Dec 062012
wine blogWinestyr and Amazon Wine Marketplace – A Comparative Review

So what is a “Wine Marketplace?” Think of the Marketplace like a Farmer’s Market for wine lovers and craft winemakers…with one simple checkout experience. This is the term being applied to a few websites where smaller boutique wineries can go to sell their craft wines directly to the public, bypassing the outdated and monopolistic three-tier distributor system. The Marketplace serves as a go-between by conveniently taking the orders, even for multiple wineries, in one easily navigated spot.

How does this differ from online wine sellers? The Wine Marketplace does not sell the wine. The wine actually comes to the buyer from the winery. The Wine Marketplace simply serves as a portal to bring wine lovers and winemakers together. Many of the wines found in the Marketplace are smaller production, unique and artistic craft wines you may not find in your local retailer.

To date, there are two main Wine Marketplaces Amazon Wine and Winestyr. They both have similar business models. The winery pays a subscription price to the site and a percentage of the online sales. In both cases the wines are priced very close to, if not exactly the same as they are at the winery website. The sites may offer promotions on certain wines when the opportunity arises. Both offer better shipping prices than you will often get from the winery itself. Wine shipping can get quite expensive. The few wines found on both Amazon Wine and Winestyr appear to have similar if not identical pricing. Continue reading »

May 142012

“A single, great vineyard sight can express itself and be transparent through to a bottle of wine.  You can actually taste the vineyard’s character in the glass.” Jamie Kutch – Kutch Wines Pinot Noir

Wine BlogI’ll admit it; I love single-vineyard wines. There is something about the nuance and singularity that speaks volumes me. When drinking a single-vineyard wine, I like to imagine the vineyard, its rows of vibrant vines offering abundant fruit. Sometimes I’ll even go techie and try to find pictures of the vineyard on Google so I can be even more anchored to the very spot that produced the wine in my glass. If I’ve personally walked amongst the vines of a particular vineyard, I can return with just a tip of my glass and a bit of imagination.

I wanted to learn more about these special wines. But not from the perspective of the wine drinker, I wanted to learn from winemakers themselves. So with the help of a few talented single-vineyard winemakers, here’s what I learned in a nutshell. The winemaker’s ultimate duty to single-vineyard wines compels him/her to draw on the incalculable variations of each vintage to bring forth the true voice and personality of the vineyard. When made well, a single-vineyard wine will convey a very specific sense of place, nuance and art. Obviously not all vineyards produce fruit with enough unique characteristics to be worthy of vineyard designation. Vineyards, like people, all have something to say, but not everything said is worth your attention. Continue reading »