We are always on the look out for new wines and tend to do a lot of travelling at the beginning of the year. The best way to source a new wine is to do the research at home and then make contact with the wineries and go out and visit the area thereby getting a better understanding of the area before picking an individual producer. We would tend to cram a lot into our 2-3 day trips and try and visit as many producers as possible. The taste is the biggest factor but we also like to see healthy vineyards and a clean winery.

Lucy and Kristin tasting

What are we looking for in a wine? A clean, fresh aroma that makes you want to go on and taste the wine. We always taste without food so as nothing masks the wine, there is a lot of slurping and spitting. The slurping is to aerate the wine in the mouth so as to get maximum flavour and we always spit, it can be a long day when you start tasting at 9 in the morning and finish at 7 at night. We are looking for fruit, tannin and acid in the mouth, it does not matter if you are looking for a wine for immediate drinking such as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Umani Ronchi or a wine to lay down you still need all three components to be balanced. The wines for laying down such as Bordeaux 2009’s tend to be very unapproachable when taken out of the cask and will have bigger tannins and acid and fruit on the palate. The final ingredient when buying a wine is the finish/length of the wine. This is when you have spat the wine out and can still taste the wine. Does it finish short ie is the experience over as soon as you spit or does the taste linger? If it lingers, is the wine balanced? One of the most important factors is will this wine sell, not do I like it but will it appeal to the average consumer whether at home or in a restaurant. Finally, if the wine is appealing and we feel it will sell we need to find out the price. This can be tricky when you explain to a producer that their pride and joy is a wine which we feel is a good everyday/house style and therefore should be at a different price point.

 

 

 

 

 Some of the new wines that have made it into our portfolio

The travelling all around the world and meeting people you share a passion with is one of the most positive aspects of the wine trade. It is a constantly evolving world and consumer trends do keep changing which definitely keeps the wine buyers on their toes. There is nothing more satisfying than finding a wine that is good and then importing it and seeing people buying it and coming back for more and seeing it on restaurant lists. A recent example of this would be the Barrista Coffee Pinotage from South Africa which has had fantastic success for James Nicholson Wine Merchant.

Averil's Value Choices
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