"Wine is water come of age." - Father Capon

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Importers are your friend

When choosing a bottle of wine few people think to look at who the importer is. It's a big mistake. Wine importers act as screening agents, combing through the vast world of available wine to find jems to grace their portfolio...and thus your table. According to Mark Oldman, wine importers' effect on quality wine is enormous. "They have the ability to influence producers to make wine of the highest integrity and then export it with the utmost care. And producers listen...Appearing on the back label of imported wine bottles, an importer's name is one of the great clues to a good wine, though few casual drinkers even know to look for it. The name of a high quality importer acts like a seal of approval - a sign that a fastidious expert has secured the best possible wines under the best possible conditions." Here is a list of quality importers for you to take to your local wine shop.

Eric Solomon/European Cellars - Eric Solomon is a justly famous importer of wines from Italy, France, and Spain. As the owner of my local wine shop put it, "if it's from Eric Solomon, I buy it."

Grateful Palate/Dan Philips - Grateful Palate sources "distinctive wines of pleasure" from Australia. As well as gourmet bacon and coffee.

Jorge Ordonez/Fine Estates from Spain - Jorge Ordonez is to Spanish wine, what Warren Buffett is to investing. That is to say, iconic. He is especially known for his affordable selections. Watch an episode of WLTV featuring Jorge here.

Peter Weygandt/Weygandt-Metzler Importing - Peter Weygandt is another fabulous importer of European wines. Watch a double feature of WLTV with Peter here and here

Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant  - No list would be complete without the iconic importer of French wine, Kermit Lynch. Find the WLTV series with Kermit herehere and here. Kermit has also written a famous book about his journeys as a wine buyer available here

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