The Internet & Giving Wine a Fighting Chance
A new website has opened its doors that reminds me just how extraordinarily empowering the Internet is.
Prior to the Internet’s development it would have been impossible for a brick and mortar version of Israeli Wine Direct to survive anywhere in the United States. The focus and selection of wines at this new on-line retailer is so specific and exclusive it quite literally would have been passed by and perhaps glanced at no matter where in America it opened its doors.
On the Internet, however, it has more than a fighting chance.
Israeli Wine Direct works in a very similar way as WineMonger, Truly Fine Wine and Kermit Lynch (why Kermit Lynch is not selling on-line I do not understand). Richard Shaffer walks Israeli vineyards and wineries looking for small, undiscovered, high quality wines made in that country but which are not currently available in the U.S. The latter qualification is not hard meet since very little Israeli wine is sold in the U.S. Yet it turns out that Israeli vintners are churning out delicious wines. Shaffer imports them, sells them at Israeli Wine Direct, but also distributes the wines in the United States.
While the current number of wines at offer at IWD won’t come close to matching the number of wines
offered at your local brick and mortar store, they do deliver more Israeli wines than probably any brick and mortar store anywhere has ever offered at any one time. And while the names of the vintners won’t be familiar, the types of wines produced in Israel and sold at IWD will be familiar: Caberent, Pimativo, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling.
Israeli Wine Direct is the kind of on-line wine store that should attract at least a glance, if not an order, from all those wine lovers that fancy themselves wine explorers and who revel in the diversity of what different places and people can do with the grape.