The other day I had the opportunity to meet, and taste with, a gentleman by the name of Olivier Humbrecht. He is the winemaker and owner of an old and world-famous Alsatian winery — Domaine Zind Humbrecht. Now, I don’t come in early for very many people, but the opportunity to meet and talk wine with this winemaker was too good to pass up. At 10am on the dot in walks this hulking guy, all dressed up in a suit, looking more like an arbitrager than a winemaker. I know winemakers, and most of the ones I know have long beards and holes in their sweaters. So this was definitely going to be interesting. His U.S. representative was a few minutes late and she was bringing the wine, so we had a chance to get acquainted. Thank goodness I didn’t let the snappy duds put me off, because this guy is every bit a great winemaker.
Then the treat of all treats was going through about a dozen of his whites. He doesn’t export any reds. Too bad. If you’re not familiar with this winery and the wines of Alsace, save your pennies and give them a try. First of all, Alsatian wines are one of the best kept secrets in the wine world. I bemoaned this fact with Humbrecht, and he agreed that there is nothing being done to promote them here. Second, his wines are the epitome of great Alsatian winemaking. Expensive? Yes. But if you ever find yourself with a few disposable bucks (not likely, I know, but just in case) treat yourself to any of these stunners. It was a blast, and one of the many reminders of why I’m doing what I’m doing. ome days, I need a reminder or two, so this experience will keep me going for some time. Check the picture out. Does this guy look like a winemaker to you? Me neither, but trust me, he knows what he’s doing. And then some.