I know only one thing about wine. If Doug Reichel markets it, it tastes good. Doug is my friend. I really like him. If you have met him, so do you. Doug and his lovely partner in life/crime, Catherine are Doug Reichel Wine Marketing Inc.
Most wine in Saskatchewan liquor board stores are mass produced and it shows in the taste. Doug works with smaller wineries all around the world, where hand harvesting is still common. The wine Doug markets is made with generational expertise, vocation and (with fear of sounding cliché) love; love for the wine and those that will drink it. The difference between mass produced wine and what Doug markets is roughly the difference of listening to the radio and receiving a mix CD from someone that cares about your musical input. Doug says “I think mass produced, poor quality anything can leave a person lessened.” Once I started drinking wine suggested by Doug, I found myself unable to purchase a bottle until I saw his name on the back. I knew I could trust his taste.
Doug is fighting and winning the battle of Saskatchewan spirits. It can’t be easy to peddle fine wine to a province that is generations deep on Baby Duck and boxed red. There are those on the prairies who think they don’t like wine. This misconception comes from tasting wine one is not ready for (a palate needs to be developed) or tasting wine that is not very good. Please don’t be like my Uncle Garry who never married because he spent one summer dating a floozie from Flin Flon (it didn’t end well).
At last years Oscar party I was trying to push one of Doug’s best wines on a skeptic (Melipal purple label). “I don’t like wine” they admitted while sucking back a Pilsner. I asked what they had tried and it became evident that it was not that they didn’t like wine, they didn’t like drinking poor wine in poor company. A bottle of wine is only as good as the people that make it and the people you share it with. The best conversations I’ve ever had were spoken through purple teeth.
If you want the full Doug Reichel Wine Marketing experience you need to attend one of Doug’s wine events. It usually consists of a night of great food, music and of course, wine. There is at least one a month in Saskatchewan. Reps from wineries will often come and be a part of the event. I’ve met Irene Aristi daughter of the owner/founder of Melipal Wine and I’ve taken shots with George Shropshire from Chase Potato Vodka distillery (Doug markets other liquor as well). These are nights to remember (if you take it easy). Dates are always posted on his website.
I asked Doug to give me a rundown of three wines to try. Doug always endeavors to give his customers high taste at low cost. But the more your palate develops the more expensive your taste will get.
Beginner: Relax Cool Red (Germany) $14.99 – super easy drinking
red wine made from the thin-skinned Dornfelder grapes in Germany.
Intermediate: Torreon de Paredes Reserve range (Chile) – all $16.95 – Whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay; Reds: Merlot, Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon – from small family owned vineyard with stunning quality wines
Experienced: Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Enrico VI 2008 (Italy) – $97.00 – in the one family since 1300 (!!) in north west Italy. Enjoy now or over the next 25 years.