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Dan Rhodes

In a least-common denominator era of one size fits all, de-personalized retail, I still believe in a customer-driven approach to sales that focuses on the client. While styles may change and fads come-and-go, I still have faith in the timeless magic of classically produced wines no matter where they come from. When made properly, this ethereal beverage is capable of eliciting the “best from the beast” and contributes in existential fashion to our enjoyment and understanding of life on this planet.

Accordingly, I favor distinctive, artistic wines that are made in an artisinal fashion to the many soulless, industrial wines which have proliferated in assembly line fashion so greatly in the marketplace over the last decade or so. Wines I prefer speak in a quality manner to a “sense of place” whether that place is understood as the Rutherford Bench, Gevrey Chambertin or Chianti Classico. Some winemakers understand this, many do not. I understand quality to encompass reasonable yields, clean cooperage and sound, healthy fruit. “Clean” cooperage does not necessarily mean “new” wood and sound fruit does not have to be “maximally ripe” fruit.

The vast ocean of homogeneity that exists in the wine world today is a direct result of winemakers producing wines to flatter the palates of critics or that conform to the dictates of marketing departments. Consequently, the individualistic notion of “different” is one that appeals to me far more than the functional concept of “good, better, best” which is far too often nothing more than a quantitative reflection of existing scores emanating from the media. While I understand the reality of scores and respect the many voices that exist in today’s critical wine press, I am ever cognizant of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson concerning a foolish consistency.

I hope to share my passion and my vision with our Spectrum retail clients knowing that wines do not have to necessarily be expensive to be great and that new wine vistas are always there for us to behold as long as we are open to discovering them.