Who's this, you ask? This is Ryan Woodhouse, K&L's exciting young wine buyer for the Southern Hemisphere. He's currently in New Zealand on the hunt for dynamic new wines from producers currently unavailable in the States. Ryan has spent the last few years introducing us to labels like Te Whare Ra, Te Mata, and Framingham—all names that are very well known in New Zealand, but lack representation in America. They've quickly become some of the best wines we carry—period. What's that on his face? Well....it looks like blood. When I said that Ryan was "on the hunt," I meant it quite literally. Woodhouse isn't one of those wine buyers who wears a suit, adjusts his spectacles, and writes literary tasting notes that harken the faintest soucent of honeysuckle. He's a rugged, no-frills, hands-on kind of guy. I'm pretty sure he's bagged some sort of animal and is getting ready for a big feast.
Ah....yes. I just received the second half of the communiqué in my inbox. Ryan states: "This is just one piece of a 350 pound wild pig we killed. It was so big that it took four guys, over two hours to carry it back to civilization cut into half a dozen pieces. Please make sure you note that everything caught was eaten. There's no trophy hunting here, just true hunting and gathering. We have ultimate respect for the food." I sometimes think that our customers envision us flying around the world, sitting in conference rooms, and jotting down notes at large tasting events with other sommeliers and restauranteurs. While that's been known to happen from time to time, part of the reason we started this whole On the Trail blog was so that we can show you what actually occurs. When it comes to Woodhouse, I'm personally quite excited to see that very reality. Stay tuned for more posts from down under just as soon as Ryan finds time to clean his face off.