And there's no way I could grow those eyebrows.
Romance vs Reality
In the romantic view of wine, noble peasants toil in a hillside vineyard, extracting nectar-like liquid from ancient, gnarled vines. Or a retired CEO falls in love with the grape, builds an architectural wonder in Napa Valley, and lives happily ever after. But wine is a business, and life-equal parts romance and reality-has a way of intruding on these idyllic reveries.
For example: at a 130-year old bodega on the high plateau of Spain’s Rioja region, Bodegas Bordon tends a mix of Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Mazuelo vines. Winemaker Ruben Provedo keeps a weather eye on ripeness and phenolic maturity, respecting the traditions of his home but also utilizing knowledge gained at university and stints in the Ribera del Duero and South Africa.
The fermentation is slow, each variety picked and vinified separately before being blended and aged for 18 months in French and American oak.The wine is then bottled-unfined and unfiltered, to retain its perfume and texture- and aged for another 18 months before release. At this point, you can taste the romance: Plum jam, cedar, blackberry, herbs.
Their American importer tastes it; he loves it, and buys some. Samples are passed to the MA distributor’s portfolio manager, who also loves it. An order is placed, cases are shipped. Finally, the wine reaches its destination: the distributor’s cavernous warehouse. And this-sadly-is where our romantic little wine runs head on into the buzz saw of reality.
That warehouse contains roughly 3,000 different products, and the sales reps responsible for selling them may or may not be aware of this wine. But even if they have succumbed to its siren song, they-and that portfolio manager-have a LOT of other responsibilities. Huge suppliers representing large, nationally advertised brands command attention through sheer volume-they pay the bills and keep the lights on. Our romantic little Rioja Reserva doesn’t stand a chance. It’s lost in that enormous warehouse-until the distributor’s accountants tell them it’s time to reduce inventory.
This is where we come in. We love wines of romance, terroir, and soul. And we don’t need a fancy marketing campaign to help us sell them. And we’re oh-so-happy to ‘help’ our distributors by passing the incredible savings-and delicious wines!-on to you. We call this magic ‘Pennywise’.
Our next Pennywise starts on Thursday, January 21. You can order through end of day on Sunday the 24th. Orders will be ready for pickup after 5 PM on the 29th. We’ll be selling that marvelous Rioja Reserva-in magnums, no less! But we’ll also have Cabernet, Bordeaux, a creamy-rich Chardonnay, Txacoli, red blends, Prosecco, and much, much more. Best of all, these tasty wines are all 20-70% off original retail prices.
Romance AND Reality. Nice!