Wineologist roots for the underdog

Wineologist roots for the underdog

In 1980, I dabbled in liquor cabinet raiding and shoplifting beers. That summer, “Caddyshack” was released. I clearly remember seeing it with my friends. We snagged some Rhinegold’s, stuck them in paper bags, and walked to the theater. That night we were entertained by Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield. “Caddyshack” had it all — sports, debauchery, sex and the losers beating the snobs! The humor and themes resonated with many people. Everyone wanted to party with Rodney and hang with the slobs. Me? I’ve always rooted for the underdog.

Years later, I managed an establishment with an impressive wine list. All the wines that a successful restaurant needed to carry: Caymus, Duckhorn, Phelps, Rothchild, etc. When you sell these wines in volume, suppliers send you to classes and seminars to properly educate you to sell those glorious creations. Occasionally, I would head into Manhattan, sit in a classroom and get schooled by wine makers on how in God they do that voodoo they do! I was so intimidated. Most people there ran major restaurants, or were sommeliers. But over the years, I developed a decent pallet.

Which brings me to my point: wines from Finca DeCero. They are located in Argentina, with the vineyard lying at the foothills of the Andes. The name Finca DeCero translates to “from scratch.” The winemaker, Marcos Fernandez, started out as a chef. He moved to California and landed a job as a cellar boy for Paul Hobbs (one sick wine maker; Google him). Marcos moved up and learned to make wine from Hobbs. Next thing you know, bam!, he’s back in Argentina, and with some consultation from Hobbs, starts making wine in his homeland. The result is some of the best Argentian wine in the world at incredible prices. The wine is the perfect match of expressive and bold grapes from Mendoza, made by a student of one of the greatest wine makers out of California! Finca DeCero makes a Cab, a Malbec, a Petit Verdot and a blend. Each wine is produced from hand-picked grapes, natural fermentation, and anywhere from 12 to 24 months of aging.

I can’t help but push them at my store. For godssakes, Rodney is making them!


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