Allow me to provide a little insight into the nature of wine sourcing, lest you think that it is all fun and games. It obviously can be great fun and it’s definitely a treat to go out into the vineyards, to meet winemakers and get to speak to these talented artisans face to face. But it can be daunting as well, particularly when faced with a huge tradeshow featuring hundreds upon hundreds of winemakers in a hot and sweaty hall:
The first time I walked in to a show like this, I was completely overwhelmed. Where to start? How to choose? It doesn’t necessarily help either that there is virtually no rhyme or reason as to layout so even the wine regions are scattered throughout the convention center. And if you choose not to spit, good luck lasting even an hour.
Times have changed a bit since then. I have a new approach involving several spreadsheets, references and web searches in order to pinpoint those few producers I’m really interested in. It literally takes hours weeding out over 500 names. But when it all comes together and you find something really special, it feels a little bit like finding buried treasure.