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Meet the Expert: Wines and Spirits Manager David Lofstrom

Posted by by David Lofstrom, wines and spirits manager at Byerly’s Chanhassen
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How long have you worked for Lunds and Byerly’s?
My first day of work with Lunds and Byerly’s was in May of 2001. I moved into the wines and spirits department during the summer of 2005 and have loved it ever since!

What led to your interest in the wines and spirits department?
Every wine and every spirit has a story. Different growing areas, different vintages, different wine makers and so much more all give each bottle of wine or liquor a unique and fascinating story. My passion is just that - learning their stories and passing them on. I want to inspire others with the passion in each bottle.

What do you like most about working with wines and spirits?
I enjoy helping people discover new wines, beers and cocktails. It is incredibly satisfying when someone leaves my store excited about what he/she purchased. Whether it’s a wine for dinner that night, a gift or just something for the patio, I love seeing my customers excited.

What’s the funniest thing that happened to you in the kitchen?
One year for New Year’s Eve, I brought a bottle of Gruet Blanc de Noirs, one of my favorite and reasonably priced bottles of bubbly, to a friend’s house. As midnight approached, unbeknownst to me, the host decided it would be a good idea to shake up several bottles of sparkling wine for a “festive” New Year’s surprise. I popped the cork of the Gruet and 90% of the contents exploded out of the bottle and landed on the kitchen floor! It was certainly a memorable evening.

What’s your all-time favorite wine and why?
I don’t know if I can name an all-time favorite bottle of wine. I have fallen in love with many different bottles of wine for many reasons. I will say that I have a great enthusiasm for German Riesling, particularly those from the Mosel Valley. I like that there is so much variety available from the Riesling grape; from bone dry, to fruity, to juicy and sweet. Riesling from the Mosel Valley tends to have a brilliant balance of fruit and acidity - perfect for pairing with food!

What are the current trends you see for your area?
Over the next few years, we are likely going to see a rise in California wine prices due to a host of factors. We have already seen the start of this trend, but luckily this phenomenon does not have to be a disaster! The rise in prices has encouraged people to try wines from other growing areas and countries they aren’t familiar with and grapes they haven’t experimented with. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing wrong with trying something new, especially if it’s delicious!

Any tips you can give our readers?
The first piece of advice that I have is do not let yourself get hung up on one grape or growing area. However, there’s nothing wrong with having reliable favorites or to be passionate about a particular kind of wine. That said, I do think it’s important to try new things. You never know what hidden treasure you might stumble across.
Another bit of advice I would offer is when you’re shopping for wine, don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for suggestions. The staff in any good wine shop is there to help you find something you’ll enjoy. Additionally, I think that it’s important to find a wine shop that you’re comfortable shopping in. Make sure that there is a person, or hopefully multiple people, you’re comfortable asking questions. It’s even better if you can find someone at a shop that has similar tastes. That way you can be sure for good advice on wines or spirits that you haven’t tried before.

Lastly, sit back, relax and enjoy!

Tags: wine expert

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