Wine Talk with Alice Swift
A Chat with David Robson – Liquor Specialty Wine Steward
“Life’s too short to
drink bad wine”
This month, I made my first visit to the Smith’s supermarket off of S. Las Vegas Blvd. and Windmill Ln., and there I met David Robson, who is the Liquor Specialty Wine Steward for that location. He is a gentleman whom I would describe as the epitome of superior hospitality guest service. While there, I learned about the many gems that Smith’s has to offer.
This particular location is a one-stop variety shop. You can check out their all natural and organic produce and meats section, drop by Murray’s cheese area to pick up some amazing cheeses, and then stop by the extensive wine section to pick up anything from a five-dollar bottle of wine, to a high-end red wine, champagne, or even dessert wine like ice wine, my favorite!
They hold themed events to showcase their wines, cheeses, and other products, sometimes with special guest hosts such as winemakers and producers. During their most recent event called Taste of Italy, the store cracked open a wheel of parmigiano reggiano and had coffee and wine tastings.
This concept works to attract clientele by offering more diverse and interesting selections that can introduce customers to new experiences. They do try to source unique wines, but also have a range of recognizable labels, like Rombauer, Caymus, Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel.
Robson has worked very hard to build up the reputation of his store location, and has even built up a “client-list,” so to speak. This list is made up of home consumers, business owners, personal shoppers to the stars, other wine purchasers, etc., who continue to go back to Smith’s specifically to see Robson. His personalized service, attention for detail and very obvious passion for what he does really shines and I can see why customers refuse to go to anybody but him.
During my time there, we tasted a few different wines that would go well with holiday meals, such as the Conundrum white wine blend, and the Dao Pessimist red wine. These wines went very well with our beautiful cheese and cured meats plate that was prepared by the Murray’s cheese staff. My favorite cheese was the Cambozola, which is a blend of camembert cheese and gorgonzola, with chocolate shavings on top, which paired beautifully with the Pessimist wine.
Robson’s secret to success:
• No matter what you want to sell somebody, or what you think is a good wine, don’t ever undervalue what they want.
• Don’t ever discourage someone from drinking what they like or how they like it.
• Always be respectful, and remember where you came from.
• He used to be a butler for MGM Grand for 9 years. Even though he had always been in the food and beverage industry, he took on the challenge and had a great experience working as a butler.
• His favorite dog breed is called borzoi, which is a Russian wolf hound.
“I really take ownership of [everything] I do. I offer a service of courtesy and knowledge. I don’t believe I’m overbearing, but am humble. I’m very approachable, and I like what I do. It’s fun to have wines that people typically don’t see, and that’s what we strive to do. It’s been a very positive experience working with Smith’s. I just believe in keeping it fresh and unique, and not letting your personal arrogance get in the way. Let me help you choose something special for you.”
Stop on in to the Smith’s location off S. Las Vegas Blvd. and Windmill Ln. and say hello to David Robson...perhaps I will see you there!