It's just so tempting. After a long day of work, you pick up your bread and milk and then turn the corner to find rows and rows of delicious wine, begging you to take it home. You can't resist. That is exactly what Robert Salyers, Beer and Wine Manager for H-E-B on Buffalo Speedway, wants you to do. It's his job.
Robert has been in the restaurant and hotel business for more than ten years. He's lived in New York, Philadelphia and even Hawaii. Before moving to Houston, he worked for Haak Vineyards & Winery in Santa Fe, Texas. Like me, he's a fan of Texas wines. So, how did Robert find such a fun day job? Reading and drinking. He swears by the World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson, a 400-page bible on anything and everything wine.
The day I caught Robert, it was actually a big day for H-E-B's beer selection. After a month and a half of hard work, Robert finally got the first shipment of Magic Hat #9, one of his favorites from the East Coast. Previously, you could only find Magic Hat #9 on draught at places like The Ginger Man in Rice Village. Today he had a tasting to introduce customers to the beer. H-E-B has daily tastings -- mostly for wine but occasionally for beer.
As for wines, Robert recommended Red by Martin Ray Winery, a table wine from Santa Rosa, California. The $9.98 wine was light, smooth and slightly sweet. The sugary taste surprised me but went well with the stronger fruit flavors -- maybe some plum or cherry. Definitely not a complex wine, it's perfect for a lazy weeknight on the couch.
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Robert is happy to help you, too. E-mail him at thebeerandwineguy at hotmail.com or just look for him at H-E-B.