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Choose It Yourself

January 24, 2001

I read with amusement Leslee Komaiko's article on personal wine consultants ("Which Wine? Ask a Pro," Jan. 17). As a wine merchant myself, I know the importance of establishing a good rapport with the people running a good wine shop. But hiring a person to fill your cellar to acquire "the accessories of wealth and sophistication," to use James Conaway's phrase, is no guarantee that when you finally get around to drinking a particular wine, it'll please you. If your taste and your consultant's taste don't mesh, you'll be disappointed when you finally get around to pulling the cork.

Only through personal experimentation will you discover what rings your bell. If you spend your hard-earned money acquiring something you know nothing about, you'll be opening yourself up for goof-ups like serving inappropriate wines for your guests, and worse yet, not knowing when your expensive, 95-point wine is over the hill.

At times like that, you'll want to pour your consultant down the drain, right along with the wine you invested so much money acquiring.

RANDY KEMNER

Signal Hill

Kemner is owner of Wine Country in Signal Hill.

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