Wine merchants are a vital bond. Where do you go to buy your wine if you are too far from vineyards to be able to go and taste it in situ in the cellars of wine estates? On the Internet? In large retail stores? What if you dropped in on your local wine merchant?
Nowadays,you may take the easy option and browse the Internet. However, through a screen, you won’t be able to enjoy these light-hearted and delicious moments, without thinking about the shipping time. And what about large retail stores? It is in the large retail stores that 80% of wine is sold in France, compared with 40% in Japan, 50% in the United States, 80% in the United Kingdom… Ouch!
Why not trust the people whose job it is to sell wine: wine merchants? This common sense approach has a number of proven benefits: the pleasure of human contact, the almost certainty that the professionals have perfect knowledge of the wines they sell. They will provide you with an expertise that reaches far beyond the label and the information it gives. In short, wine merchants are the essential link between wine amateurs and winegrowers; they maintain close relations based on trust with both. And for good reason! Most of them do not select the wines they sell from a catalog; nor do they listen to the speeches of passing salespeople.
Insofar as possible, the luckiest wine merchants leave for the vineyards. Most of them actually need to taste in countless trade shows where they meet the men and women who actually “make” the wines, or taste the samples sent out before entering discussions. When they are back in their stores, they enthusiastically tell you all there is to know about a specific vintage, which will meet the expectations of their flock and/or embark you on a discovery adventure.
Over the last fifteen to twenty years, the world has undergone tremendous changes. The common cliché of the wine merchant with his moustache and apron, selling the same wines over and over again, has been out of date for a long time.
As the winegrowing business has changed, the codes of the trade have evolved, bringing about a new generation of very dynamic and skilled professionals, eager to learn more about all the appellations, taking stances—in particular on bio-natural wines—, and more than willing to organize tasting sessions, or even enology classes. In short, wine merchants, in the flesh, help make the distance between “drinkers” and winegrowers shorter. So, what are you waiting for?!