This is the end, my beautiful friend... — Jim Morrison

An unpretentious approach to Fruit of the Vine.

As I grow older I understand a bit better how vintages can be variable.

The beginning of the end

Impermanence reigns. All good things must come to an end. The Wine Nose had a good ride for some eight years or so, but currently we are in hibernation waiting to come out and take some other form.

It does not take too long to realize that it is better to work for someone who is supportive and a little bit crazy than someone who is not-so-supportive and conservative. What happened? Well, The Bottle Store changed hands. The new owners were not sure what they wanted to do with our unusual club.

Let me give you an example: The previous owner of The Bottle Store, Mike Carpenter, had about the same palate as the Nose. He liked rich, strange wines that were great values. He also carved out a niche for the higher-end wines (such as Clos Du Bois Marlstone and Cinq Cepages) when you could still afford them and no one else in DeKalb dared to handle them. Mike and The Nose were just a bit crazy. We would head down to tastings in Chicago, get enough of a snoot full to know what we really liked, got in a state of infatuation, and then ordered a lot of outrageous stuff. We would wait for the wines to come in, contact you directly or force you to pay attention by hand-selling the bottles in The Store. This cycle was fun! Those who caught the excitement by osmosis knew.

I don’t know if we were really successful, but we sure had a good time. DeKalb is a fickle town and fine wine is still a hard sell here. One local jokes that DeKalb is still a $5.99 town: no one is willing to spend much more than this for lunch (or a bottle of wine for that matter). The Trader Joe Syndrome has set in now too; and so people will drive half an hour to save a buck or two on a bottle of wine that no one has vouched for. Whatever. Our wines were always three-dimensional, compared to the one or two dimensions of the typical plonk at Joe’s. And “Two-Buck Chuck” is no longer two bucks. Everything changes…

Remnants of The Wine Nose can be found on our sister site. We will see what the future offers. Stay tuned and keep sipping. Red wine is the best medicine, our favorite panacea. Cheers and thanks to all who supported us!

The Nose

©Wine Nose was written by Grant A. Olson and was published monthly by The Bottle Store located at
Lincoln Hwy and Annie Glidden, DeKalb, IL 60115 USA.