Thursday, January 31, 2008

Relativity... and Cristal Roederer

I am a negociant, a wine merchant, and mainly sell expensive wine. As for cheaper wine, I cannot compete with established groups (Castel, Grands Chais de France, etc…), even if I wanted too.

In the world of luxury wine, Cristal, Salon, Dom Perignon and other premium cuvees seem to me less expensive than other great wines in the world including 1st growths in Bordeaux and top Burgundies – even if they are somewhat expensive. This is, of course, a question of semantics for wealthy people.

But I would like to remind you that this blog is written by a negociant – owner (and consultant) who’s main vocation is to find the best quality-price-image ratio. My starting point for retail price is 5 Euros, which seems expensive considering that 90% of wines sold are under 3 Euros. However, I should stress that I am not in the business, nor my company, of selling cheap wine.

Yesterday, Mr Thierry Desseauve tasted several of our wines at l’Essentiel. It is always a mix of pleasure and a bit of fear, that I go through tastings done by professional or journalists. Especially as the purpose is to know if “he (or she)” will like it or not… This does have implications. Well, several wines were good and even the 98 vintage was still very good.

During dinner, with Alain, Joseph, Murielle and I, we talked about branding, the négoce, personal stories, the evolution of our business… Me, with my small wholesale company, and Joseph with his very large one.

I love this job where you have your feet on the ground as well as your head in the stars.

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