It’s very early, having been awakened by drunken revelers who got into the room next to me at 4:30 AM and booze chatted until they fell asleep at 5:30. New Orleans. Chances were they didn’t spend the night over a bottle of Falanghina in the French Quarter. Although if they had wanted to there would have been more than one chance to find a Nerello Mascalese Brut or a Valtellina Superiore on a wine list.
But back to the future. I walked by a mystic’s store in the Central Business District, and was tempted for more than one reason to walk in and get the Cliff notes to what awaits us.
I would expect, as a grape grower and winemaker, to have to still do all the necessary farming to get the grapes to the point where they become wine. And then the second part of the business takes hold – selling the stuff.
Everything is all about metrics in the financially driven, post Wall-Street crash world we've landed in. Lessen exposure to risk, cut expenses, tighten the belt, cut the fat. Take note of this and file it away somewhere. And forget about it. Let’s go back to something the world still needs more of – relationship building. Something the Italians are great at. So who’s going to be sacrificed, who gets sent to the US to travel the country, go to Cleveland, Anaheim, Elk City, Lafayette? Youngest son or daughter? Someone will need to go. Someone who most likely, will never come home again.
I’d find a handful of restaurateurs in each city and develop long-lasting relationships with them. They would be my accounts, and I would visit them at least once a year. I’d find a retailer or two in each place as well, not the big box or chain accounts, but places where the wine buyer actually cares for the wine more than the scores. And once a year I would take folks back home to spend a few days eating, drinking, walking and breathing in the air and touching the dirt where my wines came from. I’d baptize them in my terroir and turn them into my crusaders, but do it lovingly and respectfully.
Oh, and I’d build relationships with the upcoming writers, the Gallonis and the Larners and the Asimovs. I’d spend a little time making sure to get to know anyone who blogs about Italian wine on a regular basis. Who knows who will be the next Jon Bonne?
Who wants to come with me?
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W