Ladies and Gentlemen,
Do you ever get overwhelmed with the sheer choice of wines and wine labels out there? I bet you do…but, here is the real question;
How do they get on the shelf in the first place?
The average wine shop has 1000 selections. Big stores offer between 5 and 6000 wines. Expletives come to mind when you think of the multitude. The fact is, if a store had all the wines on earth, it would look like the warehouse from the X-Files. How’s that for selection?
I am all about the freedom to choose. Technology and improved vino notwithstanding, not all wines are good. If you’re prepared to drink a bunch of poorly made hooch in hopes of finding some decent stuff, go for it. By the way, kissing frogs to catch Prince Charming works as well. Trust me. I’m a professional…
This is why we have wineries, importers, distributors, and shops. To filter the bile before it gets to the average consumer, at least in principle. Wineries make vino, importers decide if a market or country have interest in the product, the distributor dials it down to state or region, and then the retailer wades through the muck to pick those precious few.
This week, we talk about the importers’ role. Many started by design, a few by accident. One thing is certain; the great importers out there not only select the best wines and wineries, but also have the vision to affect the tastes and styles of generations of grapegrower and consumers alike. Big importers like Terlato, Kobrand, Banfi, Palm Bay, and Winebow alongside smaller names such as Kermit Lynch, Ordonez, Domaine Select, Wilson Daniels, Jeff Welburn, Terry Theise, and Kysela Pere et Fils. A consistent message and care often results in a more effective gauge for us grapeguzzlers. In short….
‘It is sometimes better to look at the back label instead of the front.’