.

The Rhone Ranger rode into town

The Rhone Ranger himself came to Bauer Wine & Spirits on April 13 to promote his book Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology!  A man who has been referred to everything from the Willy Wonka of the wine world to a pure genius, Grahm’s book proved to be insightful and not just a bit mischievious.  An iconoclastic send-up of the wine industry and a celebration of unsung grape varieties, the book features, among other things, Grahm’s hilarious literary parodies–Joyce, Kafka, Pynchon, Salinger, and others–together with song lyrics, other snarky satires, poems, lectures, and more.

A small crowd started to amass at 4 pm waiting for Randall Grahm and they weren’t disappointed when they saw Randall run down the stairs in the rain with his “Contra” beret on.  Once he shook off the raindrops, he got right to work at our tasting table.  Among our noted guests, Rachel Bennet from French Oak TV came with her notepad ready and got things started with an interview with Randall.   A man who is serious about wine-making, Randall is anything but serious.  He has dedicated his life’s work to the production of wines with a sense of place.  But the one thing that stuck out to me was that Randall is not afraid to explore new terroirs.  Of course, he loves the Rhone terroir but gave compliments to the Alsace and Loire regions of France as well. Outside of France, Randall also found a great one in Canary Islands that impressed him.   Not a place that anyone would expect to find a great terroir, Randall emphasized that there is great terroir around the world that hasn’t been discovered yet.

While some of us shied away with our books in hand, no one wanting to be the first to ask him to sign, Cathy Huyghe from Red White Boston boldly marched up, took her taste of wine and asked him to sign her copy.  So thanks Cathy for getting the ball rolling!

Grahm brought along with him not just his cheeky sense of humor and charm, but he also brought his wine.  For two hours we swirled, slurped and allowed the flavors of Grahm’s 2009 Albarino, 2008 Muscat, 2009 Vin Gris de Cigare, 2007 Syrah “La Pousseur”, 2009 “Contra” Old Vine Field Blend, and 2006 Le Cigare Volant roll around on our tongues.

Once again, Randall Grahm has proven to us that, baby, we were born to Rhone.

Check out our pictures from the event on Facebook page!!