8 Buyers, 1 Store, 8000 Wines

Thursday, June 28, 2012

On 10:46 AM by The Bloggers @ 67 Wine   No comments
by Melissa Sutherland Amado, Dir of Marketing, Wine Buyer | On Twitter: @melissa_ful

Sweetness in wine. Loathed in a way bordering on fatuous. Yet today, with Moscato d’Asti being embraced, and sweet red wine gaining ground, it’s no mind-blowing surprise that dessert wines, namely Sauternes, would show up in the mix. As Jason Wilson of The Washington Post (and @boozecolumnist on Twitter) recently wrote in the context of Sauternes’ return, “… if you wait long enough, things will change. Old will become new. Uncool will become trendy.” We couldn’t agree more, and witness this time after time in the retail setting. 

Last year, I had an extraordinary opportunity to meet Aline Baly from Chateau Coutet, the meeting alone a fantastic experience. As a quick historical reference, in the 1787, Chateau Coutet was already celebrated by former U.S. President, then Ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson, who lauded the estate for having the best Sauternes from Barsac. In 1855, the estate was classified as a First Growth and is recognized for its continued excellence. 

Aline, who I’m fortunate to call a friend, exudes grace, and an inimitable combination of kindness and savvy. To spend an evening with her, sharing wines from her family’s estate, was nothing short of magical, in the way that only Sauternes, with its singularity, can bring to a dinner. Well, maybe Sherry too, but that’s another blog post.

Aline’s story is much longer than four questions, but her comments  below are teasing insights that offer a peek into her and a contemporary life at the great Chateau Coutet. 

What made you join the family business?
I went to my first wine tasting to translate for my uncle – two hours later of chatting with these fabulous, passionate wine lovers – I realize that I wanted to talk longer and that my cubicle was…boring. 

With so much time on the road, how do you create a sense of home?

Don’t laugh – I bring my favorite breakfast cereal with me. I also load up my favorite books, photos and music on my iPad. Lastly, I use Facebook and Twitter to stay connected to my family and friends -- as well as all the new friends I make while on the road.

What's the most unexpected pairing you were served with Coutet?
Well, I don't know if it's the most daring but it surely is the most successful and my favorite pairing: Coutet and lobster. There is something to be said about: LOBSauTERnes. The texture contrast plays a big part in the delicious combination, plus the sweet meet compliments the wine. Actually, we will be featuring a Lobster Club Sandwich for the upcoming July 4th celebrations -- as well as this month's National Lobster Day. 

Where's the most far-flung place one could find Coutet?
My family and friends are quite the globetrotters; they send me Coutet sightings pretty regularly. Recently, Coutet was located in Bangkok at the Banyan Hotel. I’ve got reports also of Coutet in Russia, New Zealand and Australia!


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