Inferior Good: Diminishing Marginal Stupidity in Action

Monday, October 09, 2006

Buying wine by importer

Getting great stuff on the cheap feels good. With clothing it’s easy; if it looks good and fits, then you buy it. But what about wine? How do you know which bottles in the bargain bin are worth picking up?

Of course, there’s brand name. But beyond brand, what do you go by? You could go by varietal and/or appellation. But there’s immense variation among varietals made by different producers. And there’s also a lot of variation within each appellation and, frankly, I just don’t know the appellations well enough to shop like this.

So I often shop by importer. To be sure, some importers are more consistent than others, so you won’t want to try this with any old company. Personally, I’m fairly confident that I'll like (or at least find interesting) most wine imported by Therry Thiese, Louis/Dressner, Robert Kacher and Kermit Lynch.

On Saturday, my wife and I stopped by Urban Vines during a walk around the neighborhood. I perused the discounted odd bottles displayed upstairs. Based on price and importer, I purchased the 2003 Clos Roche Blanche Cabernet (Louis/Dressner), the 2004 Clos de Tue-Boeuf "Le Buisson Pouilleux" (Louis/Dressner) and the 2002 Domaine Sainte-Eugenie Corbieres (Robert Kacher). I’ll let you know how they work out.

[Ed. What about asking the merchant for assistance?] Good point. If there's a trustworthy sales person that knows your taste, definitely ask them for assistance. But keep in mind that a salesperson that doesn't know you may encourage you to buy discounted items just for the sake of clearing out inventory.

ADDENDUM: Here is a recent NY Times article about harvest time at Clos Roche Blance and Clos doe Tue-Boeuf. Also, you can find some of Eric Asimov's and wine auctioneer Ursula "Gavel Goddess" Hermacinski's favorite impoters at The Pour.


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