It is only fitting that the first QoN with someone from the wine world is with Bill Weier. What, you don’t know him? Bill is one of the owners of the restaurant Rustica in downtown Kalamazoo. Rustica features European rustic food focused around European wines.
Bill is no stranger to wine. Just in the time I have known him he has been the GM for the Epic Bistro (back when it was a wine bar) and also a sales manager for Imperial Beverage when they were wine focused. As the owner operator of Rustica he has found a home; a place to share the wines he enjoys with others.
1. What was the turning point, where you knew you wanted to spend your life in the wine industry?
Two moments come to mind. The first was as a waiter when I was 23 or so. I had just served a large table and they ordered several very expensive bottles of wine. When I received the tip…it was huge…because the wine was so expensive. I decided then and there to learn as much as I could about wine so I could maximize my tip potential by selling more wine. The second moment was when I moved to Hawaii to wait tables just a year later. I got incredibly lucky and landed in the oldest French restaurant in Hawaii. The French woman that was running the restaurant opened a bottle of Chablis Grand Cru “Les Clos” from Bouchard and it literally blew my mind. The combination of subtlety, and complexity was like nothing I had ever tasted…I was hooked.
2. If you could have any beverage in your hand right now, what would it be?
French white from Burgundy, Rhone, or Alsace. Most people think the top of the mountain is big heavy dry reds. I found the summit to be sublime whites with both power and finesse. If a rose Champagne from a small grower ended up in my hand I would be perfectly happy with that as well!
3. Can you describe your beverage life in a song lyric/title? If so what would you choose?
Bob Marley…Is This Love…”I wanna love ya…and treat you right…I wanna love ya…every day and every night”
4. Do you have a steady beer or wine, or do you like to “play the field?”
Besides the aforementioned wines, I love skunky beer after work (Pilsner Urquell or Grolsh), Stouts and Porters when it’s cold out, and Belgian Farmhouse Saison anytime. I love to play the field at Hop Cat in Grand Rapids and other quality beer-centric bars.
5. Crowded smoky bar or back porch watching the clouds float across the sky?
Back porch hands down…moon, stars or clouds…thunderstorms preferred.
And the lame one…
Who put the bomp in the bomp-sha bomp-sha bomp?
Time for a pint…