Max Koch Uncorked

Wine-soaked adventures through a twisted life…

The Grape Greenhorn

Listen, I’m still putting together my Las Vegas/Grand Canyon relays for you, but I wanted to hop on the ol’ blog real quick to tell you about something that happened yesterday that I’m actually a little proud of.

So a friend of mine back East (New Jersey) got himself a gig waiting tables at a fancy-pants steakhouse. This is a guy who’s much more of a beer-and-cigarettes fella hangin’ at the tavern with the jukebox blarin’, than a Paso Robles-worshipping wine goon like me. But this steakhouse offers a REALLY extensive wine list that more or less intimidated my friend (frankly, I wasn’t impressed with it…and it was WAY too overpriced.) Nevertheless, we hopped on Skype and went through it together as he had just come out of training and was expected to sell bottles of wine with all of the pricey steak dinners he was about to serve. Well, wouldn’t you know, I started to teach him all about “varietals” and “regions” and “temperaments” of wine. ME! Johnny Rocks-in-his-Head. And I couldn’t believe how easy the info was flowing out of me, too. I mean, this friend of mine could have just Googled this stuff but he wanted the Max Koch personal touch. Which he got in spades.


That said, I can only IMAGINE how neophyte-y and un-informed and downright dumb I must have sounded to a TRUE seasoned Sommelier, had they been eavesdropping. But I got away with it. And I was SO proud of my buddy when he texted me last night to boast that he’d made a $165 tip on a $750 bill (!!). The dude had managed to actually sell some decent bottles of wine to one of his parties (at least the list had a FEW Koch-endorsable delights.)

It just goes to show…no matter how dopey you are when it comes to wine…you can still use whatever knowledge you think you have to help your friends-in-service make some extra scratch.

WINE PAIRING: The above bro once sent me a bottle of Root 1 Cabernet as gift. It was the only wine he was really familiar with. Turns out his palette wasn’t as primitive as I expected. Not bad at all!