He approached David Derby, then working under general manager Steve Frederick. "I said I was looking for a job, and immediately he asked, 'What are the five grapes of Bordeaux?' I had to spout them out real quick." The quiz continued: " 'Five first growths? The grapes of Champagne? Okay, you didn't get Pinot Meunier, but it's not a big deal -- nobody uses it. Grapes of Tuscany? Now, just a Brunello?' I didn't need to get every answer right; I realized that it was mainly 'Are you getting scared enough to just leave?' It's that first little bit of fire that pares down potential employees."
He stood the heat and moved on to a second interview with Frederick. "I learned, 'Thou shalt not have no idea.' You should always try to have an answer or do your best to let the person know you're going to find out that night." Frederick asked him about up-and-coming regions; Rohner rhapsodized about Santa Rita. "I had tasted enough from Santa Barbara, and I was really impressed with Babcock. And Melville was just starting." It was enough; he got the job. "I started like everyone here. We're the Nordstrom of the wine world. I was a stock boy/answer the phone/mark empty boxes, whatever. After a few weeks, if you can talk about a wine, they'll let you start talking to the customers."