Sunday, 9 June 2013

Duck's Arse

I think in the misty past I may have alluded to the fast that the Piemontese can show quite remarkable levels of tightness.
I was working at the London International Wine Fair recently. I was showing a few wines, one of which was a Moscato d'Asti, the light, frothy, slightly sparkling sweet dessert wine. But not sticky or heavy, more like angels dancing on your tongue*. It comes in at about 5ยบ of alcohol so you could pour it over your cornflakes and still drive to work.
The one I wanted to show was from a local producer. I went to see him at his hillside vineyard, having been there previously to buy wine on my own account, and explained the exhibition to him. Biggest in the UK, good opportunity, excellent showcase event, blah blah blah. I said I didn't want many bottles for the stand as the tastings were selective. He then brought me a case and asked for the full retail price at €5 a bottle. Somewhat surprised I paid up, left and got the box shipped to Blighty.
At the show there was some interest. This producer is good and is one of north west Italy's foremost organic winemakers. But he has no distribution in the UK.
Getting back here I sent him an e-mail telling him that an importer was so impressed with his Moscato d'Asti that they would like to sample some of his organic Barbera d'Asti and Dolcetto, both decent local reds.
He said he would be more than delighted to send some samples if the importer would like to pay for the courier cost. Which is probably around €100.
So far this tasting has cost him zero, zippo, zilch.
Sod all.
So the company that I work for not only paid full price for the wine samples, but also the transport, the stand, me, my hotel, my meals, my drinks (God help them) and my flights. But he wants this potential customer in a huge market like the UK to pay €100 for DHLing the samples so he is then sure that they are 'interested and genuine'.
Give me fucking strength.

*©Ron Combo. Proud of that one.