Garagiste Spell Casting and Sleight of Mind

And now you are getting very sleepy. Listen to my voice. Read my careful prose. I want you to type I-will-take-one-case. Hit send. When I snap my fingers you will awake fully refreshed and remember nothing other than how much you NEED Garagiste. SNAP!

Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste is the MOST POWERFUL WINE WRITER today. Forget those Wine Spectator drivelers and the 100 point buffoons. JR is THE MAN. The tBoW tasting team makes a point of reading the local wine rags; the pitch letters from the sales crews. Most are boring. Some used to be among our favorites but no longer. We still enjoy the Underground Wine Letter as classic and downright erudite wine entertainment. We like to read wine books as they come around. We have fallen behind. However two classic must-reads are about the Gallo Brothers and the Mondavis. This is like reading really good historical non-fiction; Rise and Fall of the Third Reich or A Bright Shining Lie. When we want more excitement we turn to fiction.

And so we have Rimmerman. Prolific as Elmore Leonard and as wickedly convincing as James Elroy. Amazingly JR puts out at least 4 Garagiste offers each week after week after week. Each one is worth reading on its own. Some, however, are downright irresistible…hypnotic as a snail crawling across a razor’s edge. Here are some favorites from a wine marketing genius.

“Isn’t the mystery of the experience what wine collecting is all about?” Yes it is. But it’s so obvious I guess we just never thought of it this way. Does this mean obsessively hunting down mis-marked bottles is a higher order pursuit than we realized? He was selling a 2008 Marsannay for $25.80.

red fruit inside

“Fascinating rock and depth – like a square box of rock trying to accommodate a round basket of perfumed delicate red fruit. Does Burgundy get much better than this at 12.0-12.2% alcohol?” Maybe the length he will go to is simply a function of the price of wine he is selling? A square box of rock. Honestly, isn’t this so much better than an iron fist in a velvet glove? A square box of rock. Mind activating. The sell was a $37 Burg.

“In truth, what’s the difference between the effort extended here and something like First Growth Bordeaux?” JR makes so much sense as a buyer we are helpless to refute his statements. The catch here is that 1st growth Bordeaux is more about bucks than effort isn’t it? He won the argument before we finished reading the assertion. Those high-falootin’ Bordelaise. Of course, he isn’t even selling Bordeaux. This was for a $10 Muscadet! We bought a case. Why not? It’s good as Latour which is not really as great as Lafitte much less La Mission and that isn’t even a 1st growth. Hnnhh.

“What do you say about a wine like this? It represents everything good about the wine trade – everything that used to mean something but rarely does anymore. It contains every bit of heart and soul that its winemaking tandem can put forth (Stéphane et Vincent Perraud). It is from their top parcels (it is not a second wine) and yet…It’s only $9.99.”
Rimmerman must watch a lot of Jon Stewart. This was over the top for the same $10 Muscadet. As the movie goes…you had me at 1st Growth.

“There are moments in time when someone comes along and has an opportunity to define an era or define something lasting to their craft – if they seize the moment the road bends forever – if they miss the chance, the moment is lost and history remains the same – this is one of those moments.” WOW. Churchill has risen and we never needed him more. Who cares what the wine is. What about the era? The opportunity to define it? WANT that. Who wouldn’t? Even if it does have something to with a wine named 2005 ADONIS La Grapperie that costs $16 and is made from Chenin Noir. This was a close one but we managed to hit delete instead of send.

“Feed the Birds – In this case, in my search to uncover the newest and noteworthy, the phrase ‘a little birdie told me…’ is actually true…we followed the birds all the way to a little table where we accidentally uncovered what may be the Beaujolais discovery of the year.” This prompted a total fantasy.

tBoW and Dotoré are on a reality show with Rimmerman. The show is Sell That Wine. tBoW: “I can sell that wine in 5 words – you got to have it!” Dotoré: “I can sell that wine in 4 words – you gotta have it.” The judging panel which does not include Heidi Klum throws that one out for obvious reasons. Rimmerman: “I can sell that wine in 3 words – feed the birds.”

Game set match. JR wins a 10 month tour of Europe all expenses paid. Wait. He already has that. He is selling a $14 Beaujolais from 2011. He admits it is an off vintage. But he touched my Mary Poppins. He felt my tuppence. When a man can reach into your hippocamus and press the correct lobe….we hit send again and again. Chimchimareee…

“Stones in my shoes. The only reason I decided to stop in the sleepy Cote Roannaise was to find a new pair of shoes. Mine had become so worn that the tiny grit, gravel and sand was seeping through like a coffee filter. When the constant squish of new tuffa underfoot became too much to bear I finally stopped. When I looked up from changing my sneakers, I was in front of Domaine des Pothiers.” This is not fair. He is not even selling wine. Who else does this? You can sell cars and toothpaste with sex. But selling wine with shoes? Or maybe this is a stone’s throw from a Sicilian Don complaining about a troublesome colleague. “This guy he’s like a stone in my shoe.” JR is selling a Cote Roannaise that he describes as the original “Cold Duck”. We bought it out of respect and admiration. Like a prayer. Homage.

“I’ve been saving this for a rainy day as it’s not only an offer of discovery but it will open your eyes to the reason Burgundy has been so revered for centuries.” Right. $20 is a pretty good price to uncover what others have known for centuries. Get reverent ya big moose. Buy this 2009 Olivier Guyot Bourgogne AOC – $19.99.

“This is Grenache and Syrah, from lengthy and wise roots that have fought the law and the roots won.” Bobby Fuller Four. 1966. Robbin people with a BOOM BOOM six gun! I wish I had the will but I BOOM BOOM have none! A $14 old vine Cotes du Rhone Villages and a Texas rocker.



  1. Wavatar
    Kris-B says:

    What do you make of it?

  2. Wavatar
    doctore says:

    This post was great. How great?
    La Tache great.

  3. Wavatar
    Peter Troilo says:

    I’m in tears. That is really funny stuff.

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