WHO WE ARE:
First and foremost, Winemonger is a wine importer.
Many of our wines are offered by the best restaurants in the United States. Ranging from the fantastic hole-in-the-wall eatery you have never heard of, to Le Bernardin in New York or the inimitable Slanted Door Restaurant in San Francisco, we are proud to count America's top culinary establishments among our best customers.
You may also find our wines at American's foremost wine shops and merchants. Check with KL Wines, Wine Exchange, Wine House , Crush Wine & Spirits, Sherry Lehmann, Astor Wines, or Wine Library, to name just a few, and you will find our wines there.
And if you are the sort of individual who prefers to buy from your local wine store, please . and we will direct you to the nearest store that carries our wines.
Not all states of the United States have our wines available, but more and more do. We self-distribute in California, New York and New Jersey and have representation in Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Massachusetts. For inquiries about distribution please .
THE ONLINE STORE:
Winemonger.com is for this reason rather different from the average online wine store. Winemonger imports all of our wines directly from the small, mostly family-managed estates that produce them, in nearly every case the sole and exclusive importer for these estates.
This means that every wine we sell has been individually selected at the estate, then shipped and stored under conditions that we control and determine: refrigerated shipping containers and delivery trucks, temperature-controlled warehouses with ideal 55 degrees storage. We consider this sort of thing to be very important.
It matters a lot that we follow strict selection criteria when we select the estates in our portfolio, and when we individually select the wines from these estates. We have painstakingly developed these standards over the years, and we are proud to offer them to you: A set of principles, a test that each of our wines has passed.
"Hold it!" you might say- "Why not have quality first?" Well, the way we see it, quality isn't in itself a measure of what we seek in a wine, but rather a manifestation of the way the factors we value and measure come together. Purity connotes truth to type and terroir, freedom from influence, a wine that is honestly content in its original form.
Some growers have a hard time with this one because it requires restraint. It asks that the winemaker stand back and let the grapes become wine and the wine be wine,- to do nothing, which is sometimes easier said than done.
It also demands that a grower not just be a good farmer, but rather a great farmer, and stay on top of his game. Because the kind of quality we seek can only be nurtured in the vineyard, and never created in the cellar. Growing good fruit is difficult, certainly. The tasks are fraught with dull repetition, with any reward subject to the humors of nature.
Wine is more interesting than milk. It just is. Any evidence for terroir can be provided on a walking tour through Bavaria, where visits at neighboring dairy farms easily show how the flavor of the moo-juice is influenced by what the cows eat and the specific ground in which it grows.
Since grapevines can root themselves so much more deeply in the earth than grass and wild onions, wine offers so much more depth to the minerality.
Plus there's the fruit-factor, and the Active Ingredient (C2H6O) which marshals many otherwise dumbed-down esters and aldehydes into rank and file, then sets them marching.
Each hillside and terrace will offer its unique perspective on a single grape variety. We like that. We support that. A wine can express correct varietal character, but failing in this expression of place, it offers less interest.
To achieve our view of value, we look to the following:
Wines offering this quality may be acceptable under fifteen dollars,- and even desirable, if they're priced under ten. But price is not more than a guide, very much like the infamous 100 point scale employed by most major wine critics. So take it with a grain of salt, always, but particularly in wine.
Our next concern is to determine if the wine exhibits the appropriate regional characteristics, paired with its varietal integrity.
Let's take a Wachau-valley riesling for example: this wine shows the minerality and stone-fruit notes that only a riesling from this valley produces, because only here to do soil and micro-climate collaborate to produce this exalted expression.
No flying winemaker's Leaping Lizard brand will ever come close to the integrity and regal bearing of a Wachau Smaragd. One is happy to plunk-down twenty, thirty dollars and then some for a wine of this caliber.
Some wines are inherently and uniquely different. Something sets them apart, like the way they manage to convey the message of those few acres of soil and its unique composition with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker.
These wines are produced in minuscule quantities by dint of tedious manual labour, nearly always by an experienced winegrower whose detailed and intimate understanding of his vineyards and its vines alone brings him to this achievement.
Almost priceless, these wines,- almost! Any model or paradigm abstracts the physical world, in order that complex ideas and concepts might be more easily handled. But it remains a simplification of the underlying concept. Best to taste the difference. Winemonger Imports.