During this conversation we had a first ever on the show and I’ve got to say it was a bucket list moment as it included tasting a couple of wines with one of the foremost wine experts in the world, DLynn Proctor.
For those unfamiliar, he is currently the winemaking ambassador for Penfolds Americas. Yes, that famous Australian winery that produces one of the most iconic bottles in the world, Penfolds Grange. DLynn’s been recognized as Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s ‘40 Under 40’ Tastemakers and has been featured in notable publications like Wine Spectator, The Tasting Panel, The New York Times and the Huffington Post.
How our path’s originally crossed was the fact that he was also featured in one of my favorite documentaries of all time—the internationally acclaimed ‘SOMM’—directed by our mutual friend Jason Wise. You’ll hear plenty about the movie during our conversation, but do yourself a favor, if you love wine or just an incredible story, go watch this movie. My guess is it will blow your mind, like it did mine the first time I watched it!
Here are a just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:
- Wine Tasting 101 for the Independent Financial Advisor—How to taste a glass of wine without the fear of messing it up in front of your clients.
- DLynn’s top tips for hosting an unforgettable wine event just like the pros—You’ll learn how to blow your clients away with expert wine vocabulary, engaging event ideas and a much better understanding for how to properly grid a wine.
- Find out why dressing well really does matter—Carry yourself with confidence, demonstrate your discipline, and represent the best version of yourself with a wardrobe that counts!
- Learn how to go above and beyond the call of duty and completely astonish your clients with a great customer experience.
The Infamous French Laundry Experience
What started out as an off-the-cuff remark asking to order the world’s finest beer – Keystone Light of course 😉 turned into the ultimate client experience at The French Laundry! (Listen to me tell the story here)
- [05:03] DLynn explains the unique role of a Sommelier in the wine industry—a.k.a. ‘The Guinea Pigs for Death’
- [12:10] DLynn teaches you the wine basics so you can host your next event with confidence!
- [21:42] Learn how to taste wine in front of your clients without embarrassing yourself!
- [27:27] The six category wine tasting grid to identify a wine—DLynn shows us how it’s done!
- [34:07] Don’t miss how DLynn developed an extraordinary wine vocabulary and became a master of his craft.
- [38:46] Wine event ideas for the financial advisor—Learn to impress your clients and create a networking environment that leads to new business.
- [44:20] Discover some creative and engaging wine tasting games that you can incorporate into your next event.
- [51:47] Find out how the SOMM films shot DLynn’s career into a completely different stratosphere.
- [54:27] DLynn’s reveals a few hints about the upcoming SOMM III movie.
- [55:29] Why it’s so important to dress to impress and best practices for making a lasting impression with your wardrobe!
- [1:02:07] Brad shares a fun story that demonstrates how to turn an off-the-wall client request into an unforgettable customer experience.
- [1:11:50] If it was his last meal on earth, what would it be and what wine would he be pairing with it?
- [1:13:18] What’s the current best value wine for your money?
- [1:15:08] Find out what book has made the biggest impact on DLynn’s life.
- [1:17:28] Something DLynn would like to see as absurd 25 years from now.
- [1:19:00] The one piece of advice that has led to DLynn’s success.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with DLynn Proctor
- Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
- Check out “Somm” on Netflix
- Check out “Somm: Into the Bottle” on Netflix
- Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2014
- Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
- Top Beaujolais wines
- California Zinfandels
- Top 10 Australian Shiraz
- Movie – Somm (2012)
- Movie – SOMM: Into the Bottle (2015)
- TV Series – Uncorked (2015)
- Huffington Post
- Wine Spectator
- Wine & Spirits Magazine
- Wine Enthusiast
- Rachael Ray Every Day
- The Art of Public Speaking
- The French Laundry
- Monfortino Barolo wine
- Penfolds Max’s Wine Collection
- Michael Broadbent’s Vintage Wine
- Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
- Le Bernardin
- Canlis Restaurant
- The Nomad Hotel/Fine Dining
- F.McLintocks Dining House
PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE
- Aldo Sohm
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Wolfgang Puck
- Michael Mina
- Thomas Keller
- Daniel Boulud
- Eric Ripert
- Dean Fearing
- John Tesar
- Stephan Pyles
- Dustin Wilson
- Ian Cauble
- Frederick Dame
REVIEW OF THE WEEK
Thanks for checking out the latest show, here’s this weeks featured review! This one comes to us from Gene Hammett who says:
Gene, thanks for taking the time to give the show a review! I’ve never shared this, but early on I actually considered branching out and making this a podcast for all entrepreneurs, luckily a mentor gave me advice to make sure to focus on the niche I knew best and thought I could bring the most value to and I try to make sure I’m serving all of you financial advisors out there on each and every show. With that in mind, if any of you Blueprint listeners have ideas or connections with someone you think would make a great guest, drop me a message out on Twitter, my username is @brad_johnson, I’d love to connect and hear your thoughts.
Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
[00:00:02] Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast with your host Brad Johnson. Brad’s the VP of Advisor Development at Advisor’s Excel, the largest independent insurance brokerage company in the US. He’s also a regular contributor to Investment News, The Wall Street Journal and other industry publications.
[00:00:23] Brad: Welcome to the Elite Advisor Blueprint, the podcast for world class financial advisors. My name is Brad Johnson and I’m the VP of Advisor Development at Advisor’s Excel and it’s my goal to distill the best ideas and advice from top dollar leaders and to apply it to the world of independent financial advising.
During this conversation we had a first ever in the show and I’ve got to say it was a bucket list moment as included tasting a couple of great wines, with one of the foremost wine experts in the world, DLynn Proctor. For those unfamiliar he is currently the wine making ambassador for Penfolds Americas.
Yes, that Penfolds, the famous Australian winery that produces one of the most iconic bottles in the world, Penfolds Grange. DLynn has been recognized as Wine Enthusiasts magazine’s 40 under 40 tastemakers and has been featured in publications like Wine Spectator, The Tasting Panel, The New York times and the Huffington Post.
How our paths originally crossed was the fact that he was also featured in one of my favorite documentaries of all time, the internationally acclaimed Somm, directed by our mutual friend Jason Wise. You’ll hear plenty about the movie during our conversation but do yourself a favor, if you love wine or just an incredible story, go watch this movie. My guest says it will blow your mind like it did mine the first time I watched it. Check out the show notes for a link. Here are just a few of the topics DLynn and I covered.
We get into wine tasting 101 for financial advisors. Basically how to order and taste wine without the fear of looking like a fool in front of your clients. For me and I’m guessing you all can relate it seems the more I learn about wine the more I realize how much I actually don’t know. Thankfully DLynn knows how to simplify the complex. He provides some fun commentary for overcoming the intimidating and often times confusing world of wine.
[00:02:04] Brad: Next, DLynn shares his top tips for hosting incredible wine events. You’ll learn how to blow your clients away with an expert wine vocabulary, some outside of the box wine tasting games and actually knowing how to properly grid, AKA taste a wine. For you advisors out there who host wine events for your clients or have always wanted to, this part of the conversation is definitely going to give you some fresh ideas for tailoring a unique event for the ultra high net worth. From there, as DLynn is one of the best dressed dudes I’ve ever met I couldn’t help but ask him why it matters and what it has done for his persona in the wine business.
He shares some incredible insights here on not only how you’ll be perceived by others but how this can impact you internally as well and how that translates to financial services. Lastly I wasn’t even planning on getting into this, I’ll blame it on the wine but DLynn and I share a story of how a random request for Keystone Light of all things at the French Laundry led to an incredible lesson where they created the ultimate client experience for us. For those of you who don’t believe they’d actually serve you Keystone Light at one of the finest restaurants in the world, I posted pictures from that evening to prove it. It’s in the show notes, go check it out. Okay, before we get to the show, this episode inspires you to host your own wine events we’ve put together a document that I like to call ‘hosting your own wine events 101 for financial advisors.’
Think of it like a to-do list/checklist/timeline on everything required to host a great wine tasting. Literally anything. It’s available for download right at the top of the show notes at BradleyJohnson.com/31. You can also find links to everything else we’ve mentioned there too; books, people discussed, random photos from our night at the French Laundry and everything else from the show. That’s it. As always, thanks for listening and without any further delay, my conversation with DLynn Proctor.
[00:04:00] Brad: Welcome to this episode of the Elite Advisor Blueprint Podcast. This could be the most excited I’ve ever been for a Blueprint interview as I have DLynn Proctor, wine expert and technical title, wine making ambassador for Penfolds of the Americas. Welcome to the show DLynn. Glad to have you man.
[00:04:22] DLynn: Thanks a lot Brad. Really appreciate it. Been looking forward to this as well.
[00:04:27] Brad: Well, the setting isn’t quite as amazing as it was last time when we were roaming around… I think we were in Sonoma and Napa, I don’t remember where we were in California but sampling some nice wine. The good news is first on the show we’re going to sample some wine here today as well. So, being a podcast for financial advisors, a lot of our clients drink a lot of wine, a lot of them host a lot of wine events for their clients and you happen to be one of the foremost experts in the world as far as wine in general.
I just want to dig right in. We’re going to sample some wine but I figured before we get started, I find some people don’t even know what a Sommelier is. If I’m even saying Sommelier right, I don’t know. Can you dig into what is a sommelier, what is the court of master sommeliers, that you’ve advanced the ranks up to the very elite and just give us some kind of an overview of an industry some people don’t even know exists out there.
[00:05:22] DLynn: Absolutely Brad. First and foremost what is a sommelier? When it comes to pronunciation the English would say every single syllable som-mme-li-er, the French just kind of glazely say “su-mm-elier” and in the US we are a very young country when it comes to food and wine so we say “Somminer.” It’s just a lot of words that come out on the American side but pronunciation if you say Summelier or as we’ve colloquialized it over the last ten years, we just say somm. A somm doesn’t have to be a wine expert but what a somm is, what a sommelier is a wine steward. Look, at the end of the day, every single sommelier no matter what your capacity is in the business you chose in the field of hospitality, look, we’re all servers at the end of the day.
When you think of what a steward is, a steward is a server. A steward is an individual who looks after things and or people, looks after provisions, looks after… Back in the day, in Latin terms a somm before became a word sommelier was in charge of looking after the provisions for higher individuals in the Royal court whether it was a king or whether it was someone at high status. A somm would look after that individual by tasting the fermented goods, tasting the distilled goods, tasting the breads, tasting the food provisions. This way, the higher official in court or the king would know whether or not someone lower than him or someone in the territory or the kingdom that that king reigned over, whether him or her were trying to poison him.
[00:07:22] DLynn: When you think about the job of a somm, a steward, the steward’s job was to taste any of the provisions. First to make sure the king or the high noble official didn’t get poisoned, didn’t die. When you think about somms, we’re the guinea pigs for death, if that makes sense. It’s really cool when you see the old school somms in restaurants go through this beautiful presentation with the wine and they always pour themselves, not this much but about four to seven milliliters or about an ounce of wine just to smell it, just to taste it, just to nose and make sure the wine is sound before it goes to the guests at the table whether male or female. Whether him or her. It’s always the individual at the table that we always like to taste first after we nose his glass would be the host or hostess.
Of course the individual who ordered the bottle of wine will repeat that order back to them, we pour taste for them after we taste it to make sure it’s sound and of course remember the guest of honor maybe male or female at the table who gets the next pour. That’s what a server is, that’s what a somm is. We’re stewards, we’re wine servers in restaurants. Now look, we have many, many, many different capacities. We be here for another three hours talking about all of the avenues that a wine steward can go down in the professional world of hospitality and business.
When you traditionally think of what a sommelier is, it is a lady or gentleman who is on the fore that’s kind of our colloquial term or before, on the fore in a restaurant, lunch in, dinner out and making sure that each and every guest, whether it be at the bar, in the dining room, in the PDR, it’s a slang, private dining room is looked after, making sure the guests have wine in their glass, making sure bottles are decanted if need be, bottles are cold and ready to go, champagne, white wine for the guests at the table. That’s what somm is my friend.
[00:09:32] Brad: You know what you’re talking about. Here’s my mispronunciation count number one already and we are about five minutes into the conversation. Think of how many I can rack up. Based on that background is that the little medallion I’ve seen some somms wear in some high end restaurants. Is that part of the history because that would have been sampling before the guest sample.
[00:09:53] DLynn: That is part of the history depending on what old school French kind of slang you speak. It’s always been called a [inaudible] but we hear the more today, more the up to date were called “Tastevin”. Yes, those were used as early as 1,000 years ago in France, all throughout France because remember there was no electricity. All there were were candles to light their way through the cellars and taste through the barrels, and taste through the vats and what was being fermented or what was aging had already been fermented or what was aging being ready to bottle. Even bottles that had been like lying on their side, we used this terminology called “serlot”, lying on their side that was ready for the veteran or the owner or the proprietor or the wine maker to sample.
Basically you hold the tastevin in your hand. I wish you would have told me, I’d grab mine, it might take five or ten minutes to find but I actually do have one that was given to me by… He since passed away 15 years ago but a very esteemed gentleman, by the name I believe Lee Graighly James, but that’s another story. It was really used to look at the clarity of the wine, mostly burgundy, but used throughout France and of course all throughout Europe, Austria, Germany, Italy absolutely. It was actually the first tasting vessel that you could use to look at the clarity of the wine, kind of buyer seller look at all the sides and the angles in the wine and you have a sip and you hand it to the consumer and have them sip as well. Tastevin’s are really cool. I still got a friend by the name of Aldo Sohm who runs his own restaurant. Of course the autonomous place called the Somm Wine Bar. That’s literally 15 feet away from le bernardin where he is still the wine director of the [inaudible]. He still wears his daily and I think it’s very cool.
[00:11:54] Brad: That’s interesting. That’s actually where I saw it the first time my wife and I went to New York. Interesting. This is the longest I’ve heard, not only one glass but two glasses of wine sitting beside me and not sampled one. Here’s what I’d like to do. I’m the king of this, I love wine, I’ve collected wine for probably the last four or five years. My wife and I love it, primarily cabernet but what you find is the more you learn about wine, the more you learn you absolutely have no clue about the world of wine. What I would like …
[00:12:28] DLynn: Please don’t ask me the question about Romania right now. I’m rusty.
[00:12:31] Brad: Yeah, you haven’t studied the note cards lately. Here’s what I’d like to do. My goal is here how can we bring as much value to a bunch of independent financial advisors out there? A lot of them have high net worth clients that enjoy wine, they host nice parties and wine is a very… It can be intimidating. You look at these wine lists, at these nice restaurants, it’s like man I’m scared to say half of them because I’m going to mispronounce them in front of my clients. Where I’d like to start is just since we have two great Penfolds we’re going to give a shout out to your crew at Penfolds. You selected these, I’ll let you tell everybody what they are, I’ll hold them up for the camera so everybody can see.
We’ve got two bottles here, the Bin 28, Bin 407. I’d like you to just walk through wine tasting 101. Why do you even start with swirling the glass at the restaurant? Everybody sees it, half people don’t even know why you do it. I’ll let you take over from here. If I’m a financial advisor how do I taste a glass of wine and look educated about it?
[00:13:31] DLynn: You got it Brad. Look, the first thing about tasting wine is it’s, the wine is what it is and we make it a lot more things than it should be, could be or we don’t give it enough due in a lot of instances. Once you put the wine in the glass, the wine is now in an area where it starts to deteriorate. Now, that doesn’t mean that chapter one will develop chapter two, three, four, five, six. The wine is going to open up but once you remove the cork, notice I did not remove the cork. I used this wonderful device here called the coravin but once you remove the cork from the bottle, the wine then starts to die.
Now you’re probably saying, “Well that doesn’t make sense.” You remove the cork because you want to get that wine decanted and open and you actually want to awaken that wine and get all those phenols and all those esters and all these beautiful things about the wine kind of reacting with all the molecules in the air and opening up. All those things are absolutely true. Wine will develop once air hits it but think about what I just said. The wine will develop. That wine is starting to die. We just experience these wonderful chapters in the death of the wine because oxygen has come in contact with this wonderful juice.
The first thing you need to do is you need to get this wine into the glass whether you’re opening the wine for one of your clients or opening wine for yourself as you’re doing now pouring this wine, which one are you pouring 407 or the 28?
[00:15:10] Brad: 28
[00:15:10] DLynn: Pen 28, there we are, the Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2014. The first thing I always do is I always look at the clarity of the wine. I hold this wine over a white background because of course white background works best when you’re looking at the clarity of the wine and you just really want to look at the wine, make sure the wine is not too cloudy. If you’re pouring the wine like we are from the 2014 vintage, the wine should look young and vibrant and clear and it should have a wonderful almost electric or fiducia kind of rim around the edge because it’s wine that’s just been open and it’s ready to drink.
Now look, older wines from the late 80s, the late 70s is obviously post war, late 40s, 50s and 60s those wines are going to be a bit more dull, a bit more murky, they are going to have a cloudy consistency because the color is falling out of the wine and falling to the bottom of said bottle. This is a young wine, not happening here. So you’re just looking at the clarity of the wine when you do that. The second thing you want to do is you see people do this often, they hold the glass up and they say, “Wow, this wine has beautiful legs,” but what does that even mean? Unfortunately, in the modicum of the United States and our very young and novice style of drinking wine, we think if the wine has legs, it’s a good wine. That’s just kind of the fault around but all wine has legs and all wine is good to those who produced it but not all wine is as incredible as others, of course. What you’re actually looking at when you look at the legs of the wine is you’re looking at a glycerin.The amount of alcohol and or sugar. Now, look there’s sugar in all wine even though wines can be fermented bone dry.
[00:17:13] DLynn: Now, just to regular note Brad and allow me to come back to that later. Our wines are bone dry but the wines still have legs. What does that mean? Well, legs just tell you roughly if you will, how much alcohol the wine may or may not contain and if there is any residual sugar. Now because I did give you a hint there actually, there is no sugar in any of our wines are dry leg wines, of course or dry white wines. We do make fortified wines where some of them happen to have residual sugar. That’s another story. But the beauty about this is the floor, these wonderful legs, I’m not sure if the screen captures this beauty but the slower these legs tend to fall, will kind of let you know a couple of things. Now, you have to be very, very versed in this, but often we get wrong as well.
The slower the legs tend to fall down the glass, you tend to perceive well this great variety, this wine either came from a warmer climate more than likely may have a thicker skin and more than likely may contain residual sugar, but this is just the first of four/five points that we’re identifying in the wines. We’ve got another at least 30 and you can go all the way up to 55 points you can actually use to identify what’s in the glass. We haven’t even nosed or tasted the wine yet.
Once we make a generalization about whether or not this could be a thick or thin skin grape, whether or not it could have come from a warm climate, whether or not the alcohol could be elevated or it could be residual sugar, then you get a wonderful nose of the wine. Are you getting red fruits, blue fruits, black fruits, are the fruits under ripe, are they just ripe, are they ripe, are they over ripe or are they dried almost like stewed or dried fruits?
[00:19:16] DLynn: Now, what you’re doing is you’re just going deeper down the rabbit hole. You’ve got a long way to go but you’re just making yourself go deeper down the rabbit hole trying to figure out all these characteristics of the wine that hopefully make lead you to a place of reason or style or country of course. Once we smell fruit and determine the type of fruit it may or may not be, we look for non fruit characteristics like flowers and different types of spices and notes, how much earth is in the wine, how much organic activity is taking place or inorganic activity. Now Brad, are you familiar with organic versus inorganic?
[00:19:59] Brad: You better enlighten me.
[00:20:00] DLynn: That’s what I plan to do. So anything that is organic, what does organic mean to you? Organic means this thing or this organism or this, whatever we’re talking about is living. It is a living thing, so I’m not sure what your garden looks like at your home, but everything outside your house, to the front, to the back, to the side in your backyard, that’s organic.
Whether you’ve got flowers or you’ve got basal planted or thyme or barley or rosemary or cabbage or squash, that’s all organic, the dirt, the potting soil, the earth, the mushrooms. It’s living matter, so that’s organic and yes believe it or not you do find that in wine. Now everything that is inorganic is what? Rocks, limestones, slate, chalk. That is inorganic matter, inorganic material meaning it has never lived.
It’s inorganic, it has no life being in it. Now mostly the inorganic stuff it’s what’s been here 350, 400, 600, 100 million years. It’s been here a long time depending on how old the earth is that’s not my field, billion years old plus, I’m not sure but these inorganic things what we talk about in wine are things like gravel that you find in border, in a lot of places around the world or limestone and chocolate you find in champagne and spree in places in Suplee and Burgundy and India’s rock in volcanic soil that you find in the beautiful Napa Valley or tera rasta that you find in Australia.
[00:21:43] Brad: I want to throw this out there because I’ll just be the idiot on this podcast and then everybody can learn from my mistakes. I remember very early on I think it was my first trip to Napa, Sarah and I went out and I made the mistake of asking because you smell and you can smell a fruit. I remember smelling like a cherry nose on the line we were testing and I made the mistake of asking, “Are there cherries in this?”
Like rookie 101 wine taster. Let’s just go into, so I don’t want to be a fool in front of my clients. I think that’s where a lot of financial advisors live. They enjoy wine, they love it but like you said going down the rabbit hole, the further you go down the more you’re like, “I have no clue about the depths of this rabbit hole I’m going down.” If we were going to, here is what most of our clients would do.
They’d pour nice wine hopefully that they selected off a list. They’d smell it and taste it and how do you that in front of clients in a nice sophisticated way that I don’t want to be disingenuous, I don’t want to say you fake like you know it but just how do I taste wine when I don’t really know how to taste wine in front of the clients and not make a fool of myself that’s probably the best question.
[00:22:49] DLynn: Well, you just need to learn the basics and just jot down notes before you go in to do whatever setting you may or may not be going into. The beauty about it is that you are tasting a red wine more than likely. You’re going to get some sort of red fruits, some sort of blue fruits and or some sort of black fruit. If you were tasting white wine well think about and I’m generalizing here just top lining.
If you’re tasting white wine well more than likely you may get some type of lemon lime and think about stone fruit pomace fruit or pomaceous fruit the pomace anything with a pomace has a seed. Apples, pears and seeded fruit a pomace seed fruit, stone fruit. Think about apricots and peaches or citric fruit think about lemon, lime think about orange those are the citric fruits.
Think about tropical fruits and tree fruits whether pineapple or banana et cetera. White wine has it’s categories, red wine has it’s categories and look if your novice and you’re going in you are at a tasting room or you are at a cool wine bar with five of your top clients and all have and all have high net worth, and you want to go in and just do a little, “Hey guys, let’s go do a little tasting today after we leave the office and we had a long day of meetings.”
Go to the tasting room, pour yourself a little taste and primarily, I’m top lining if you have a thicker skin grape variety like sharaz, that we have in our glass now more than likely you’re going to get some red fruits and some black fruits and just look I get some light grass berry. I get some ripe black cherry, some ripe black berry wonderful notes of like mocha and toasted oak and look you sound like you know what you’re talking about, it’s the delivery, it’s the confidence.
If you’re drinking the white wine let’s just pick on the most popular white grape variety in the, chardonay. Look I get some lemons some lime a little bit of that stone fruit like just ripe apricot a beautiful creamy milk guess what, you sound like a pro. Now if you have a white wine and you’re saying I get black cherry…
[00:24:56] DLynn: Well, maybe a bit off base or you can say you get lime on this maybe a bit off base. It’s about knowing the color of wine you have. If it’s the red wine it’s usually going to be in three or four different shades. I mean would you ever guess that this is pinot water just looking at the glass?
[00:25:16] Brad: No.
[00:25:16] DLynn: No. Looking at the glass you could guess a million things but you would never say pinot. You would say, “Oh, it could cabernet it could be Zinfandel it could be Syrah it could be Merlot it could be Malbec but at least we know the commonality of those grape varieties I just named. They got some type of vein of black fruit in them, black cherry…
[00:25:37] Brad: Put on those that haven’t had pinot before just because it’s such a lighter skinned grape, it’s very transparent when you look at it through the glass right?
[00:25:44] DLynn: Absolutely and you can say no sort of like pomegranate and strawberry just ripe cherry, maybe some cola influence depending on where the wine has come from. These are all the things that it does take time to learn even for the novice. The novice just needs to jot down some notes a few different grape varieties and just taste these wines.
Go out and buy these ones to yourself and they don’t need to be expensive at but spend $15 on a wonderful Beaujolais or $30 on a wonderful Beaujolais crew which has an appellation attached to it a specific village in Beaujolais and spend 25 bucks on a great begonia just village level begonia from Burgundy. Spend 15 bucks on the great Zijendale from California.
Spend 30 bucks on great Shiraz from Australia and just these taste wines to yourself and try to take notes. Count it to yourself, form a lexicon in your brain of what these wines taste like so that when you go out and you are with clients you can say, “Hey, I’ve got a beautiful pinot wine and I’d like you guys to taste this it’s got lots of cherry and on the right pomegranate and it’s got a long finishing.” You sound like you’ve been doing this for years but the novices also have to do the work.
[00:27:04] Brad: Yeah, or just take the easy path and fly you in for a private wine tasting for clients right?
[00:27:09] DLynn: Absolutely.
[00:27:10] Brad: Just buy enough Penfolds where it makes sense and done deal.
[00:27:17] DLynn: Absolutely.
[00:27:15] Brad: I won’t forgive myself if we do this, so for those out there that have not seen the movie SOMM or SOMM into the bottle or there is an upcoming SOMM 3 that we might get some hands on here in a little bit if we get enough wine in here right. One of the things that I fell in love with the very first SOMM movie was and I’m going to butcher this is it the profile there is like six things or something that you tick off when you’re tasting a wine to identify what it is what is that called? I’m sure I’m butchering it.
[00:27:41] DLynn: Six different categories but there are many many sub categories within each of those. What we call it, is the grid, we grid of wine, tasting grid.
[00:27:50] Brad: Thank you, okay, so I have loved wine for a long time but I stumbled across this movie SOMM on Netflix, one of my buddies watched it and he’s like you’ve got to check this out. When I realized the level of wine experts there are in the world where the first time I saw the clip I think it was you, Brian, Ian, some of the guys from the movie.
Yeah, Dustin basically getting to nose and a little sip and then going down this grid and just straight nailing the wine. If you don’t mind just because for those that haven’t seen SOMM we’re going to put it in the show notes all of you should go out and see it if you enjoy wine. Would you mind grading one of these and just so they can see how that flows and you’re just almost poetic with how you do it. I hope I’m not putting you on the spot but…
[00:28:37] DLynn: I appreciate it Brad but let me say this first. Look it seems like I don’t know witchcraft or some type of wizardly or whatever it is, when look it’s muscle memory for us. We’ve done it so much, we’ve built a lexicon in our brain it’s and we’ve done it so much that it is second nature to us. I mean look you are an athlete then you think about thoughts to play baseball or whatever it is.
You learn to keep your elbow lined up with your ear and your eye and you learn your stance and you do it so much. You’re looking at pitches whether it’s a batting cage or pitchers throwing at variants of speed. It’s muscle memory, it’s hand to eye, muscle memory, muscle memory, muscle memory. It’s the same muscle memory for us.
There is a lot of glasses that we can actually pick up and say, “That’s more than likely Syrah or Shiraz, nine times out of ten just based on the color and one on getting on the nose it’s probably Australian.” Look and people were like, “Wow, how did you just do that?” Well it’s muscle memory I’ve got to be honest with you it really is muscle memory. Griding the wine yeah, that’s a fun thing to do I’ll absolutely do it.
Now this is a bit unfair because I actually know what the wine is but I’ll do a very truncated version probably a minute and a half just to give all the viewers and the guests the feel of what it is. Yes, here we are as you can see in the screen I’ve got a beautiful red wine that is star bright with a florescent hot pink red edge flowing to a deep ruby core.
No gas, no sediment, this is a young so no sediments. Maybe a little plus viscosity to actually medium sting in the tears. On the nose, wine is clean and clear. No obvious flaws, ripe powerful raspberry cherry, blackberry, cola, mocha, baker’s chocolate.
[00:30:40] DLynn: Toast a little bit of ton soil red and purple flowers, lavender and niece, violets, some sage and eucalyptus.
I’m getting baking spices and savory spices. Savory spices are more like Thyme and Bay Leaf because it got some of that earthy characteristics but it’s really more about the baking spices like fresh vanilla and again some eucalyptus, some mint. I am getting the evidence of oak on this wine has got a wonderful clove and kind of a toasted vanilla type of characteristic. Not much inorganic activity.
It might be some wet rocks but it’s really more about this organic living ripe fruit attack oaky characteristic. Let’s go and get into the palate. Dry wine full bodied and I want to confirm my red fruits they are, they smelled ripe on the nose but actually on the palate they are slightly under ripe to just ripe so raspberry, dark cherry, black berry. I want to confirm my violets, my niece, my lavender.
I want to confirm this beautiful French bakers chocolate aroma that I get on the palate. It’s going through my old factory system and back down. It is wonderful how that old factory when you swallow and you exhale and it comes back. It’s a beautiful note. To confirm this wonderful characteristic of oak. I’m getting toast, I’m getting leather, I’m getting milk. I’m getting this wonderful vanilla.
The characteristic on the palate that I want to confirm eucalyptus, thyme, bay leaf, sage. Wow, mint, beautiful finish no new oak on this wine but this one has seen oak aging, more than likely American oak that is the answer because of this wonderful eucalyptus, coconut, sawdust characteristic. Long finish, the wine is balanced and the conclusion is, for wine…
[00:32:43] DLynn: I have to put this one in the new world and not the old world because it’s more about the fruit and less about the earth and the acidic structure of the wine. The wine has beautiful acid. But it’s fruit, fruit, fruit as opposed to earth, earth, earth, acid, acid then fruit. Usually what you get in the old world. It’s a young wine, three to five years old for maybe warm climate, because of the legs because of the ripeness of the fruit.
The legs are falling very slow it’s got a powerful viscosity in weight to the wine, so new world wine, warm climate. I’m going to put this one in Australia, South Australia, Barossa Valley, possible grape varieties could be cabernet, could be Shiraz. It could be a wonderful blend here in.
This is 100% Syrah/Shiraz based wine from the new world, which I’m very confused because when you think about Australia, Australia is 450 Million years older than Europe. Europe was still under water so I don’t know why we’re the new world but we’ll go with that. Beautiful new world wine from South Australia Barossa Valley 2014 vintage, that’s it.
[00:33:49] Brad: I’m just going to start when I open a new bottle of wine I’m just going to text you let’s go ahead and face time and I’m just going to need you to do that on demand whenever I open a new bottle, is that cool?
[00:34:00] DLynn: Done.
[00:34:03] Brad: Dude, that stuff never gets old, so that truly is muscle memory but it’s also I remember early days Gary Vaynerchuk pioneer in basically tasting wine on the internet. He would just same thing that you just did you just smelled 25 different smells, tastes just all of these different senses. I mean you’re a Texas kid, I’m a Kansas growing up where did that come from? How did you develop the wine vocabulary to pull from?
[00:34:30] DLynn: Listening to greats that came before me. When I was a young sommelier in Europe, when I was young sommelier in Texas, a young sommelier in California flying around and learning and what we used a terminology called stoging. We use a terminology called stoging, where we work in restaurants in different hotels and we do mock services and things.
You’re listening to the people that came before you. You’re listening to how wine makers and vendors and analogists and other sommeliers have described wine over centuries. I mean for the most part the verbiage for cabernet has been the same for about 500, 600 years for the most part the same as Syrah Shiraz, Zinfandel, or all of these other places.
The terminology has mostly been the same. Now we’ve gotten more accurate over the course of years and of course modernity. Again it goes to the point that I talked about earlier, you shouldn’t hold up this glass and say lemon and lime. It’s Shiraz you more than likely shouldn’t hold this glass up and say pomegranate and either.
What you should say is deep, ripe, complex black berry, deep ripe complex Asian plum especially with Aussie Shiraz. Not so much with Northern Rome Shiraz which I use the terminology Asian plum or soy but these are terminologies that we use when it comes to Australian wine and it’s just really what you assimilate, what your brain has worked with for all the evolution hundreds and thousands of years or whatever. What those who came before you in the field have taught you. Once you build your lexicon you want to get these things accurate and it comes from a lot of studying.
[00:36:30] DLynn: It comes from a lot of benchmarking and market research and vintage research and producer research and more importantly village in appellation and country research. You build that up over the course of time and look I don’t believe in the whole 10,000 hours thing. Look I probably completed 10,000 hours by the age of 23 in said field. There are maybe some other notable people or highly venerated people that also don’t believe in the 10,000 hour rule I’m sure you can probably dive into that Brad. It does take a long time to build your lexicon and build your base for what these different great varieties contained when it comes to fruit profiles across the board.
[00:37:16] Brad: It’s interesting because I knew there were wine experts but before and I’m going to name drop SOMM about 15 times probably because that was an eye opener for me. How many total master… There is like 250 the highest level master somms in the world. Can’t remember.
[00:37:33] DLynn: 237 or I might be off a couple but a few good friends of mine just passed in London a couple of weeks ago, so big shout out to Mr. Piatote.
[00:37:41] Brad: Yeah, hey, feel free to, this will go out to the world, so if you want to give him congratulations throw it out there. The study that you guys did I mean it’s not just, “Hey let’s sample some good wines.”
It’s no cards of wine or regions great varieties, everything all across the board and I really do respect when you watch that video you truly did put in the work to master of your craft. I want to change gears a little bit because you’ve hosted a lot of really fine wine parties over the years and that means it’s basically your job right?
[00:38:13] DLynn: Thousands, part it part of my job.
[00:38:16] Brad: It’s got to be the fun part at least.
[00:38:16] DLynn: Absolutely.
[00:38:18] Brad: In financial services a lot of our clients it’s all about how do you market your business? And one of the best ways to market your business is how do you clone your top clients and most people it’s going to be higher net worth client money isn’t everything. Obviously more dollars per client is a good thing in business and a lot of high net worth individuals as you know enjoy good wine.
What are some ideas you could throw out? Everything is on the table here. I’ll just lay out what a typical wine event would look like in financial services and then you maybe put your twist on it and share some cool ideas. A lot of our clients have hosted maybe a monthly or bimonthly wine event where they’ll invite their top clients. They’ll say, “Hey, this is a social event that means it’s not just for clients bring your friends that enjoy wine as well.”
It’s an easy way for them to meet basically and people just like their top clients. They might lay out a calendar of events for their say one month nappy cabs. One month, I don’t know Washington Pinot’s just all across the board.
They’ll just go through that maybe they do some blind tasting things, things like that. What would be some cool ways to host really fun wine events that people want to go to or like dying to attend and still create that social environment where it’s a chance for people to connect with people that are great potential clients?
[00:39:40] DLynn: I love that Brad. I think the first thing you should do and you should know your audience. You should definitely know your demographic and once you know your demographic, whether you’re talking to a chief level executive or a senior VP level or whether you’re talking to senior director levels throughout the rates.
Engage that demographics so that you can know what average bottle price point you may want to pull from. After that pick a theme. I hate to be cheesy and cliche, but is it the tour de France, is your theme Italy, is your theme Europe in general. Is your theme the southern hemisphere we call it SoHem for short. Is your theme California, is your theme the United States or is your theme Napa Valley cult wines?
You can have many, many themes so pick your themes and more than likely the Napa Valley cult wine theme is probably going to be a tasting event, a happy hour, a mixer that you do for more than likely chief level of course executives. Once you know your demographic and once you pick your theme, then look it’s time to buy wines and the best thing to do I think the best thing to do especially for a financial advisor like yourself and a lot of your great peers and colleagues and friends to do is go to a retail store or your local wine bar that has brick and mortar and actually speak to someone on site. It’s a very personal thing that we do here.
Look a lot of us buy wine online because we know what we’re looking for and I want that, I want that, ship it to me, ship it to me. I don’t feel like dealing with anybody, I’m very busy. I get that, we were all there, but when you’re dealing with something like this go to an actual brick and mortar and speak with someone. Give them your ideas, give them your price point.
[00:41:36] DLynn: Let them know the demographic that you’re pouring for. I need an Napa cult wines, do I need the most expensive wines in the world, the top five two bottles each, whatever the case may be. Wines like Penfolds grange would be in that conversation, wines like rafeet and mouton, and, and, and. Talk to the wine expert him or her and just really get some good notes on these wines and make the purchase and off you go.
You go home, you open these wines you double decant these wines by pouring these wines into a decanter and then simply pouring from the decanter back into the bottle because you always want to present to the client from the bottle so that they can see the label. What you’ve done at the same time is you’ve given the wine double aeration.
You’ve exposed it to air to come and open these wines up and once you’ve done all those things, you’re ready to go make sure you have beautiful pens for them to write with, spit buckets because some folks are maybe driving. They may or may not have a car range for them to get there or not something that they can expect to write in, a steep bucket, something like that.
Make sure they’ve got a beautiful tasting mat where they can take all these great notes as you are or I or whomever it may be lead your wonderful clients and colleagues, parents and friends to this wonderful tasting. You can do that at any price point. The average price point could be $500 a bottle, $250 a bottle. It could be $75 a bottle or it could be wonderful, this tasting is geared for all wines $50 and under some $15, some $39.99 some $44.99.
This tasting can happen across any spectrum that you choose. Just make sure that you’ve got a wonderful setting for them to walk into and feel like even though they maybe in an office, they maybe in a retail store, they may be in a venue that you’ve rented out.
Make them feel like they’re maybe in Europe if it’s a tour de France or maybe in Napa with some barrels around and some things to put them in that sense of place. I think that’s the best way to host tasting events. Of course you can always dial a friend and that friend would be me.
[00:43:53] Brad: I will dial you. We’re going to find a way to get you to Kansas and do a tasting so it’ll happen.
[00:44:01] DLynn: No, I think it will happen very soon. I think once I get out of the busy-ness of September and October I might have to sneak into a cool November day in Kansas or maybe to December, so don’t worry.
[00:44:14] Brad: I have a lot of friends that enjoy wine, so you’ll be well received. Let’s go back to wine events. Part of obviously hosting a fun kind of it that’s it’s fun. Now wine by itself and just doing a lot of which you just talked about is amazing. Are there any call them wine tasting games? I’ve done some before where maybe you do a $20 a bottle, a $40 a bottle, or $100 bottle, you brown bag all three, you do a blind tasting and see who can call the which bottle is which. Have you done any other cool type of things like that that will be fun to share for a wine tasting event?
[00:44:47] DLynn: Yes, it’s a funny thing. I actually started an event oh, heck I don’t know it might have been 2007, 2008 that I used to do it a lot with a very high net worth clients in Dallas, Texas. I’m sure you can imagine there are more than a few big names there that I used to deal with and still do deal with on a regular basis. I hosted an event, a series of events called ‘You show me yours and I’ll show you mine.’
Only capped at 12 people. Of course I was always the host. I always brought a bottle myself, but each of the other 11 individuals would bring a bottle to my venue two or three days before because when you think about you show me yours I’ll show you mine it’s a big colloquial. It’s a measuring contest so people are bringing wines of great value.
Now all these wines were blind, so the collector who brought his or her bottle obviously knew what they brought. They had no idea what I or any of the other individuals themselves brought. I brown bag all the wines of course, I double decant to make sure the aeration of the wines was there, make sure the wines were solid because older wines can be oxidized or martyrized or may have TCA, in fact younger ones also.
I double decant the wines, put the wines back into the bottle and then put them in a brown bag with a rubber band or tie black pieces of bioelectrical tape around the top so the bag wouldn’t fall and you can’t see the label and I would have a wonderful tasting note.
Number one through twelve with a few spaces and you usually get about five to six minutes per wine and each collector, each individual will taste the wines and write down hopefully they would get their wine correct. They would write down what they thought the other wines are.
I think it’s so fun because sometimes it could be a 1982 Lafite that’s worth more than a few grand a bottle or it could be, I don’t know it could be 76 grange more than worth a few grand a bottle.
[00:46:56] DLynn: It could be a wine like Opus One, still very expensive but it’s $350 a bottle from a younger vintage.
The beauty about this is everyone blind tasting and taking their notes on the wine and trying to put them in the right numbers one through twelve and guess what they think they are. Sometimes collectors are very close sometimes they are way off, oh Napa cabernet but no it’s actually Bordeaux or Napa cabernet while it’s actually Burgundy.
It’s a real fun thing but it was called ‘You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.’ Blind wines, 12 wines, 12 people capped. Everybody can get a two ounce pour of each and you always bring the backup in case the wine is corked or oxidized or martyrized. That’s one of the really, really fun events that I’ve done over the years. You’ve got other events like bring that bottle.
These ‘bring the bottle’ nights have gone on for I don’t know probably 50, 60 years. The old school generation, post wars started these events throughout France and the UK and the US where everybody would bring their most treasured bottle. It didn’t have to be the most expensive but you would bring your most treasured bottle from your summer and you tell a story about it everybody got four, five or six minutes to stand up and tell their story.
The next thing you know all the collector, all the guys just going around and pouring wine for everybody else at the table. Those are just a couple other things you can do but look there is an endless amount of wine games and wine tasting games that you can do at parties to make them very fun and very interactive. Those are just the two that I’ve always found that really make you engage.
[00:48:41] Brad: Yeah, it is funny because my wife and I love Napa. That’s someday we’re hopefully will retire, buy a little house that will cost way more than what we should pay for it. Anyway, so I’m not retiring anytime soon but the beauty of when you go to wine country there is no other spirit in the world maybe whisky is trying right now but just the story behind every bottle like here is.
It’s just that’s what you remember and that’s the list a lot of my love of wine is there is always a story with every bottle, until that second event I could see that being an amazing client event. For people that are in wine obviously. I like it. All right so I want to go back to the first one. What was the percentage of people that got their own bottle wrong?
[00:49:27] DLynn: Oh, the percentage they got them wrong, we had 75%.
[00:49:30] Brad: 75% got their own bottle wrong.
[00:49:33] DLynn: Their own bottle incorrect absolutely because look when you have 11 other incredible wines. Let’s say you brought I don’t know 82 Pichon-Lalande right, let’s say you brought 1982 Pichon-Lalande and what you think you have before you is a 1982 margaux you’re like is this my margaux. Is this margaux from margaux or is this Bordeaux or is this my pichon from Pauillac? It’s a tough game, it really is.
What gets me is I have heard a lot of the comments from consumers and people who’ve seen both SOMM films and people who will see the third and have watched TV shows are like “Uncorked” where people are following sommeliers and you hear a lot of people say, “How could you dare get Chardonnay wrong? How would you ever call that something else?” It’s like guys you have no idea when you’re under the gun and you’ve got six wines before you and your life doesn’t depend on it but your life depends on getting these wines right.
[00:50:37] Brad: Your pay check does.
[00:50:38] DLynn: Yeah, your pay check depends on getting these wines right. It’s easy to mess up, it really is. It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have, how talented you are it’s tough.
[00:50:56] Brad: Yeah, let’s go into the movies, so let’s start with this because the first Somm movie came out in 2013 and it’s still crazy to me how many people haven’t seen the first Somm but everybody that watches it they immediately fall in love with it. Last plug to watch Somm go watch it if you haven’t, we’ll put in the show notes.
[00:51:13] DLynn: Absolutely.
[00:51:13] Brad: 2013 this is going down obviously you guys were filming before that so how long was the filming, a year or two before?
[00:51:20] DLynn: No, we actually started filming the first somm for the movie end of 2009.
[00:51:25] Brad: Oh wow.
[00:51:26] DLynn: Absolutely, look there is 900 hours… Maybe I’m being a little facetious there, but there is 900 hours that you haven’t even seen.
[00:51:34] Brad: We, Jason when you listen to this we need a Somm one director’s cut, extended version.
[00:51:41] DLynn: There is one it needs to be the extended, extended, extended version.
[00:51:44] Brad: There we go. All right, so let’s talk to one thing I see in financial services. In any business it’s about marketing and one of the things that it’s just obvious it’s how America works right or wrong is media creates influence. A lot of our top clients they have their own radio shows, a lot of them have been on TV. I haven’t had any that I know of in movies yet but who knows. Let’s speak about your life before Somm and after Somm, what did it do?
[00:52:14] DLynn: My life before Somm was look I was very fortunate to have some type of I don’t know Dare I say global presence if that’s even a thing because I was very fortunate to have been featured in magazines whether it was articles like the Huffington Post or whether wine spectator, wine and spirits magazine. Wine enthusiasts the Decanter, magazine out in the UK.
I don’t know publications like Everyday with Rachel Ray or Rachel Ray’s Magazine. I was fortunate to have a little bit of a bandwidth if that makes sense as a sommelier and wine director. The beauty about the Somm film is that of course when you have something that’s on TV, and that is accessible on Netflix and on iTunes for people in Mainland China, people in Southeast Asia, people in Mexico, people in Australia before I even worked for the beautiful country that it is.
That definitely did do something for myself and for the other guys and the girls that were in the movie. That of course we had no idea imaginable could and would happen. Thankfully I had a little bit of a bandwidth working for great corporate chefs like Wolfgang Puck and various events I did working with great chefs like Michael Mina and Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud and of course Eric Ripert and all the other great chefs around the US so Dane Fearing in Dallas my guy John Tesar in Dallas who was actually Jimmy Sears in Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. I’ve worked with folks like Steven Powell, all these great chefs. I had a little bit bandwidth but the Somm film just took you from where you may have been in your career and it put you on a whole other stratosphere and eyes were on you. That’s the beautiful thing about what Jason Wise created with Somm and Somm: Into the Bottle and of course Somm III, untitled, so that’s the beautiful thing about it. It’s done a lot for us.
[00:54:28] Brad: What hints do you have about Somm III? Can you throw one or two things out that won’t get you in trouble with Jason?
[00:54:33] DLynn: Yes, so Somm III is about legends in the business, legends in the industry, some of the most venerated people in the wine profession whether they’ve been suppliers or beverage directors or distributors or fitness or analogists or all the above or two of the above. Some of the most venerated people in the business and of course you will have fantastic footage and commentary from myself. The great man Dustin Wilson and the great man Ian Cauble and some other peers and friends and colleagues as well. It’s about the legends of the industry. Look I’m no legend, so I’ll be commenting on the legends.
[00:55:27] Brad: Well, you’re working your way up the ranks man.
[00:55:29] DLynn: I’m trying.
[00:55:30] Brad: Let’s go this direction because I think one of your calling cards is you dress very well. In fact this might be the only time I haven’t seen you in a jacket or with a pocket square. Hey it’s a Friday afternoon we’re just doing a low key conversation sampling some good wine here.
[00:55:48] DLynn: We are.
[00:55:49] Brad: Let’s speak to that because I find that financial service is the same thing it’s all about that first impression how do you carry yourself. Let’s rewind a little bit where did that come from as far as how you dress, how you carry yourself because you always dress very, very well and then what has that done for maybe your image or persona inside of the wine industry? What’s that created?
[00:56:13] DLynn: Yeah, fantastic and thank you for that. My father was immaculate, he was impeccably dressed. He is still alive thankfully. Growing up I just saw a man who wore tasty boots every day. He always had a two inch cuff. He learned that when he was in the marine corp overseas. He always had a beautiful two inch cuff he always wore suspenders even though he wasn’t a big guy.
He didn’t have a belly but this thing was just suspenders and always a beautiful three piece suit or two piece suit. I just grew up with my dad wearing pin stripes and window paints. He wasn’t the pocket square guy but he was bow tie guy, he was a tie guy and he always had a little beautiful cover in the marine corp they had covers. He always had a little beautiful cover and I learned that from my father.
Look I am not a boot wearer, I do a love lu casey. I do all the couple of pair of boots, but I’m not a boot wear. I’m more of a broke guy. I’m more of a bro’d guy when it comes to shoes. I do love my two inch Italian cuffs but I learned how to dress from my father. Once I moved into the restaurant world and the periods is the first and lasting impression.
I think about a lot of athletes. I wish so much that a lot of athletes would dress better, dare I say that because they have the access and they have the means to all these impeccably fine linens and wools and expensive suits and pieces of habidastry. I wish athletes were dressed better, I know I’m segwaying just a bit but I’ll get back on track. I think the appearance of an individual says a lot.
Now with that being said the appearance of sommelier has changed over generations. I mean think about the millennials now and even if you’re not a millennial a lot of the old school guys are taking pages from the books of millennials and they’re wearing they’ve got tattoos up and down both arms.
[00:58:20] DLynn: They’re wearing t-shirts. They’re wearing top tailors with skinny jeans with holes. If I were to go that route it’s all about the shoe and it’s all about the time piece. Give yourself some things to dress it up or spice it up if that makes sense. For me dressing well has always been a part of my appearance because it says a lot of things about you. It says you’re disciplined and it says you took the time and the care to actually care about what you look like. How you appear and how you present.
Thirdly it really says that you have taste. Individuals that dress immaculately usually have taste in art, usually have taste in business, usually have taste in music, usually have taste in travel, usually have taste in other worldly things that may or may not be niche or they may be a part of a niche but they care. I think dressing immaculately or dressing very well put together, it really shows you care.
It really shows you pay attention. It really shows that you really pay attention to minutia. It shows that you have a discipline in a certain field or a certain craft or a certain area. I’ve always said that dressing, if you will, said a lot about the individual whether it’s the watch or whether it’s the shoe you have on or whether it’s the cut of the jacket.
Whether it’s a casual jacket or a suit jacket or a dinner jacket or your pants and whether or not they have a break of course right on top of the shoelace or right on top of the monk strap. It really does say a lot about the individual and I think you know I’ve done so many CEO meetings and so many events. So many fortune 500 individuals.
You look at these guys and girls and they’re all so immaculately put together. When they walk into the room the presence says everything. You automatically know you’re going to learn something or a few dozen different things from this individual, just by their appearance.
[01:00:34] Brad: It’s like the spotlight just pops on them when there is no spotlight right?
[01:00:39] DLynn: Absolutely.
[01:00:41] Brad: I’ll never forget there is a, I’ll put it in the show notes I can’t think of the title it’s a Dale Carnegie book. It’s not how to influence and influence people. It’s his public speaking book. Well one of the lines in there, I read this probably a decade ago was one of his keys to public speaking was dress well. I read that and I’m like why does that matter?
The thought process in the book was it’s not so much about how others perceive you, it’s about showing self-confidence because you put on that suit that just pops or that you walk into the room and you have confidence. Sometimes that’s what’s missing in financial services it’s not just how does the client perceive you but how the actual confidence that you have interacting with clients. I remember one time I had a big phone call, I threw on a suit to go to a phone call just because you feel like you’re ready to roll.
[01:01:33] DLynn: I think I might have cheesley quoted in the first Somm film when you look good you feel good, as simple as that. Look no one has to be a Denzel or a Brad Pitt or whomever your guy or your girl is but honestly when you look good you just really feel good about yourself to mirror what you just said. It’s all about how you feel, your confidence level is raised. Your chest is out, your chin is up your diction gets better your candor gets better and you just deliver when you feel good.
[01:02:07] Brad: Okay, so I have to tell this story because this is a highlight and it speaks about the client experience which a lot of our listeners that’s a big deal in their financial services practice which now that I think about it a lot of our advisors have coffee bars. They need wine bars, they need to host a happy hour. I had the opportunity and it was really a highlight for my wife and I. We had a chance to go to the French Laundry with yourself, with Jason Wise with Brian MccLintic, just an incredible night. My friend Sean and his wife Aubry. This was my first experience there and it was it your year first? I don’t remember if you had been there before or not.
[01:02:47] DLynn: No, that would have been… I only have six pins closed pins you get a French Laundry clothes pin and you still have yours but that would have been my sixth time only.
[01:02:55] Brad: Sixth, only your sixth men you need to step up your game man. We walk in there and after a day of wine tasting and they were taking drink orders and I’d heard this rumor about the French laundry being stuffy. Didn’t get that impression at all but I had that expectation going in. I had the expectation of amazing food maybe a little bit stuffy.
We go in they’re taking drink orders and me being a Kansas kid and maybe had maybe one too many glasses of wine on me I said, “Do you guys offer Keystone LIght?” The waiter tossed his head to the side looks at me, “Would you like Keystone Light sir?” Now I’m intrigued I’m leaning in I’m like, “Do you have Keystone Light?”
They may actually have key stone lime on the menu this is going to blow me away and I’m like, “Do you have Keystone Light?” “No.” He is like, “Would you like Keystone LIght?” He wouldn’t answer and I was like, “No it’s all good we’re going to have some great wine no worries.” Anyway the dinner proceeds, at about I don’t know 10 courses in, it’s an ungodly amount of courses they serve you there.
Out of nowhere, this bucket of ice down Keystone Light shows up out of nowhere, they carried it out like it was Don Perignon. hey carried out set it in the middle of the table and then in unison and synchronization like four waiters reach in pull them out crack them and set them down in front of us on UFC coasters to top it all off.
It was just we all lost it and I actually had, I drank my Keystone Light, it tasted good but that to me was such a lesson. Number one it was an amazing memory but it was such a lesson in the client or customer experience. I’ll never forget it and I asked them I was like, “Have you guys ever served Keystone Light here?” He was like, “Never, we did PBR one time, never Keystone.”
Obviously what happened there with that story that experience, obviously we were both a part of it so it was fun but there was an opportunity that was had when I made an off the wall request and rather than just brushing it off and walking back to the kitchen saying, “Hey, this idiot from Kansas tried to order Keystone LIght” And laughing it off, they actually sent somebody out obviously, grab a six pack of Keystone Light and made it a story, an experience for all of us that I’m now sharing because it was just wow.
It was one of those wow experiences. Doing what you do you do for as long as you have in being a steward, as a somm, can you share just some lessons from that? Maybe you’ve done some things like that over the years that financial advisors could take some lessons from and maybe implement in their own business.
[01:05:38] DLynn: Honestly the beautiful thing about it is, it’s all about the guest experience and you can have a guest experience in any field of any business that you may be doing. Look great restaurants like the French Laundry and 11 Madison Park and Le Bernardin. I mean Le Bernardin has a different color of pashmina for every single dress, gown outfit that maybe worn by a woman into the restaurant.
They show up at the table with a pashmina that matches your outfit. I think it’s about anticipating the need of the guest, anticipating the demand of the guest and of course every answer is always “Yes”. It’s not about the guest is always right but every answer is always yes. I think where financial advisors like yourself can take a page out of that book. You dealt with your clients, your colleagues and peers have dealt with their clients for so long and even if it’s a new client. I can only venture to guess that you’ve probably been to more than a handful of your clients homes, correct?
[01:06:43] Brad: Yeah.
[01:06:45] DLynn: When you see different things that may be in his or her office different pieces that maybe on the wall. Different things that maybe centered on different center pieces or tables et cetera. Just paying attention and doing your due diligence see what little trinket or what little thing you could pick up to say thank or show appreciation.
There are a lot of things that clients can do. One thing that I do as the face of 174 year old winery is look I take care and I show thanks and appreciation to all of my sommeliers and buyers and consumers and collectors and longtime wine directors. I’ll gift them a Penfolds engraved pin or a beautiful chef’s knife as a thank you as I really appreciate your support, your business.
I really appreciate you taking the time two months ago to taste 35 of my wines with me and add a couple to your list. It maybe a beautiful set of cufflinks, it maybe three pocket squares. It maybe four colorful hand piece that they can put on the inside of their jacket and wipe their brow as they are on the floor opening bottles. I do think the client and consumer relationship is something that is very important.
Yeah, it’s good for you to take a page from that book of always being there for the guest or being there for your client or being there for the individual. I think that’s a very important page because again you just jokingly I was there I was sitting right next to you. You jokingly said, “Oh, what about Keystone Light?” “Would you like a Keystone Light sir?” “No, do you have Keystone Light” “Would you like a Keystone Light sir?”
It’s all about taking care of the guest, of the client in whatever colloquial joking fashion that may occur. You’ve got guys who or even if it’s something as simple Brad as buying your top client three different color left hand or right hand golf gloves. Posting them in the mail with a wonderful letter and saying, “Hey, go get them next week I heard you’ve got a big tournament coming up and we spend a lot of time together last week.
[01:09:03] DLynn: Go get them here is three different color gloves for you to pick from when you’re out on the green. I do think that it’s very important because what it does is yes it shows attention to detail like dressing, it shows that you care like it shows that you have some discipline. I will definitely take a page from that French Laundry book that we all experienced.
[01:09:29] Brad: Yeah, that was a funny evening, big lesson there too. All right my man it is Friday and I don’t want to have you just cooped up in your office. If you don’t mind we’ll wrap it with a few rapid fire questions here.
[01:09:44] DLynn: You got it how long have we been on man? It’s been good, actually it feels like we’re 20 minutes in.
[01:09:48] Brad: I think it’s the wine man I think it’s been…
[01:09:53] DLynn: I’ve opened the 407 so I hope that your drinking Bin 407, I’ve switched wines.
[01:09:57] Brad: All right I’ll switch, I’ve got a backup glass, so what’s your vote, the 28 or the 407?
[01:10:04] DLynn: Well, look because like a parent would say, I’m not you are I don’t have a favorite kid. Penfolds wines are like my kids, we make a lot of wonderful brands we’re almost 174 years old, shortly approaching our wonderful 175th anniversary, vintage 19. The beautiful thing about the wines that we make Bin 407 is a wonderful cabernet that we first made in 1990.
I adore it. Bin 28 the wonderful Kalimna shiraz we first made in 1959 I adore it. Our flagship grange first made in 1951 I adore it. I adore them all for different reasons, I love this cabernet because it’s really the expression of the great state of South Australia. It’s a wonderful expression of a limestone coast which is a cool maritime climate so you get all of these wonderful profiles and these bright lifted fruit from [inaudible] cabernet. I love them both for different reasons.
[01:11:11] Brad: I will put obviously Australian cab does not have the name brand that a Napa cab has.
[01:11:17] DLynn: I would say that.
[01:11:18] Brad: This is beautiful, this is good.
[01:11:21] DLynn: I agree it’s a favorite right now I’ll say that, Bin 407.
[01:11:26] Brad: I want to wrap here with a few questions, I’m going to start with one actually one of clients gave me that I loved and this will be a fun one for you maybe events of before maybe not. This is from my buddy Shane, out in California Newport Beach so if you’re ever out there and want to pop some bottles look him up.
[01:11:43] DLynn: I’m in South Cal in a couple of weeks so I’ll look him up.
[01:11:46] Brad: Okay, he would love it. His question he is like, “You’ve got to ask DLynn this it’s your last meal on earth what wine and what meal are you pairing it with?
[01:11:56] DLynn: Last meal on earth wow, I have answered this before but times change, life changes, days change. Right now I would say my last meal on earth would be cacio e pepe, just a wonderful simple Italian pasta dish but with a black pepper, parmesan cheese, olive oil and pasta.
Bucatini, whatever you want to choose but cacio e pepe is name of the dish and it would probably be honestly any vintage of monfortino barolo. Any vintage it doesn’t matter.
[01:12:40] Brad: Tell us about that wine.
[01:12:42] DLynn: Look the monfortino family, it’s a wonderful single vineyard, single site, single place even though the vineyard has been added too and it’s a little different today but monfortino is one of the world’s great wines and it’s just, it’s a splendid wine from Barolo made from a novello grape variety and to be very honest with you any vintage whether from the 60s whether from the 70s or the 80s I am quite okay with it.
[01:13:12] Brad: Well, anytime you feel like sharing a bottle man let me know.
[01:13:16] DLynn: You got it.
[01:13:17] Brad: I’ll fly out. What’s the best value wine that right now… I’m sure you’ve tasted a lot of bottles but right now I’m guessing Penfolds is a great brand but let’s go even outside of Penfolds. Best value wine for the money that you can think of.
[01:13:31] DLynn: Best value wines for the money I’ll go outside of Penfolds first I would probably say cru Bourgeois. Cru Bourgeois is incredibly hot we touched on it on the second Somm film I spoke a bit about it. My good buddy Brian Mcclintic, you’re a good buddy talked about some of his favorite producers and bourgeois is going insane since that has been said by Brian, I mean wow. We’ve always loved Beaujolais I’ve always loved beaujolais. Beaujolais best value right now it’s got the familiarity of Burgundy.
It’s got the history of Burgundy, honesty, I think’s got the caches of Burgundy, it just thankfully doesn’t have the prices of Burgundy. So you can get wonderful wines [inaudible] from Beaujolais that are just mind blowing, $35, $45, $55 some $29.99, I mean, great bottles. There are some pretty expensive Beaujolais cru’s out there, $115, $120 but Beaujolais cru right now, incredible value.
Coming into my world, the beautiful Penfolds world that I’ve been fortunate to be with for seven vintages now, lets see, the max’s wines, named after our first chief wine maker Max schuberrt, the max’s wines are very affordable, great value, they are still steep in the history and the ethos Penfolds but they come to you at about that $25 price point, whether it’s Cabernet or Shiraz or… These wines are incredible and they speak to the history of Penfolds, it’s been around since 1844.
[01:15:09] Brad: Favorite book you’ve ever read or that’s impacted your life the most or book you’ve gifted the most over the years.
[01:15:17] DLynn: I don’t if I’ve actually gifted, I’ve probably only gifted a couple of books, less than a handful but my favorite book has got to be, Michael Broadbent, Vintage Wine. Something for me especially when I was a novice in wine, look I’ve been this game, I guess, I don’t know 17 years now and I still consider myself a novice because there is so much in the world to know and learn and drink and study and taste and so much history that’s global but Michael Broadbent’s, Vintage Wine, first second and third edition, it doesn’t matter but it’s a book that really talks about the story, the states.
The original story, the states of the world, whether it’d be France, whether it’d be Italy, Spain, Germany, a few mentions from California because this book was written a while back and of course Australia [inaudible] obviously mentioned.
But it really just gives you history and perspective and timeline about all of these great vintages going back to the 1800s and the why and the leads and then how they tasted because Michael Broadbent, a wonderful master of wine I say has tasted all of these incredible wines, he’s incredibly venerated himself, I don’t want to get his age wrong because Bartholomew his son is a good friend but I would reckon Michael Broadbent is late 80s, he might be 90, 91 but he is still kicking, he is still drinking great wines and again his son Bartholomew is a good friend but his father man, he’s just, the mind that this gentleman has on him. Anything that he puts on paper, I seek, I study, I read and I read over and over and over and I’ve actually gifted that book twice.
[01:17:02] Brad: There you go.
[01:17:03] Dylnn: It’s so hot right now that you can’t even find that book on like, half.com, the book is going for $500, $550 because it’s so in demand.
[01:17:16] Brad: It’s one of those books that’s out of print and nobody can get them anymore right?
[01:17:19] Dylnn: Yeah, and it did release at that, it released like a $60 book.
[01:17:24] Brad: This is a fun one, this is my go to question lately. What is something you would like to see as absurd 25 years now?
[01:17:35] DLynn: Froze. Jesus Christ please make it absurd. It’s absurd now but it’s not it’s really cool.
[01:17:41] Brad: You don’t like wine as a slashy?
[01:17:44] DLynn: Froze and they call it Bro-ze. I don’t know what’s happening but I’d actually rather drinking Frezzling than Froze. Look in South Australia, we often, look it’s 39, 40, 41 centigrade in south Australia in Barossa valley, it’s a hot continent, it’s a dry continent, south Australia is the driest state on the driest continent. So, it gets bloody hot in south Australia.
When you are in the Barossa Valley. We take bottles of frizzling and we put them on ice for so long, they develop like a wonderful kind of sloshiness in the bottle and when its 41 centigrade and you take that screw to cap off that Riesling and you put into a glass, my goodness it is exactly what doctor ordered at 41 degrees centigrade. That’s hot, I don’t that’s one 114, 115,116, but I would much rather drink frezzling than froze.
[01:18:41] Brad: A good chilled rose on a summer day is amazing. I’ve definitely got a soft.. The wine must be kicking in. I have a soft part in my heart for cold rose.
[01:18:53] DLynn: Indeed.
[01:18:54] Brad: Cheers brother. All right, last question. What’s really cool is to see, you are truly a master of your craft and it’s just inspiring. The work that you guys have put in, you Brian and Ian, it is inspiring, so what is the one piece of advice that you think you could share that’s led to your success at this point?
[01:19:19] DLynn: The first piece of advice I could share is, do not go down my path. My path was my own path, it was a difficult path, I made my own way and humbly not in a bragging way, but I did it my way as old blue eyes said. He probably said many times, I actually did it my way but find a mentor, find several mentors that can help you, usher you, foster you in your said field, whether it’s back of house, whether it’s front of the house, whether it’s a business, whether it’s being a chef, whether it’s being a wine director of operations. A beverage director of multiple units. Find someone who has done it and done it well and seek their counsel, seek their advice. Stage in restaurants if you can, become a stagier and maybe go work the great floors of the little [inaudible]. Work the great floors of Papa’s Brother’s steak house in Dallas and Houston.
Work the great floors of Le Bernadin and Danielle and any of the micro mini restaurants or Canlis in Seattle or the Nomad where all these great individuals that have a history and a lineage of incredible sommeliers and beverage directors and wine directors and now directors of operations. Shout out to my great friends Salvador Segura that is the chief restaurant officer for Mr. Danny Meyer.
The sky’s the limit as one of the great’s said, the ceiling is the roof. Once you put a roof on your ceiling you’ve stopped and Michael Jordan said that talking to a group of young kids at his flight camp about six months ago. There is no ceiling and as you’ve seen with guys like Ian Cauble who owns his own business, Dustin Wilson owns his own business, Salvador Segura, chief restaurant officer for Danny Meyer, Brian McClintic who owns his own great business.
[01:21:22] DLynn: Seek the counsel of those that came before you and there is no limit, there is no ceiling, there is no roof, just continue to excel. My way, I did my path my way and thankfully it’s worked out very well for me, I’ve got a global presence, I travel the globe, Southeast Asia, UK wherever, Australia, of course Canada, South America, Central Caribbean, it’s very fortunate to do all of these things but it comes with a lot of history, it comes with a lot of studying and a lot of learning and a lot of progressing and a lot of setbacks and a lot of push forwards and it’s been very good but find individuals that can mentor you and that can look after you and teach you business, teach you P&L teach you marketing, teach you sales and teach you how to treat individuals and graciate yourself amongst individuals and just be good to people because the universe, that energy will return, the universe will give that to you.
You run across great people like Brad Johnson, you run across great people like Steve Tish, you run across great people like, many other names I can name so it’s a good world, just treat it right and it will treat you right in return.
[01:22:38] Brad: DLynn you are the man.
[01:22:40] DLynn: No.
[01:22:40] Brad: You are, I just say I’m so appreciative you grabbed some time here, this has been a great conversation. That last piece of advice, there is others out there that have paved the way, they’ve been there, you don’t have to sit there and pound your head against the desk, it’s no different in financial services.
You can do the same thing that you did in the wine world, you can go study under the experts. It’s possible, you just have to basically go out and do it.
[01:23:08] DLynn: You have to pull those coattails, you have to.
[01:23:11] Brad: It takes effort. It’s not easy, you have to hop on the flight, you’ve got grind, make the connection but that’s your shortcuts out there. One of my mentors he basically said, any new thing that you are trying to do, if there is a coach you can go out and find out how to do it, it’s been there and done that, that’s the simplest path and that’s the one you should follow.
[01:23:31] DLynn: Absolutely.
[01:23:34] Brad: It’s what you did man.
[01:23:36] DLynn: I will take this time just to send this special shout to Mister Fredrick Dame, known from SOMM one and SOMM two and of course SOMM three, James Fletcher, there are so many greats, these are the individuals that, Eddie Mcnamara, helped pave the way and many others I can name, I just took a few seconds to call those four names but many others that looked after me, the list goes on. Those are guys that have helped me immensely and still do.
[01:24:16] Brad: Well, I didn’t think it would be possible to make a SOMM legends without Fred Dame, so I had a feeling he would be there. I have a feeling his sections of that movie will be entertaining because so far, every single one has been.
[01:24:28] DLynn: Yes they will.
[01:24:31] Brad: Well DLynn, I will let you roll on your Friday afternoon, I just want to say thank you for sharing your wine knowledge. I can say there is a lot more financial advisors out there right now that have more wine knowledge thanks for this last hour and half or so, so I appreciate it and until our paths cross again.
[01:24:47] DLynn: Cheers, time to get to the gym.
[01:24:52] Brad: Thanks for checking out the latest show, here’s this week’s featured review. This one comes to us from Gene Hammett who says, “Great insights to win more business, get the latest and marketing and business growth. I love that the show is focused on financial advisors. Brad is excellent at pulling out insights that will help you win more business.”
Gene, thanks for taking the time to give the show a review man, I appreciate it, I have never shared this before but earlier on, I actually considered branching out and making this a podcast for entrepreneurs in general. Luckily a mentor gave me advice to make sure to focus on the niche I knew best and thought I could bring the most value to you and that’s my goal.
I try to make sure I’m serving all of the advisors out there on each and every show. With that in mind, if any of you Blueprint listeners have ideas or connections with someone you think would make a great guest or bring a lot of value, drop me a message out on twitter.
My user name is @Brad_Johnson, I’d love to connect and most importantly I would love to hear your thoughts. So that’s it for this week’s show and those out there listening in, do me and your fellow financial advisor friend a favor and share your favorite episode with them, whether it’s by email or text, just let them know we are sharing ideas and more importantly actionable items specifically for our financial advisors. I would appreciate and it really helps me impact more advisors out there just like you. So with that, thanks for listening in this week and I will catch you guys on the next show.
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