A regular visitor to the blog sent me an email this week, the gist of which was “I have trouble finding the wines you write about.”
As previously noted, the bane of the Wine Curmudgeon’s existence is availability. In fact, it’s the bane of almost every wine writer’s existence, and I’ve even had winery officials tell me that it drives them crazy, too.
It’s always difficult, unless you’re writing for readers in one small part of one city, to negotiate the availability maze. Given my audience these days, which takes in people from around the world, it’s that much more difficult. All anyone can do, and what I try to do, is to write about wines that are “generally available,” and to note when wines have limited availability. Unfortunately, the term “generally available” seems to mean less and less these days. (Why that is — the recession, consolidation among producers, the vagaries of the three-tier system — is a subject for another day.)
I always ask, when I like a wine, if it has general U.S. distribution. If it doesn’t, I usually don’t write about it. In this sense, I am at the mercy of the winery, importer or distributor. That’s why I always link to the winery, importer, or distributor Web sites in the review. If you can’t find it locally, send the company in the link an email and ask them if there is a local distributor. If there is, you should be able to get a retailer in your area to order it for you.