Lots of buzz online and off about the impending Amazon foray into the online wine sales world. Personally I think this is a good sign of the times. It solidifies wine as an everyday commodity in the American household (yay! many of us have been working towards this goal for a long time).
Most importantly, it allows smaller boutique wineries to reach a larger audience than would be previously possible. And of course, vice versa, allows American consumers an amazing array of wines at their fingertips.
Wholesale wine distributors should welcome this development. Most distributors are overwhelmed by the increasing amount of wineries who want their representation. They work hard but they cannot do it all. I am not one to bag on distributors. Perhaps because I have worked in the past as a distributor sales rep and later as a sales manager.
They are often caught in the middle of a tug of war between demanding retail and restaurant buyers and the high expectations of the wineries they represent.
I often think that the distributor sales reps who are out working the streets day after day are some of the most under appreciated wine ambassadors in our industry.
That being said, with the widespread consolidation of wine wholesalers around the country, small wineries and individual wine lovers needed an avenue to continue their dialogue.
Not to mention the many wineries that have been unable to find a distributor willing to take on a new or boutique brand.
The online wine sales explosion was a geyser waiting to explode.
I don't believe online sales will completely replace the tactile experience of the neighborhood wine shop or the corner bistro meal on a Friday night with someone you love.
But I do think it is a healthy addition to the world of wine sales.
We are an industry of dreamers and iconoclasts....let diversity prevail.