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Joshua London

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A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Joshua London » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:37 pm

Hi all,
Just finished reading the latest Jefford column (from Monday, but hey, I'm a busy guy), and came across two quotes that I thought might be of interest to the group and perhaps worthy of further comment/discussion. Here is the article: http://www.decanter.com/news/blogs/expert/530036/jefford-on-monday-walking-and-talking-with-zelma. I commend it to folks' attention.

Jefford interviews winemaker/viticulturalist/consultant Zelma Long (55 vintages in the biz and still going strong, particularly now in South Africa). Two quotes from her that struck a chord for me are are:
She identifies three stages in California’s development. “The first, in the 1970s, was our understanding of winemaking. In the 1980s, we began to analyze the vineyard -- soils, climate, plant materials, planting systems. Then in the ‘90s, we began to put the two together, which I think is the most important. The big challenge now is to work out what’s going on, the nature of each harvest, what the tannin profile is like... Understanding the season; formulating a response. Every vintage is different. That’s what I find wonderful and fascinating about winemaking: it’s a way of telling the story of the vineyard.”

That last line in particular I simply find to be a charming, healthy attitude. Of more direct relevance to this group is this from Zelma Long:

Her work in Israel has been with the Golan Heights winery, which she describes as “incredibly impressive: the highest quality level I’ve ever seen in a winery of its size and diversity. They brought me in because they wanted to improve the vineyards, and wanted to help the growers understand what was needed in order to do that, and wanted the technical staff in the winery to understand too. They just take information and run with it. I very much like working there.”

France is different. “When I first came here many years ago with Robert Mondavi and talked with the vignerons, my sense was that they saw themselves as stewards of their land; they were just part of its long history. I’ve always thought that was very beautiful. I don’t know whether it’s going to continue, because of the nature of our globalizing world, but that history, that culture, than sensitivity to the land makes France a different growing environment, and in a way, a role model. What tends to happen in the New World is that someone comes in with some resources -- and they build a winery. Because you can build a winery; you can hire a great architect and build a beautiful winery. But from my perspective, the investment would be better put into the vineyards first, because that’s what you need to make great wine. That’s what the Rolets have done here at Chêne Bleu; they spent 15 years reclaiming the vineyards before they built a winery and began making wine.”


All best,
Josh
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Daniel Kovnat

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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Daniel Kovnat » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:01 pm

Amen to that.

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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Craig Winchell » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:20 pm

Zelma can bemoan the New World (California) all she wants, buy she knows she's only paying lip service to the sound bytes of what people want to hear- the romantic notions of winemaking. Zelma was an underling under Robert Mondavi (she and her then hubby founded Long Vineyards, which never really amounted to much , though it made a few memorable wines), as a scientist. Her big break came in landing the job of winemaker at Simi, right after Mary Ann Graff retired from active winemaking to establish Vinquiry with Marty Bannister. Simi was a good, but not great winery, but made some memorable wines under Zelma, and expanded greatly. But her biggest accomplshment was in the people she trained, who later became movers and shakers in the industry. And she largely trained them to be scientists.

What tends to happen in the New World is that someone comes in with some resources -- and they build a winery. Because you can build a winery; you can hire a great architect and build a beautiful winery. But from my perspective, the investment would be better put into the vineyards first, because that’s what you need to make great wine.


Well, what do you expect? Wine sales is a marketing-driven event. That means there must by hype from the moment of inception. One way to get it is to have interesting architecture and build a beautiful winery. It gets written about, it gets noticed. Vineyards never get noticed until they are famous. They don't get famous very often, but when they do, it's largely because of the quality of fruit that is coming off it, which a winery must use until the wine gets noticed by the press. So there's good financial incentive to invest in the winery rather than the vineyard, and often in the trappings of the winery rather than the things which make a difference.

France is different. “When I first came here many years ago with Robert Mondavi and talked with the vignerons, my sense was that they saw themselves as stewards of their land; they were just part of its long history. I’ve always thought that was very beautiful.


Well sure it is beautiful. But relatively meaningless in the context of the New World. But then again, the land is worth more than the brand in most European appellations (Bordeaux excepted, of course), whereas the goodwill associated with a brand is worth a great deal more in the USA and other New World locations. Those 2 rows of Le Montrachet could be worth more than 300 acres of prime Monterey vineyard.

Zelma is a wonderful winemaker, as I've probably told her several times. Still, let's be real. The bottom line is the wine in the bottle, not the land or the vineyard or stewardship or architecture. But the wine in the bottle is rarely what makes the money.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Joshua London » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:51 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:Zelma is a wonderful winemaker, as I've probably told her several times. Still, let's be real. The bottom line is the wine in the bottle, not the land or the vineyard or stewardship or architecture. But the wine in the bottle is rarely what makes the money.

Right, ok, sure. I doubt anyone would seriously dispute that the wine in the bottle is the bottom line, but I think you are giving too much into cynicism or maybe the grapes of wrath to say that the wine in the bottle is rarely what makes the money. You may be right by trophy wines, cult wines, "investment"/investor class wines and the like, but most wines actually being consumed I think are about the beverage. Marketing and distribution are obviously major factors industry-wide, but do you really think the liquid itself rarely factors into profit margins? Really?
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Craig Winchell » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:21 pm

"The money" is a function of profit per bottle, and saleability of the volumes required. Therefore, in the lower priced markets, marketing determines saleability of the wine, which determines the cost of getting the wine sold, and the growth of the brand. The marketing increases demand, adding value, and adding potential value, which can be quantified into selling price. It's not rocket science. The cheapest marketing is the article whcih someone wishest to write about the wine/winery/winemaker, owner's charitable foundation, etc.

In these days of micro-wineries (such as Gabe and Shimon's Shirah Wine Company), the price of the wine is often determined initially by the cost of production and marketing, whether or not that cost is justified by the quality of wine. Some justify it on the basis of small production, some don't even try to justify it. But there are many wines out there worth $15-$20 that sell for $35-40 just because if not, there's no justification for the production to continue.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Joshua London » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:51 pm

OK, but marketing can only go so far in the category of wines that will actually be consumed soon after purchase. If the enjoyment is not there, sales will eventually reflect this and marketing will not increase demand. No matter how large the marketing budget or smart the strategy, marketing will not create or increase demand for some disgusting vinegar-like plonk to be sold and consumed as table wine. Sure, folks can be convinced that something is good and worth a certain price-point, but if experience tells you otherwise, you wont continue to fall for it, right? You can't simply push New Coke on people just because its what you decided to produce, no matter how large your market share, and how big your marketing budget and how "smart" your marketing strategy. Maybe I've got this all wrong, and certainly I've no head for business, but the product still has to be enjoyable at some level for sustained sales and growth over time, no?
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Craig Winchell » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:28 pm

One can only hope, Josh. However, think of some of the plonk that is regularly pushed on the Jewish consumer, especially over-the-hill stuff. I remember when the distributor non NoCal was still pushing vast amounts of Herzog Chenin from many vintages before, and people were continuing to buy it. Or in SoCal, someone is still taking up shelf space with my 2000 Chard that was going over the hill in 2005. One can hope that consumers will understand wine and won't be fooled the second time, but my experience has led me towards cynicism. They will be fooled again and again with the same wine, because they don't know any better. Of course, I'm talking the typical consumer, not the knowledgeable one. Get a good spokesman for vitameatavegamine and they'll buy it (and continue buying it) even if it tastes yucky.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Jon Tabak » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:53 pm

I think the point of Josh's post was her comments on GHW. Sounds like some nice praise and is definitely in-line with what we all consume as the end product. Bravo!
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Craig Winchell » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:11 pm

Josh could have edited that quotation to a greater degree if he didn't want comments on the things Zelma said unrelated to Golan Heights Winery. I think the fact was that she was at Chene Bleu, a biodynamic (please, don't get me started) estate in Provence, when she made all of these comments, so here comments were only peripherally about GHW. I'm glad Golan Heights got a nice mention, but it's hardly the most noteworthy stuff she mentioned, just the stuff with the least controversy in this group, where GHW is universally well received.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Joshua London » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:40 pm

Jon, yes, that was my primary hook for posting here, but -- as Craig rightly noted -- I also quoted well beyond just the GHW related matter for a reason too, and I think Craig's comments are very interesting...even compelling.

That is to say, Craig, on reflection I think you may be more right than wrong, at least as regards ill-informed, or perhaps under-informed, consumers. For surely this is still much of the kosher market. I can't imagine, for example, anyone trying to sell, say, Two Buck Chuck five or six years past release. Yet by kosher wines, it is not hard to imagine the quivalent at all. In fact, as I think more about it, I see it all the time -- I just don't generally by my wine from such kosher grocery/butcher/one-stop-shops. Clearly, however, people do -- at least they do according to the proprietors of the two biggest local kosher stores in my area.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Jon Tabak » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:35 am

Josh - To that point, I did an instructional tasting a couple of weeks ago that opened some people's eyes. Most kosher folks that get into wine either haven't tasted much or stick to the same thing. Comparison is completely missing. I did a blind tasting which including some bottles that were young, mature and over the hill to give everyone an idea of how wines in each of these categories should be drinking. I also did a side by side with a wine that was open for 3 days and the same bottle opened an hour earlier. That one had a great effect :)

Anyway, my point is that there's a significant knowledge gap in the kosher wine market and we need bridge it with more education.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Joshua London » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:19 am

Jon Tabak wrote: Anyway, my point is that there's a significant knowledge gap in the kosher wine market and we need bridge it with more education.

Fully concure with you on this!
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Daniel Kovnat » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:55 am

I wish I could have been an active participant along the way in this fascinating discussion of business/money/marketing on the one hand and artistry/land/quality on the other --------- but, alas, it all took place while I slept. Such is the nature of this connected world with all of us living in different time zones, but communicating at the same time. So good morning to you all. :)

Yes, we live here on the earth where "money makes the world go round" and the product all too often is less important than getting people to buy it. The emphasis in the shuk is more on the price and in convincing people to fork over their hard earned dough. The extreme of that are the sellers without a conscience, taking money for what they know has gone bad and is only worth dumping down the drain. But life is about more than making a buck. It is about being a mensch. And in the wine making world, to me, viticulture means caring about the land, the soil, the vines, and thus, the grapes. And it is about the artist/enologist transforming the raw product into what we all here care about. Yes, we do have to have our feet on the ground, but what's it all about, if we can't, at least to some degree, have our heads in the clouds :?:

So, I again say, in response to Josh's post about Zelma Long's comments starting this string of responses,what I posted yesterday, "Amen."

Dan
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Adam N » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:31 am

Josh, Craig, Jon, Danial- Just want to mention one thing that will amplify Craigs marketing point.
Like it or not, one of the best selling wines is the Bartenura (Blue Bottle) Moscato that Royal puts out.
The irony of it is that before it was in blue glass, it was in green glass. To be honest, Royal had problems selling it.
Once they switched to Blue, it Flew. I think the issue is as follows, and Jon hit it on the head. While great marketing is key to getting the masses interested in wine, the masses will only learn to care more if they can taste diversity.

My 2 cents from a wholesale, retail, life.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Gabriel Geller » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:43 am

Adam N wrote:Like it or not, one of the best selling wines is the Bartenura (Blue Bottle) Moscato that Royal puts out.

It is not only "one of" but THE BEST selling kosher wine in the world with an average 7 million bottles sold/year :!: (Gary please correct me if I'm wrong). Strangely enough, not at my shop. I sold only 2 blue bottles in 3 months. I hope that means that I've indeed reached the crowd I meant to. 8)
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Joshua London » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:54 am

Daniel Kovnat wrote:I wish I could have been an active participant along the way in this fascinating discussion of business/money/marketing on the one hand and artistry/land/quality on the other --------- but, alas, it all took place while I slept. Such is the nature of this connected world with all of us living in different time zones, but communicating at the same time. So good morning to you all. :)


Dan, it aint over, until its over. ;-)

Since now we all seem to be, more or less, singing the same tune, let me try shaking things up a bit. Just to play devil's advocate, as it were, I think the Bartenura Moscato is in interesting case in point -- in defense of marketing.

As moscatos go, Bartenura is a fine poduct (I vaugely recall its quality has ebbed and flowed a bit in the past, but it seems now to be consistently good moscato). Not a terribly interesting wine, to be sure, but then it isn't meant to be and doesn't exactly appeal to or compete with that same segment of dry table wine consumption. It is a quaffer of a certain type -- or typicity, if you prefer. If changing the color of the bottle were all that were needed to turn a decent wine (in its class) from poor sales to consistent mega sales, I've nothing against it.

In the same way that I am not snobby about cheap blended Scotch (though anyone whose ever been in my home knows I'm a single cask single malt evangelist), I'm not snobby about simple, fun/party wine, so long as it is basically honest. If the price of Bartenura Moscato doubled or trebled with accompanying claims of greatness, or terroir, or whatever, then I'd be angry, but best I can tell, its not claiming to be anythign more than good Moscato. The only way to push product is to get as many people as possible to try it and convince as many of them as possible to continue to buy it. Call it marketing, call it communications, call it handling, call it what you like, but it'll remain an essential part of any business venture. The problem is when marketing takes on a life of its own, or worse yet, take on greater importance than the integrity of production. Once production is forced to conform to marketing, problems arise.

It is one thing to be a small, local winery producing just enough to satisfy the thirst of a very local market, it is another to compete in a global marketplace, no matter how niche that market is. The key, I suppose, is tethering -- tightly -- marketing to integrity, and being prepared to weather the consequences. For example, what does one do if, say, Robert Parker accidentally happended upon your wine and, from yoru perspective, randomly gave your 600 case production Cab a 94 score (when previously he's never before ranked anything you've produce), and suddenly interest and demand far outstrip your ability to keep up? What happens moving forward with the next vintage you intend to bring to market? After all, once production costs and nominal profit margins are factored in, your actual price-point is as much a factor of marketing as anything else.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Craig Winchell » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:33 am

One might argue that due to the blue bottle, the Bartenura Moscato has brand identity, a factor which helps push its sales far above Trader Joe's Sarah Bee despite the fact that Sarah Bee is half the price (in Los Angeles) and arguably a better wine. Certainly, the marketing has added value to the Bartenura product, perceptible as both volume sales and increased price.

As an aside, let me point out once again that moscato is the fastest growing category in America. That placed our blue bottle way out ahead of the game. If it were branded in the nonkosher market, it would be riding the wave to exponential increases in sales. Although certainly participating, one can't help but believe that the branding is primarily to the kosher market, and that its biggest growth phase has passed with the maturation of the kosher market. Be that as it may, this is probably the one instance most of us will see in our lives where the kosher market acceptance largely preceded the general market acceptance of such a product (and yes, there is a certain amount of nonkosher market acceptance of matzoh, gefilte fish, latkes and matzoh balls, but it ain't seeing exponential growth in the nonkosher market) . Not that moscato, and specifically Moscato di Asti, were not already categories in the nonkosher wine repertoire, but that they were sleepy, largly unpopular categories, made unpopular by the typical shift to dry from sweet.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Daniel Kovnat » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:43 am

Adam N. Wrote,
Like it or not, one of the best selling wines is the Bartenura (Blue Bottle) Moscato that Royal puts out.
The irony of it is that before it was in blue glass, it was in green glass. To be honest, Royal had problems selling it.
Once they switched to Blue, it Flew


I wonder how many of those who read/participate in the Israeli and Kosher Wine Forum started buying and drinking Bartenura Moscato because of the blue glass. Doubt if anyone did. Those who did buy it were influenced by the glass color and not what went into their glass. I, for one, resent these tricks of marketing. I am not completely naive in that I realize that marketing does bring results to the bottom line, but guidance and education will help influence the producers to focus on quality. This probably won't result in the "100th Monkey Effect," but who knows? In this era of social networking on the internet anything is possible. A relative of mine in Boston has and idea to start of Israeli Wine of the Month on Facebook with shared comments. This is potentially a way to help people focus on the contents of the bottle rather than the shape or color of the bottle.

Dan
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Gary J » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:07 pm

Gabriel Geller wrote:
Adam N wrote:Like it or not, one of the best selling wines is the Bartenura (Blue Bottle) Moscato that Royal puts out.

It is not only "one of" but THE BEST selling kosher wine in the world with an average 7 million bottles sold/year :!: (Gary please correct me if I'm wrong). Strangely enough, not at my shop. I sold only 2 blue bottles in 3 months. I hope that means that I've indeed reached the crowd I meant to. 8)


Probably about half that, but by far the greatest selling kosher wine...
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Gabriel Geller » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:13 pm

This thread seems to be moving from its original title toward something like "Bartenura's Blue Bottle (BBB) as a game-changer marketing decision"...

Not sure if this following anecdote of mine will be of any interest to anyone but whatever: 3 years ago, I went for Shavuot to Portland OR to visit one of my best friends that was working there on an internship for 6 months. He was not into wine at all back then but I recalled that he had liked once on a visit to Israel the GHW Golan Moscato. I didn't want to shlep bottles of wine with me all the way from Israel to Oregon so I looked up online for a website selling a kosher moscato and when I saw the BBB I bought one because indeed the fact that it was blue grabbed my attention and also because it was "a real moscato from Italy" (never had it before that time) as well as a Recanati Cabernet Franc Reserve 2006 (more for myself... :lol: ) and had them shipped to my friend as a gift for letting me crash at his place.

While the BBB was appreciated by my friend, the Recanati was sort of a revelation for him! Since he moved to Israel shortly afterwards, he started accompanying me to many wineries visits, wine expos and festivals and quickly become an aficionado (he's a Petit Castel geek now...). I think I made him spend already a few thousands $ in wine in less than a year! So I may say that from a certain perspective he became a wine lover thanks to the BBB! 8)

Shabbat shalom!

GG
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Gabriel Geller » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:15 pm

Gary J wrote:
Gabriel Geller wrote:
Adam N wrote:Like it or not, one of the best selling wines is the Bartenura (Blue Bottle) Moscato that Royal puts out.

It is not only "one of" but THE BEST selling kosher wine in the world with an average 7 million bottles sold/year :!: (Gary please correct me if I'm wrong). Strangely enough, not at my shop. I sold only 2 blue bottles in 3 months. I hope that means that I've indeed reached the crowd I meant to. 8)


Probably about half that, but by far the greatest selling kosher wine...

I figured that it did sound "a bit" :lol: exaggerated when I was told 7 million, but even half that is impressive nonetheless.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Isaac Chavel » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:54 pm

This thread has taken on a bit --- not a lot, mind you --- of the "elites vs. unwashed masses" tone that infects a lot of political discourse these days.

My guess is that without kiddush every Friday night, there would be a lot fewer kosher wine drinkers at all levels, and especially at the lower levels of wine. I notice that I and most of my friends are not wine affcianados and do not pretend to it. After awhile of drinking dry wines, we get to know when we are served something excellent and we truly enjoy it. But, at the same time, most of my friends are not moved to develop a passion for finer wines nor spend the money on them. In our circle, only a few (that includes me) are moved somewhat to develop an interest and taste in wine. So I would estimate --- this is, at best, purely speculative --- that, without weekly kiddush on friday night, the proportion of wine consumed by kosher drinkers relative to "kosher dieters" would not much differ from proportion of drinkers to non-drinkers in the broader population.
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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Joshua London » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:22 pm

Gabriel, funny, but I actually usually prefer the Golan Moscato to the Bartenura Moscato d'Asti, and at times have preferred the Carmel Moscato to both. I presume this is a vintage variation thing. I really like Moscato, I just don't think of it as wine in the normal sense -- more like a slightly alcoholic seltzer for a hot day (I usually drink it with ice). Though, within a two or three dollar variance, I buy Moscato by price and around here the Bartenura Moscato has seemingly gotten more and more expensive relative to the competition. I now drink the Bartenura only when brought by guests (though I do enjoy it).

Dan, you make great points. I wonder, though, if wine web forums, wine blogs or facebook wine tastings will make a huge difference on the larger marketplace. Its a good start, don't get me wrong, and presumably would/should be good fun for all involved, but it remains very self-selecting and time consuming.

I don't have any great alternatives, though I still firmly believe in the old fashioned role of wine retailers to help cater to and actually cultivate their clientele, serving, in a sense, as editor or guide for wine shopping. The model still lives on, at times and in some places, but even still requires desire by the customer for help or advice. There are still too many consumers, especially kosher consumers, who are only interested in price-point within the categories of red and white, and sweet and dry. On top of which, most retailers are not looking to play this role beyond shifting stock. Particularly in busy locations, where customers come and go and no rapport is attempted, much less built and maintained.

If I walk into a wine shop and see shelf-talkers, for example, my heart sinks a little. It doesn't mean the proprietor is absolutely bad or lazy or doesn't care about cultivating clients, but it is - to me - an indication, however slight, that the proprietor has forfeited their rightful place in the market. I will usually still try to engage them in conversation, but I can usually tell immediately if they are honest, interested and knowledgeable about their own stock - or not. Usually not these days.

There is a local wine store/wine bar in my area that has a very decent selection of kosher wines that are found in their regional or typicity shelves -- e.g., an Aussie kosher Shiraz will only be found next to the other Aussie Shiraz wines. There is no kosher shelf or section and nothing denoting kosher other than the label. Most kosher consumers complain, though they are slowly, slowly, building up a base who "get it". The approach of the store is that their wine shelves are easy to navigate, but if a customer is looking for something specific, they need only ask one of the helpful and knowledgeable members of staff. Ask for a kosher Cabernet Sauvignon, and they'll ask, if you have a regional preference? A preferred price range? Mevushal or non mevushal requirements, etc.? They ask, they listen patiently and they respond. It is more of a conversation driven approach. Customers who come and refuse to chat, are welcome to peruse or hunt; those in a hurry and handled expeditiously. Best I can tell, the staff all know enough of what the various kosher terms and designations mean, and why their buyer/manager has chosen this or that brand or label relative to another. On occasion, when I've asked for something they don't have from a winery that they do to stock (e.g., they have some GHW wines, but obviously not all types within each label) they will either order it for me, explain why they can't get it from their distributor, or maybe tell me that they didn't buy it for a reason (bad QPR, inconsistent relative quality, etc.) and will suggest I try something else. [In my own case, it helps that when I see their buyer in NY at the Royal Wine trade tasting we can chat openly and he gives me a sense of what he buys and why, and I have a sense of where his own tastes trend.] But I digress...

One can only hope that, over time, the situation improves. Certainly all educational efforts are worth a try.

Isaac, I think you are right about the tone, and I apologize unreservedly if I've contributed to that aspect of it. Though I'm a wine geek (or maybe just a geek who drinks wine, since I tend to approach everything that interests me in the same way), I recoil from wine snobbery (all snobbery really). There is a clear distinction to be drawn between knowledge and ignorance, not in the sense of class (that those with knowledge are better than those without), but in the sense of thoughtfulness. I engage in this forum, for example, not to strut my stuff (since I have very little to strut) or otherwise pat myself on the back for being a swell guy, but because of my own sense of inquisitiveness, and the enjoyment I get from informed discourse. I refuse to run from the language of value judgements, because I do think their is something bad or inferior about a lack of inquisitiveness -- not a lack of knowledge. We all gotta start somewhere. Even Robert Parker at one time knew NOTHING about wine, even well into his then amateur newsletter efforts. Folks who are not interested in wine knowledge are probably not reading this web forum anyway.

As to your other point, for sure, kiddush is driving this train, and the market is still under the sway of those memories and/or that nostalgia and/or that preference for sweet kiddush wine and/or simply chugging kiddush wine quickly before the enjoyment of the meal commences. This is presumably the predominant purchasing power, but there is no reason why this picture must remain static. I fondly recall, as a child, my father, a"h, making kiddush on the usual sweet kiddush wine while the rest of all pulled faces, before better wines, like Gan Eden or Hagafen (after it switched hashgachas), were brought to the table to be enjoyed with the actual meal. My father grew up with sweet kiddush wine for kiddush, and so preferred it for that purpose.

All best,
Josh
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Jon Tabak

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Re: A consultant's perspective on GHW

by Jon Tabak » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:11 pm

Isaac - I have tastings at my house almost every friday night after dinner. Started almost two years ago. I have a group of regulars, most of who would drink the wine purely to get a buzz on, didn't know much about and didn't really care for it (hey...free booze). Fast forward a year and the same people at my table are telling me about aroma, flavor, body, tannic structure, etc and have clearly developed preferences that they can express.

I find that wine appreciation these days, like so many other things, is truly viral. So it's up to all of us to spread the knowledge and get people involved.
http://www.KosherWino.com - Supporting your kosher wine habit
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