Sunday, December 22, 2019

A Christmas Time Quiz for 2020 for the Italian Wine Trade

Chances are, you are already offline, having already sent out your generic holiday greetings, are not checking your email, and are ensconced somewhere in the mountains, by the seashore, with family, maybe on a beach in the Seychelles or Cuba, and settling in for a long and well-deserved holiday.

The harvest is in, the deed is done and what will be, will be. So, let’s have some fun with a short quiz.


1. Looking back over the year, your biggest challenge was:
a. Making sure we had a good harvest.
b. Growing our export market.
c. Maintaining my Freccia Alata Plus status on Alitalia (or Senator on Lufthansa, Executive Platinum on American, etc.).

2. Your largest growth market in 2019 was:
a. China
b. United States
c. Russia

3. The country that paid you the fastest (and in a stable currency) was:
a. China
b. United States
c. Russia

4. Prior to Brexit, your sales to Great Britain in 2019 were:
a. Off the charts.
b. 20% off last year.
c. Still trying to get the Brits to pay their bills from 2016.

5. Your main goal for 2020 is:
a. To not break my leg (again) skiing in Zermatt.
b. To stay home and repair my relationship with my wife (or husband) who I haven’t seen much of in the last three years.
c. To sell more wine to China.

6. If the 100% tariff is enforced in the United States in 2020 your strategy will be:
a. To tighten up my EU relationships and build my business in my backyard.
b. To find a way to ride out the storm, maybe sell a bunch of wine to the bulk (bladder) market.
c. To sell more wine to China.

7. The 300 acres of Merlot that you planted in 2003 is:
a. 15 years old and producing a wine as good as Masseto, although the world just hasn’t realized it yet, and it’s only $100 retail.
b. Being replanted to indigenous varieties like Morone and Negratino.
c. I sell everything to a famous producer of Merlot in Tuscany (with which I have an NDA).
d. Sold (the 300 acres) to a Chinese billionaire I met in the ER hospital in Zermatt.

8. You’ve been thinking about going full bio-dynamic in your vineyard, but you:
a. Cannot figure out all the arcane Italian paperwork to become fully certified.
b. Cannot figure out the international regulations so that other countries will recognize the vineyards as bio-dy.
c. Wonder what does it matter, seeing as all your neighbors tell every natural wine writer they are bio-dynamic and they never check before writing their blog, magazine piece, newsletter.

9. There will be a myriad of wine events in 2020 - Slow Wine, Gambero Rosso, Great Wines of Italy (Suckling) and Wine Spectator Grand Tour among them. The cost to do all of these will be multiples of thousands of Euros. You will:
a. Suck it up and do all that I can, the critics are important, and I cannot rely on wine bloggers anymore.
b. Choose only the ones that are in New York, San Francisco and Miami.
c. Take the money and propose to our clients in the US special purchase allowances (SPA’s) to subsidize the 100% tariffs that are coming.
d. Take a family vacation to Thailand (if the Brits pay their past due bills from 2016).

10. Your daughter (or son) just graduated from Bocconi University and is now ready to enter the family business. Her (or his) first assignment is:
a. To move to Shanghai and conquer the Chinese market.
b. To move to New York and conquer the American market.
c. To stay home and pitch in, so I can repair my relationship with my wife (or husband) who I haven’t seen much of in the last three years.



Buon Natale Y'all!

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

1 comment:

Bicchiere said...

Nice post! I thought that paying invoices in time (4c) is good and conservative habit. 7a and 8c is just nice :-) Best wishes to new year!

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