Friday, February 4, 2011

Excerpt: Wine Retail in 2010: Hopeful Reactions from Across the U.S.

by Rob Bralow, Wine Post Editor

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote, published on Palate Press on February 2, 2011.

From across the U.S. you can almost hear the collective exhale of relief by wine retailers. Having adjusted inventories to accommodate the tighter purse strings of wine drinkers, retailers found that while the byword for 2010 was “value,” customers began, once again, to feel more comfortable making the extra trip to visit their local wine shop.

For the rest, check out the article at the Palate Press.

Comments welcome!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Problem with being a Retailer on an Importer/Press Trip

by Rob Bralow
, Wine Post Editor

Do not get me wrong, I am having a great time. But almost all of the wines I am tasting will require at least 3 months before they get into the US, and that only if one of the importers on the trip with me decided they want to start the process of bringing the wines in TOMORROW.

I am tasting lots of great wines and one of the wineries I visited that has truly impressed me is Uniao Comercial de Biera. They have a ton of great brands, all made by a female winemaker Christina, at least I am pretty sure that is her name. And from what I have been hearing, they are really inexpensive, although what that means when they get to the US, I am not sure. The prices I am getting are ex-cellars prices in Euros.

Another great thing is I am tasting varieties that are brand new to me, so I have little to no expectations or pre-conceptions. Grapes like Encruzado and Alfrocheiro are very interesting and make some good wines in the hands of the right people. I am sure I am well over the 100 make in terms of the different grapes I have tasted and I sort of wonder how close I am to 200, but I do not keep track. It is just great to taste new wines.

Need to run on to my next round of tastings, but later in the week I am sure I will be writing more about these wines.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A surprise tryp to Portugal

by Rob Bralow
, Wine Post Editor

I was extremely surprised when I received an e-mail inviting me to a "tryp" to Portugal. At first I thought it must be spam, but decided it was worth another look.

We would like to invite you on a trip to Portugal.

I had to read that line two or three times to make sure my eyes were ok. I think showed it to my fiancĂ©e (oh did I mention that yet?) and she laughed at the spelling and then got excited. "You are going to Portugal? Without me?!"

And now it is several weeks later and here I am, at the Yeatman Hotel in Oporto.

I may do this in several different ways, depending on time allowance and my level of inebriation. I may do a day-by-day recap every time I get back to my hotel room, or I might save it all up for one longer write-up later. All I know is, here I am, and I am really looking forward to traveling along the Douro river valley and tasting some amazing Portuguese wines. 

If you have any questions you would like me to ask on this trip, let me know. I will be visiting many wineries and tasting whites, reds, and ports, I am sure. I do not know if I will ever have another chance to be so close to Portugal's winemakers, so ask up! And I'll report back what I find out.

It's like the lamp post from Narnia...

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