Proportion and scale are important in wine, particularly when it comes to matching food and wine at the table. A powerful dish will overwhelm a slender wine, no matter how elegant, and vice versa. It works that way in the sales chain, too. It’s hardly ever the case that a large, well-capitalized wholesaler will willingly seek out a tiny family property to represent. There simply won’t be enough wine to bother with, and since no one in the market knows the property or its wines, interest has to be drummed up, patiently, one retailer at a time. For the big guys, it’s a lot of work for too-little return.
The outcome might well be that these tiny estates and their oft delicious, occasionally quirky wines would never be known beyond their own village cafe or local auberge; never reach the appreciative audience they deserve. That quality wines from small-scale properties continue to make an impact on our market is reason to rejoice. It’s all thanks to the efforts of a new breed of wholesaler, one who is more of a match in size with the mini-properties he represents; someone for whom patient hand-selling of little known estates, regions, and varietals is his bread and butter. [Read more…]